If you feel that a dedicated server or managed hosting provider isn’t able to meet your needs, you always have the option of purchasing your own server and taking it to the data center of a colocation host. In most cases, you pay a housing or rack fee in addition to charges for internet connectivity and possibly other services. The provider is responsible for maintaining its data center and network infrastructure while you are responsible for your own server. Some of today’s most prominent internet companies rely on colocation hosting as it offers the customization needed to achieve the best possible server performance.
Choosing a Provider
When deciding to invest in colocation hosting, choosing a provider is the most important step in the process. As with any type of hosting, you should first determine your individual needs, write out a list and keep it in front of you while listening to offers from different providers. It sounds elementary but if you don’t, you could be easily sold on aggressively marketed services instead of getting exactly what you need.
Below we have listed some factors that must be considered when searching for a colocation provider:
The level of technical support should play a huge role in your final decision. A good provider following industry standards will offer support around the clock via phone and email. It is important to keep in mind that unless you pay an additional fee for maintenance, technical support probably will not cover any issues with your server. Technical support offered by a colocation provider generally includes addressing connectivity and setting up the hardware. In any event, getting a quick response is vital.
Equally important is redundancy as the provider’s infrastructure is what will ensure that your hardware stays running. We strongly recommend that you learn some background information on the connection to make sure you get the best performance. Even if you have a high performance server and all the best hardware, you could still experience unacceptable downtime if the provider doesn’t have a stable internet connection. A respectable colocation host has multiple backbones in place to provide a stable, fast connection to the internet.. Furthermore, they have other redundant systems such as 24/7 monitoring, climate controls and backup generators to keep you online in the case of a power outage.
We saved price for last because although you don’t want to overpay for anything, going with the cheapest colocation provider isn’t always the best decision either. Choosing something more affordable is often tempting but could end up resulting in downtime if you choose the wrong company. The most important thing is to understand the contract and the services you are paying for.
Proceed with Caution
Colocation is one of the biggest moves you will ever make in regard to your business. We have heard far too many stories of business owners who were bombarded with hidden fees from hosts because they overlooked something as simple as a network card for their server. If you are financially strapped, dedicated or managed hosting might be the way to go. However, if you are certain that colocation is the right move, take extreme caution when selecting a provider.