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What is Colocation?

What is Colocation?

If you own a business or run a company, you should already know that you need servers to carry out major business functions. You’d need servers for data backups, printing services, for hosting applications and perform almost every other office function.

Servers also help you to share files between two computers and perform some security functions too.

Servers are not cheap to purchase, they’re rather very expensive. But they’re too crucial to business management that companies have no choice but to acquire them regardless.

That’s however, just one part of the hurdle as these companies soon realize that the servers need a lot of storage space and maintenance from well-trained personnel.

This may be too much for a company especially if they’re a start-up or small-scale to handle. The logical option would then be to store them in an alternative location where a well-trained and experienced person would see to their proper management. That’s how Colocation came to be.

What is Colocation? 

In simple terms, Colocation refers to an arrangement where businesses rent a space at a third-party facility (called the ‘colocation center’) to store their servers for a fee.

The Colocation Center is well-equipped with adequate resources to securely store the server equipment and host the IT personnel the company pays to manage their servers from time to time.

In answering the question, “what is Colocation” in even much simpler terms, we can liken it to renting a storage unit in a large storage facility, where the facility provides the building for storing products and the product owners can access them whenever they want.

How Colocation Hosting Works 

As a server storage facility, colocation hosting service providers provide buildings with floor space, electricity, cooling, security, bandwidths, etc., and creates spaces demarcated with racks for businesses to store their colocation server.

Depending on the colocation provider, managed hosting services can also be provided where experienced IT professionals are employed to manage the servers for an added fee.

Companies can distribute colocation servers across various colocation centers if their sphere of operation transcends geographical borders and they need each colocation server in close proximity to all their office locations.

Colocation hosting providers provide adequate security structures and utilize sophisticated security apparatus in ensuring that colocation servers under their care are well protected. They also ensure that physical conditions of their buildings are perfectly suited to accommodate the company’s colocation server.

Benefits of Colocation 

Now that you understand what colocation means and how colocation hosting works, you may begin to wonder if there are significant advantages to using colocation hosting since you still have to buy our own server and pay your own personnel just as you would do on-site.

We’d be discussing some advantages of using colocation servers below:

  • Cost-effectiveness:

Maintaining physical servers can prove to be more expensive than purchasing the servers in the first place. First, you have to create a physical facility to store them, and then you have to employ the services of professional IT personnel to operate and manage them.

You’d also need to update the facility from time to time to meet up with changes needs, provide adequate security to protect them – the list is endless, and companies usually avoid all these by simply storing their servers in colocation centers.

  • Reliability and Credibility:

Colocation hosting service providers run business of their own. As such, to beat the competition, they ensure that their clients are provided with the best facilities available for storing their servers.

They are constantly researching more ways to increase and improve their service delivery, uptime, features, etc. to work the hearts of their clients. This means that you can always rely on well-established colocation hosting providers to have the best-specialized equipment to store your server facility to your satisfaction.

  • Managed Colocation:

IT professionals need to be employed to manage your servers while in the colocation center. You can save yourself the stress of taking and managing additional employees by subscribing to your hosting’s managed Colocation service.

Disadvantages of Colocation Hosting

It’s not all rosy with Colocation hosting. As with every other thing, Colocation hosting has it’s not so good sides. Here are some of them:

  • Distance:

Your colocation center may not always be located close to you, yet you may need to have physical interactions with them once in a while. This means huge transport costs to be covered.

  • Uptime:

Colocation hosting is supposed to provide you with as much uptime as possible, but this is not always the case as we have seen with some hosting providers. To avoid this problem, look for hosting providers that have access to multiple Network carriers or data centers.

  • Lack of transparency:

Some Colocation hosting providers are very sneaky and could input hidden charges in the contract agreement without your knowledge.