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Colocation Hosting

Colocation hosting provides a space for your server at a colocation hosting center. Colocation hosting is a good solution for webmasters or online businesses who want to use their own web server, but for whom it is more convenient to house or manage their equipment off-site.

Colocation hosting is renting space in a colocation center, or carrier hotel, to house your web server. The colocation hosting center provides space for your server in a climate and security controlled facility, and also provides and maintains an Internet connection. A colocation hosting center may also provide maintenance of your server and other services, either as part of your monthly fee or for additional charges.

Colocation hosting is similar to renting a dedicated server. The difference is that with colocation hosting you own the server and can customize it to fit your business' needs. Some colocation hosting services will custom build your server for you. Either way, you are free to change, upgrade, or maintain the server to your specifications since it belongs to you instead of the web host.

Colocation hosting is not right for every business, but it does offer several advantages in some situations:

  • If your business offices are small but you have a large web presence, good colocation hosting provides you with a climate controlled, fire safe facility with backup power for your servers
  • For businesses with a lot of Internet traffic, colocation hosting may be more convenient than on-site hosting for managing the large number of Internet connections
  • Colocation hosting provides extra security for businesses that may be subject to natural disasters, provided the colocation center is located in a different region
  • Companies that want to link servers with other companies they do business with may find it more convenient to do this through colocation hosting
  • It is sometimes convenient for other reason to have your server located in a location other than your business offices, such as placing it closer to the sources of your Internet traffic or to satellite offices

If a webmaster or business owner opts for colocation hosting, they have several points to consider to help them choose the best web hosting colocation service. Colocation hosting may be offered by a web hosting company as one of several web hosting options, or by  company that focuses solely on colocation hosting. Some points to consider when choosing a colocation web host include:

  • What is the cost, and what does it include? Colocation website hosting provides you with a controlled space for your server, based on the physical size of the server, and an Internet connection, and may offer other services like backups, IP addresses, maintenance, monitoring servers, and even help building a server. You should ask which services are included in monthly fees and which may require extra fees.
  • What Internet connection does the colocation center provide and how reliable is it? Because colocation centers provide your Internet connection, you should be certain that they have a good up time and provide you with enough bandwidth for your business' needs. This should include having backup power sources in case of an outage or emergency.
  • How good is the security at the colocation center? Most colocation centers store several servers together in a climate controlled room, so proper security is important. No one but authorized staff should access to the room, and your own and other business's representatives or repair people should not be allowed access to any but their own server. Many good colocation hosting centers use advanced security features like fingerprint scans as well as traditional methods like closed circuit monitoring and security badges, and may keep servers in separate locked cabinets.
  • If the colocation host is helping you build your server, are they able to give you what you need, and will they maintain and repair the server as part of their services? If not, can you create the server you need and provide whatever repairs may be necessary?
  • Would renting a dedicated server be more cost effective? In some cases, businesses may find that they can rent a dedicated server that meets their needs as well as colocation hosting for their own server would at less cost. The choice between the two mainly lies in whether you would prefer to own the equipment, which will eventually become outdated but that you can take with you to another location if you desire, and if you really need a custom server or if a standard one will meet your business's needs.

These questions and an evaluation of your business's goals and needs can help you determine if colocation hosting is right for you, and which colocation center will best help you meet your goals.

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