Colocation is the hot new thing in the IT crowd and for small businesses – but what exactly is it? To explain things in a way that is going to be easy to understand for you, colocation is a process that effectively works to give you the ability to own your own hardware and servers, but to locate them in another company’s data centre. What this means is that instead of keeping all of the systems and equipment in house, and paying to maintain them and keep them powered and up and running – even in the event of a power outage or a storm (the consequences of not doing so can be disastrous!) you pay someone else to do it for you.
Colocation is a new innovation driven by the fact that there are many new startups and businesses around who simply do not have the facilities to store something like servers within their own office. These companies want the freedom to have their own servers but don’t want to maintain them, and thus, colocation was the best option.
This practice gives you the freedom to upgrade the hardware as and when you need to, and it also proves to be a far cheaper option as a business owner. Now that we’ve outlined some of the basics of colocation, we can have a look at some of the pros of colocation for a business.
You own the server and the machinery. That means that if you suddenly decide that a machine is too slow for your needs, or that it doesn’t have the memory that your business required to run successfully, then you can simply upgrade it without having to ask anyone else about it. Another benefit to this is that you own the server software that comes with your machinery. You do not have to sit around waiting for a provider to make some upgrades if things are slow or too behind the times. You can just do it yourself. The same things goes if you decide that you want to use ASP or ColdFusion, you can just buy the software and then go and install it all.
Another bonus to using server colocation is that if you move offices for example, you can leave the server that you have in the borrowed rack up and running for the entire time. If you host your own domain, you’re going to find that you have to pay for two lines for a period of time in order to move domains over to a new location or to deal with the possible outages while the servers take time to move over to the new location.
Using colocation means that there is additional security being provided for your machines, and your server is going to be stored and maintained in a secure and well-maintained environment. After all, the company who is going to be storing your servers are also going to be storing their own servers there, so it makes sense that they would take care of things really well. You will also find that many colocation servers are going to offer a service whereby they take care of and manage your server – for an additional cost on top of your service agreement. If you don’t have an IT department this is going to be a very useful service for you.
Hopefully this article has gone some way towards explaining what colocation is, with a quick look at some of the advantages of using it for your business as well. Only time will tell how effective this practice is going to be in the future – but suffice to say, it’s working well so far. For further information regarding the benefits of colocation and how it could help your business, click here.