Every organization has its unique requirements and reasons for using a private or enterprise cloud. Generally, enterprise private cloud solutions are implemented due to low overheads and ease of scaling. Managed cloud services do, however, require ongoing monthly or yearly fees and can be far more expensive than the available alternatives, particularly at scale.
As a business grows, requirements are bound to change. Once a company starts to require more control over their hosting, it would be wise to consider two of the most common alternative hosting options: colocation and dedicated servers.
What is Colocation?
Colocation is a hosting model that allows the companies to install their own servers in a rented slot at an off-site data center. The data center will then take care of providing an efficient internet connection, adequate power, and cooling, saving the renter significant overhead costs. In colocation, you provide your own hardware to the data center who will fully maintain the physical hardware. Some colocation data centers even allow the clients to arrange their own internet connection.
Moreover, in a colocation data center, clients have full control over their hardware and software setup and configuration, leaving them free to make substantial changes to the operating system, security, hardware, and other aspects of the servers. This can enable clients to implement solutions that may be expensive, difficult, or impossible to implement with dedicated hosting.
Some organizations will be looking for a way to simplify and centralize the management of hardware they already own and will be able to transfer existing servers from their offices into a colocation center. As a result, it is not necessary to move applications to a whole new server. Instead, the company can simply rent a rack in the colocation facility and plug their existing server straight in.
Advantages of Colocation
- Unlike dedicated server hosting, colocation gives you complete control over hardware choices. You can easily customize hardware to meet all of your requirements, such as installing faster CPUs, more RAM, faster disks, and other essential upgrades.
- Users often have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to the data center location.
- Organizations can ensure security through a dedicated private network link to the colocation data center.
Disadvantages of Colocation
The primary drawback of colocation is that customers are responsible for the setup, maintenance, and management of their servers. Plus careful budgeting and forward planning of expected business requirements.
Doing so also requires a business to hire staff with the relevant ability and expertise. However, some colocation facilities offer installation and maintenance services for an additional fee.
What is Dedicated Server Hosting?
Dedicated server hosting means that the clients rent a blank server in a data center. The data center will usually pre-install an operating system and provide power, cooling, and a suitable internet connection. However, the client is responsible for installing and maintaining the applications they choose to run on their own server. In short, the client is responsible for maintaining their software while the hosting provider is responsible for maintaining the hardware.
Like colocation, dedicated server hosting allows the user exclusive access to the entire server, ensuring reliability and security; this differs from private enterprise cloud offerings where other customers can run applications on the same dedicated server. Dedicated server hosting is the best option for businesses and organizations that require guaranteed behavior and optimum performance from their servers.
Advantages of Dedicated Server Hosting
- The hardware will be fully installed and managed by the data center, often including occasional migrations to newer hardware.
- Finding, vetting, and employing the staff needed to maintain the servers will be the dedicated server hosting provider’s responsibility.
- Dedicated servers are scalable. Companies can easily expand their servers with the growth of their business.
Disadvantages of Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated server hosting offers limited flexibility, often forcing customers to pick the most suitable option from among several fixed-feature plans. This can lead to customers paying for unused resources or limiting the use of specific resources to stay cost-efficient
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right kind of hosting is heavily dependent on the requirements and circumstances of the company. Generally, if an organization has specialized requirements and staff with the relevant skills available, colocation might be the best fit.
An organization with more standard requirements may find that dedicated server hosting, in which some of the technical overhead is outsourced, provides more benefits.