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What Is Colocation Hosting? An Introduction


Choosing the right hosting solution is one of the most important things any business can do in today’s digital world. In order to run an effective cloud ecosystem, companies need to be able to access hosting services, so they can store and manage data effectively.

There are numerous ways to “host” solutions in the cloud. You can choose between public or private cloud hosting. Share hosting servers with other companies in a pre-existing data center, or even access your own dedicated hosting system. Colocation hosting is one of the most interesting, flexible, and scalable options for companies looking to maintain absolute control over their hosting experience.

Similar to dedicated hosting, colocation hosting gives you complete access to all the resources you need to scale your cloud strategy according to your specific needs. However, with dedicated hosting, customers rent servers and the infrastructure required to house those physical assets. With collocated hosting, you essentially bring your own servers to a location, and hand management of those servers over to another team. Let’s take a closer look at colocation hosting.

What is Colocation Hosting? The Basics

Colocation hosting is a lot like owning a boat and docking it at the most convenient location in your city or town. The boat itself belongs to you, but by renting a space for it, you ensure it can be properly protected when you’re not there to look after it.

With colocation hosting, your business hosts its servers, computer hardware, and crucial resources at a third-party facility. This specialist facility can provide not just real-estate to host all of your critical data servers, but also access to power, cooling options, and physical security. In most cases, colocation premises have professionals on-hand 24/7 to monitor servers and ensure they remain operational, safe, and protected.

The great thing about colocation hosting is you get to maintain complete access to your server and technology, without sharing it with any other businesses. However, you also don’t need to manage the costs and complexity associated with hosting your servers in your own office or business environment. After all, managing your own data center can be time-consuming, expensive, and complicated, particularly if you don’t have the right security and cooling equipment.

Most of the time, businesses using colocation hosting will be able to tailor their services to suit their needs. For instance, you can rent server space by the rack, cabinet, or dedicated suite. Sometimes, it’s also possible to pay for additional services, like bonus maintenance and support.

The biggest downside of colocation hosting is that you do need to supply your own servers. This means the strategy is often best-suited to larger companies who already have their own server resources in place.

How Does Colocation Hosting Work?

Colocation hosting is pretty straightforward. Working with a specialist company, you pay for space within a purpose-built, specialist, and resilient infrastructure. This environment is custom-built specifically for running and maintaining servers. What you pay for is the power, the security, cooling, and the real estate itself, along with any other managed services you might need.

You provide the servers and storage, while the company provides the power, maintenance, facilities, bandwidth, and security components.

Most of the time, companies using colocation hosting will simply relocate the existing servers they may be struggling to manage in-house, to a data center of their choice. In the simplest colocation partnerships, the data centers simply houses the servers, and provides physical security, power, and cooling, it’s up to you in this instance to ensure your software and hardware runs at optimal health.

However, even in instances where managed services and support aren’t offered, the colocation center can still provide the technology you need to keep your servers in good condition, this could include:

  • Specialist cooling systems to keep servers running at optimal levels
  • Physical protection and on-site security
  • Ongoing and reliable power supply management
  • Disaster prevention and recovery technology
  • Compliance with industry-specific and geographical regulations

In most cases, the servers in a colocation environment will be available to manage via a console. This allows IT specialists to manage technology remotely. In certain circumstances, companies can also pay for specialists to manage some of their colocation needs for them.

The Benefits of Colocation Hosting

The main benefit of colocation hosting, is that it allows companies to access all the advantages of having their own dedicated hosting environment, without having to manage servers themselves. You still get complete control over all your servers, but you don’t have to deal with making sure they stay secure, powered, and properly cooled in-house.

Used correctly, colocation services can offer:

  • Lightening fast performance: Servers and their related IT systems tend to play an important role in any business environment these days. Colocation hosting ensures you can make the most of the best possible servers and technologies in the industry. You’ll be able to choose the server solutions best suited to your business, and house them in an environment which ensures they can deliver consistent, reliable performance. Colocation services ensure you can leverage high bandwidth and low latency.
  • Exceptional reliability: Unplanned downtime can cost any business thousands of dollars each year. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prevent downtime when you’re managing servers yourself. Colocation hosting locations are custom-designed to handle large power needs and changes in traffic. They can respond to issues quickly, and ensure your company can access unlimited power, with no unexpected issues. If problems do happen, colocation companies will get your systems back up and running again fast.
  • Exceptional security: It’s not just cybersecurity companies need to think about when they’re protecting their networks and data. Physical security is important too. It’s possible for a criminal to break into an office and steal crucial server technology if companies aren’t careful. Fortunately, colocation solutions come with dedicated security support. Most locations will have security professionals in-house, 24/7 to protect your servers.
  • Advanced cooling: Cooling data servers can require a lot of time and money, not to mention specialist equipment. However, servers and IT infrastructure need to be stored in the right environments to ensure they can operate effectively. Colocation hosting environments provide access to the best possible cooling tools and systems. They ensure the technology you store in your location will continue to operate perfectly at all times.
  • Live monitoring and reporting: Most of the time, when you access a colocation service, your provider will give you a management and monitoring tool you can use to track the performance of your servers from anywhere. This technology can come with proactive alerts and notifications to let your IT team know if something is about to go wrong with your ecosystem. You can even make changes to server performance and software remotely.

Is Colocation Hosting Right for You?

Colocation hosting can be a valuable way for businesses in search of agility and scale to access the environment they need for their data centers. With colocation hosting, you can maintain complete control over your servers and technology, while still having the option to scale as much as you need.

Colocation hosting can help you to save money on in-house maintenance and infrastructure, without compromising on your server performance. If you’re interested in finding out more about colocation hosting, contact Primetel today to see how we can support you.