Why should I need colocation?
You may say you are in need of colocation hosting when you feel that you need a more robust hardware to host your site that generates a lot of traffic like search engines and portals and audio and video streaming website that needs a lot of bandwidth. You are also in need of a colocation provider when you need to host a content or a service that cannot be hosted and are not allowed by most managed hosting providers due to server restrictions or you simply feel the need for a dedicated Telco line to your server. Most of all, you are in need of a colocation provider if you want and need to be in control of the hardware and software requirements and the overall management of your internet service and that you want to do away with arbitrary or costly limits that most managed hosting provider impose upon their subscription plans.
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:
- It is often hard to find colocation centers that are conveniently located near your home or your office. – As colocation hosting needs a hands-on management of your system which means that it needs to be staffed by a number of personnel, it is vital that the colocation center be located fairly close to your home or place of business to minimize the travel time and travel cost. Centers are often found in large cities near network hubs which limit the options to choose from.
- Colocation can be more expensive that managed hosting. This is because of your need to purchase or lease the equipment that you need for your system. Software also needs to be provided by you which also translates into additional cost plus the need to hire the staff needed to run and manage your system.
- Your need to travel from the business location to the colocation center could limit the time you spend in the center or the office.
- Monthly expenses could vary significantly as it is proportional to the volume of traffic between your servers and the internet. A huge increase in traffic means a huge increase in the cost as you need to pay for the excess bandwidth that you used.
- The initial financial layout may be high.
- You need some expertise or hire expert staff as the maintenance of your server is your responsibility. If there is a need to solve any problem that may occur within your website, you must do the troubleshooting yourself because the overall responsibility of the website is yours.
- You need to travel from your office to the colocation center if you need to work on your server.
- There could be some time restrictions as to the access to the colocation center which means that should problems occur within the time restriction, you may need to wait until the restriction is lifted.
- Since bandwidth is shared by a number of colocation users, you may often find that your applications are sluggish and slow.
If colocation brings a lot of disadvantages, what possible alternatives can there be that can answer to my hosting needs?
Although some of these alternatives can be more expensive than colocation, yet these are some of the effective alternatives to colocation hosting:
- Hosting the servers in your own server room or data center;
- Hosting the application in a cloud hosting provider;
- Subscribing to Managed Hosting; and
- Subscribing to Virtual Private Servers (VPS Hosting).
Is colocation a good choice for me?
If your site is for a small business which needs a large web presence and a more robust server and you need to have complete control and management of your site, including the choice of equipment and software within an economical cost, then colocation is the best choice for you. However, if your site is designed simply for blogs and personal use, then definitely colocation is not for you.