A colocation hosting service is very similar to dedicated hosting, in that it offers you lots of ways to upgrade your website and its resources. It’s also more secure and more reliable, but you’ll need some understanding to get the most out of it, because with colocation you don’t use the hosting company’s servers. You buy or rent all your own hardware and software, and you rent the space in the data center they’re sitting in.
Colocation hosting will suit big sites with high traffic, which often means mid-sized or larger web companies. The colocation hosting service is also a favorite with startup hosting companies who don’t yet have the money to build their own data center and fill it with a small army of IT specialists. With colocation hosting you get much more security compared to standard hosting, and complete control and flexibility – because it’s your hardware and you can configure it however you want. You also get the benefits of having your gear in a highly secure environment that is climate controlled and backed up by generators if the power goes down.
Unmanaged Colocation Hosting
Just like with dedicated hosting, managed colocation hosting (covering server administration and tech support) will cost you more. If you don’t want this then all hardware and software administration falls to you. In which case all you have to pay for is the rental for your space, the power your servers use and for the bandwidth. If you go this route, then it’s better to choose a colocation center which is closer physically to your company’s location.
Managed Colocation Web Hosting
With a fully managed colocation hosting service it doesn’t matter where your company is located, and you won’t need to hire anybody to look after the server. It’s worth looking into whether any colocation hosting providers offer server administration, as this relieves you of that burden.
Colocation Hosting Costs
Colocation hosting costs more than normal hosting, but you could actually save money if your needs run to very high bandwidth and you know that you will make use of a ton of resources. You might sometimes need to pay more for the bandwidth you use, but these charges are usually covered in your hosting service package, and prices range from not much to quite a lot. When you go over your limit you will incur the extra charge, so it’s important to be aware of traffic limits and what you’re likely to use before you sign up with your provider. There are extra fees too for other services like remote technical support and reboots, extra IPs and domains, backups and so on.
Colocation vs Dedicated VPS
Colocation hosting is ideal for large companies with the money to invest in their own servers, and the money to spend on either their own dedicated team of administrators and support staff or managed colocation hosting. If your web business isn’t at that stage yet, then consider dedicated VPS hosting. It offers better performance and security van shared hosting and is considerably cheaper and easier to manage than colocation.