Colocation vs dedicated server hosting

What is the difference between colocation and Dedicated Server Hosting?

Dedicated Server Hosting is a hosting solution where the client rents, often on a monthly or a yearly basis, the entire actual physical server and all its resources for his use alone, without the need to share it with anybody. Most dedicated servers are leased under unmanaged services, giving the client better flexibility and control over the server as he has the option to choose his choice of Operating System as well as the applications that he wishes to use aside from the choice of the hardware. This means that, with Dedicated Server Hosting, the client gets to choose the amount of computing power he wants including the amount of RAM and the size of the storage he needs. However, other companies offer managed services at an additional cost.
On the other hand, colocation is the practice of housing the actual physical server, which they usually own, in a rented space and rack provided in the colocation data center. Often, companies need to grow and facilities could get outdated and outmoded making it necessary for upgrades and renovation, if not reconstruction, something that companies dread as it entails huge sums of money. Colocation is one of the low cost alternatives of having to build and to upgrade your own data center as you simply need to rent a space for your servers and other equipments in a data canter where you are provided the necessary services such as power, cooling, bandwidth and security.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Colocation?

To better understand and compare both hosting solutions, it would be wise to compare one against the other in terms of their advantages and disadvantages. These are advantages and disadvantages of colocation:

 Advantages

  •  Clients enjoy full control over their server and their Operating Systems and other applications.
  •  Clients enjoy better flexibility, without the fear of having to spend much as the service provider takes care of the services needed to run your server.
  •  It is cost effective as clients do not spend for the construction of the facility but simply need to pay for the bandwidth and other services they receive.
  •  Colocation has better physical security and cooling system plus a top-of-the-line fire suppression system.

 Disadvantages

  •  Although considered cost effective, it is still a bit costly compared to other hosting services as the client needs to buy his own equipment.
  •  Since most of the colocation facilities are located in large cities, it is often difficult to find them in the suburbs, making it difficult for small and medium-sized companies that cannot and are not located in the major cities.
  •  There is a constant need to travel from the office to the colocation center to actually manage the servers, translating to costs from travelling to and fro and the time spent on the road.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Dedicated Server Hosting?

Having seen the advantages as well as the disadvantages of colocation, we can now compare it with the advantages and the disadvantages of dedicated server hosting, which are as follows:

 Advantages

  •  Being the sole “owner” of the server means that you have the control of the whole resources of the server ensuring a more secure, more stable, and more powerful and reliable hosting server.
  •  It saves a lot a money as the client need not buy the necessary equipment but rather simply pays for the usage of the server.
  •  Clients get to save money from expenses on infrastructure, staff salaries and experts as well as maintenance and monitoring costs.

 Disadvantages

  •  It is more expensive compared to shared hosting or VPS hosting.
  •  Clients need technical knowledge and expertise to run your server.
  •  The clients do not own the equipment.

Which is better, colocation or dedicated server hosting?

The question of which is better between the two is a very difficult question to answer. The answer lies on the needs and the budget of the client. If you are planning of a bigger hosting operation but do not have the necessary funds to build your own data center or if your present data center needs total physical and system upgrade, then colocation may be the best option for you. However, if you are just starting out but needs the robust, powerful, stable, reliable yet cheap hosting solution, then dedicated server hosting may be the answer to your prayers.

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