What is the difference between colocation and Dedicated Server hosting?

The difference between dedicated server hosting and colocation is that clients of dedicated hosting leases an entire server housed in an off-site datacenter that is dedicated solely for their own use and without anyone sharing the facility with them while a clients for colocation chooses to lease a rack or a cabinet in an highly secured off-site datacenter to house their server hardware and shares the use of the facility and its services with other colocation subscribers. While both of them are on lease, one has the whole datacenter to himself while the other shares the datacenter with others. Another major difference between them is that, with colocation, you own the hardware which gives you the total control when it comes to the choice of hardware and OS you want to use while the service vendor owns the hardware in dedicated hosting which means you need to pay for upgrades of your machines.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Colocation?

The relative freedom of colocation brings with it a lot of advantages and disadvantages. The following are the advantages of colocation:

  • Higher bandwidth which means higher speed;
  • You get to decide upon the server machines’ hardware and software;
  • Opportunity and freedom to install any software and application;
  • You get to decide on the specs and capacity of your disk which is dependent upon the technical requirements of your server;
  • Full control over the removal, addition and change of any of the files in your system;
  • Full control over the processes and users in the system;
  • A 24/7 technical and service support;
  • Increased Flexibility;
  • Scalability;
  • Redundancy service and reliability, ensuring a high uptime guarantee;
  • Guarantee of a reliable power capacity that can fully accommodate and serve your computing needs;

The following are the list of disadvantages of colocation:

  • Difficulty of finding geographically available colo centers;
  • It can be more expensive than dedicated hosting specially the high initial cost of equipment purchase;
  • Necessity to hire personnel with expertise to run and manage the server;
  • There is need to travel from the business center to the colo center to perform off-site work on server; and
  • Fluctuation and variation in monthly bills makes budgeting difficult.

What advantages and disadvantages can I get from Dedicated Server Hosting?

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of dedicated server hosting:

  • You are assured of a top calibre server performance because you do not share the system resources like processor power, disk space and memory with any other subscriber using the facility.
  • As the whole system is dedicated for your use only, you do not run the risk of being crashed, swamped or slowed down by any other site.
  • You don’t need to worry about anybody within the server accessing your files as nobody else has access to it but you.
  • Custom Configuration of server suited to your needs.
  • Custom Firewall to enforce access control policy.
  • You have your own unique IP address.
  • Memory, more processor and disk space can be added by provider should the need arise.

These are the known disadvantages of dedicated server hosting:

  • High monthly cost of operation; and
  • The need to hire competent staff and experts to run and maintain server.

Which is better, colocation or dedicated server hosting?

Both hosting options has its own merits and disadvantages and there is no straight answer to the question of which is better. However, here is your guide; if your project is budget sensitive, go for a dedicated server but if you have the resources, colocation would be best for you.