Colocation is a type of web hosting. When you colocate a server, you take a web hosting server that you own and place it in leased space in a data center. You pay for the physical space your server takes up while the data center maintains the connection to the Internet and deals with any environmental issues.
Just as renting a car is more expensive in the long run than owning and maintaining your own vehicle, so is leasing a dedicated server. If you’re in the business of web hosting, running a large company or maintaining multiple websites across a single server, it can be cost effective to colocate your own hosting server to a reliable data center.
The benefits of colocation
There are many benefits to server colocation over dedicated server or even shared web hosting. Some of those benefits include:
Build: When you colocate a web hosting server you won’t have to pay inflated hardware costs. You control what hardware goes in your server and what is paid for it.
Operating system: Dedicated server hosts can and do install a variety of operating systems for clients, but that sometimes comes at a hefty price. With colocation, you install whatever operating system you want and apply any customizations you desire.
Software: With colocation, you’re not limited in any way to what software you can install or use on your web hosting server.
Configuration: With your server, you’ll be able to configure it however you choose. You pick the hardware configuration and what software goes on it.
Access: If you choose a colocation facility near you, you’ll be able to maintain and troubleshoot your own web hosting server in-person.
Who does what when it comes to colocation?
As a web hosting colocation client, you’ll be responsible for delivering your web hosting server to the data center facility either in-person or by insured carrier. Once your server is online, you’ll be solely responsible for server up-keep, including the patching of software, kernel upgrades, reboots, software installation and operating system upgrades. (Of course, you always have the option to hire a system administrator to perform such tasks.)
The data center where your server is located is charged with keeping your server connected reliably to the Internet, the physical security of your server, providing power to your hardware, and keeping your server at the optimum operating temperatures by providing adequate heating, cooling and air conditioning.
If you already own a web hosting server or are considering investing in one, turning to colocation can offer great long term savings in the world of web hosting.