As Internet technology continues to evolve, the need for servers and other associated network infrastructure will continue to increase, especially as with regard to the growing trend of cloud computing and IoT.
A couple of decades ago the prerequisites for starting a business bordered on physical office space, a work telephone number, a PC and a printer. These days, however, you’ll need more or less than the aforementioned depending on the kind of business that you intend to run. The organization of the said business will determine the need for certain equipment, or structure.
These days, remote workspaces have become the trend, thereby increasing the need for servers and other communication equipment.
Servers as the name imply serve to solve a certain challenge. They could be web servers which are the servers responsible for the web pages you view, application servers which house applications such that authorized users may access these applications, or file servers, which are mostly used for storage.
These days, virtually every business requires a server. The question is, should your server be colocated or dedicated?
A Colocation server refers to a server which is housed and maintained by you. In more literal terms, a Colocation server could also be called an on premise server, as it is usually located within the physical confines of the organization, and maintained by the organization. In other cases, a Colocation server may be housed by another organization, but the server and storage belong to you. Think of it as renting a serviced apartment for your family.
Most organizations with colocation servers possess the technical know-how, and manpower, as well as the financial capability, to meet up with the exorbitant needs of these servers.
Since they are mostly housed, powered, and maintained by you, they tend to cost quite a lot from a business stand point. However, depending on the use of sensitivity of the information contained in the server, a Colocation server might be the better option.
A dedicated server, on the other hand, refers to a server which is hosted by a specialized provider, giving you all the benefits of a Colocation server, but without the costs of actually maintaining one.
With dedicated servers, you never have to worry about electricity, air conditioning, and physical storage spaces for these servers. Thus, most businesses tend to outsource their server needs to server hosting companies with a reliable track record.
Examples of E-Commerce With Each of Them
Most businesses today tend to make use of dedicated servers. This may be attributed to the upfront cost of acquiring, setting up, and maintaining a Colocation server. This is especially a challenge for most small businesses as there is a lack of adequate staff to maintain an in-house server.
Larger, more specialized organizations tend to make use of Colocation servers largely due to the ability to afford the required man power, and perhaps, the need to keep sensitive information, sensitive. Governments, and military organizations, tend to keep Colocation servers, mostly within the confines of the said organization.
Difference between Them
The major difference between Colocation servers and dedicated servers lies in the ownership of the servers. In the case of Colocation servers, the servers can either be residents in rented colo (a datacenter which provides electricity, air conditioning, and physical storage space at a cost) or within the confines of the said organization. Thus, the physical servers belong to the client, and will be maintained and its storage expanded by the client should the need arise.
Dedicated servers, on the other hand, leave little responsibility on the client’s end. The servers are hosted in the hosting provider’s facilities and are maintained by the provider as well for a set fee. It is worthy of note, however, that while the initial expenditure is reduced drastically, the monthly fees of dedicated servers tend to be a little more than the traditional costs of having a Colocation server.
In summary, here are the advantages of colocation servers, and dedicated servers:
- You maintain more control of your server infrastructure;
- You mitigate business risks by transferring the risks associated with housing your servers;
- You eliminate the costs of electricity, storage, and air conditioning;
- A fairly cheaper option in the long run;
- Complete mitigation of business risks as a third party hosts your servers;
- Lower upfront cost;
- Best suited for small-medium sized businesses;
- Aids with Human Resource control;
The argument between dedicated servers and Colocation servers remains one of the individual needs. Hence, it is safe to say that with these options, there is no case of a one size fits all.
An ideal option for business startups, small businesses, large businesses without the technical know-how, or businesses who would prefer to mitigate the risks of running the business by transferring these risks to a third party may consider the use of a dedicated server.
Agencies or businesses who may be able to afford the maintenance of servers may opt for the Colocation option, however, it is important to check the cost of maintenance against the need for a Colocation server in the first place.
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