What are the reasons why I need colocation?
A good number of people prefer colocation for their servers for a number of reasons, reasons that could vary from the most mundane to the most complex. To have a better understanding of why people choose colocation, it would be helpful to pick a few common reasons. People need colocation services when the office or the data center where their servers and other devices are housed and installed have become outmoded, outdated and so dilapidated and needs major renovation work but they are not ready to invest a considerable amount of money for it. Another valid reason is that when you have just started a new company and you need a space to place your servers but is not yet ready to make the investment of building your own data center. Still another reason is when a company or an individual has outgrown the office or his present data center and that he needs more elbow room to expand his services but does not have the necessary funds for the required construction or expansion.
Another good reason you need colocation is when the facilities of your present data center such as the bandwidth, cooling and power are in need of major overhaul and upgrade but you do not have the funds for the job necessary. The last, not in the order of importance, of course, is that you simply want the best for company which is the reason why you want to place your brand new servers and devices into a data center that is well-equipped and better protected.
What are the drawbacks of colocation?
Despite the seeming countless benefits that colocation brings, it has also its inherent share of drawbacks. These are the most common drawbacks of colocation:
- Conveniently located colocation center are often difficult to find as most colocation centers are located in major cities and major communication hubs. This is especially true if your office is located in the outskirts or outlying provinces. This could pose a problem since colocation is a hands-on management system which means that you need a staff to manage the servers. It would be a big plus factor that the colocation center be located fairly close to your home or place of business to minimize the travel time and travel cost.
- Colocation is definitely more expensive compared to basic hosting, VPS hosting and shared hosting. One reason for this is the cost of the overhead expense and the upfront expense since you need to purchase or lease the equipment that you need, such as the server and other devices as well as the software.
- There may be a need for you to hire additional staffs that is needed to run and manage your system.
- Server management tasks need to be done in the data center or colocation facility. The time spent for the travel from your office to the colocation center could limit the time you spend in the center or the office. This could also translate to additional expenses for the cost of travel, while the time lost in transit could also translate into monetary losses.
- The initial cost could be high.
- Some colocation centers impose time restrictions as to the access to the colocation center. This could be a potential problem as you might not be allowed access to your server should any problem occur within the time restriction and you may have to wait until the restriction is lifted before the issue can be addressed.
Since colocation has a lot of drawbacks, what alternate choices can you offer me for a more efficient hosting service?
The drawbacks that colocation brings can be heavily outweighed by its benefits. This goes to show that colocation a good option for hosting your servers. However, if after weighing both, you found out that you do need other hosting services for your website, then here are some of the alternative choices that you can go to. Some of them may be more expensive than colocation but can be more efficient or perhaps, more convenient for you, if it is what you look for. These are:
- Building your own data center and hosting the servers in it;
- Hosting your website is a Cloud Hosting provider;
- Hosting and subscribing to Managed Dedicated Hosting; and
- Hosting your website in Virtual Private Servers (VPS Hosting).
Is colocation a good choice for me?
The answer to this question could be quite difficult to answer from our point of view. However, to help you decide, here is the rule of thumb with regard to choosing colocation hosting. For one, if your server is intended to serve a website for a small to medium-sized business such as those that are used for blogs or for personal use, then what you need is a lighter and cheaper hosting solution such as shared hosting, or even free hosting and definitely not colocation. However, if your server is intended to serve even small or medium sized businesses but is expecting a heavy traffic and lots of media content and if your server needs a more robust presence and requires the features and the services of big-time IT departments, then colocation comes highly recommended for you.