22 Sep

When Colocation Makes Sense For Your Project

server - When Colocation Makes Sense For Your ProjectWith Colocation, you provide the server hardware (and sometimes networking hardware) and the expertise to configure and maintain it – your colocation vendor provides the data center cabinet space, power, security, environmental controls, and in most cases the Internet connectivity and IP address space. Your alternative to colocation would be some kind of Managed Hosting, either physical, virtual or a combination of the two, in which your provider supplies the hosting platform and you need only be concerned with the services you will run. There are many, many factors that will go into deciding which solution makes the most sense for you, making it nearly impossible to employ a simple ‘checklist’ approach. But, there are some major considerations which can get you going in the right direction, as follows.

YOU NEED ROBUST OR CUSTOM HARDWARE AND/OR LOTS OF BANDWIDTH. A big limitation of Managed Hosting is that your provider will typically select the hardware and software that you get, though they may give you some choices as to the ‘class’ of product. If you only wish to host a simple home page, almost any basic server setup will do. But if you need to host database applications, audio/video streaming, websites like search engines and portals which generate lots of traffic, online applications, or anything else that requires lots of bandwidth or hardware resources, typical managed solutions are likely to come up short. With Colocation, YOU are in control and can implement the hardware and software that will give you the most bang for your buck – and you can get it from the vendor of your choice. While the initial entry cost for a Colocation plan can be high as compared to a simple managed plan, you’ll generally find that, when dealing in large amounts of bandwidth, you’ll get a better deal with Colocation.

YOU NEED TO SET UP SERVER CLUSTERS, LOAD BALANCING, REDUNDANT HARDWARE, ETC. These kinds of things will likely require a custom-tailored solution. While Datacate specializes in this kind of service, most managed hosting providers employ a cookie-cutter approach to host thousands of accounts inexpensively; enterprise-class stuff like this is usually too exotic for them. Colocation allows you to use multiple servers, dedicated internet appliances (such as firewalls, load balancers, etc) and custom devices, and to interconnect these as you see fit, even creating your own mini-network, which you then uplink to the public internet using the interface provided by your Colocation vendor.

YOU NEED TO HOST CONTENT OR SEVICES NOT ALLOWED BY MOST MANAGED HOSTING PROVIDERS. It is not uncommon for Managed Hosting providers to place restrictions on the types of content and services they will let you host. Many will not allow any adult content, or hosting of IRC channels, for instance. On the other hand, Colocation service providers generally will allow any content or service, as long as it’s legal.

YOU NEED A DEDICATED TELCO LINE TO YOUR SERVER(S). If you simply want a dedicated line for remote control or monitoring, or you are setting up a VoIP server, a VPN or some other special networking application, a Colocation provider – especially one who uses a carrier-neutral facility (meaning that the facility is available for service from all telcos), regularly does this and will be able to accommodate you.

YOU WANT FREEDOM FROM ARBITRARY OR COSTLY LIMITS. As you may have gleaned at this point, Managed Hosting providers will typically impose a range of limits on your service. They may seem insignificant at first, but when you find yourself bumping up against limits on the number of domains you can host, types of services or content you can use, processor overhead available to you, IP addresses avialable to you, etc, things can get frustrating – and if these limits can be lifted, you will pay for the privilege! Colocation typically imposes no such limits – you will pay more if your power/cabinet space or bandwidth usage increases, but you will enjoy ‘bulk rates’ that will become even more cost-effective as you grow.

YOU WANT/NEED TO BE IN CONTROL. There could be a thousand reasons why, but the bottom line is that YOU want to be in the driver’s seat of your Internet presence project. Colocation puts you there.

Datacate’s unique position in the industry allows us to accommodate all of the above needs with a colocation solution tailored to your application, while still bringing virtualization into the picture where it can benefit you. This kind of approach is often referred to as hybrid cloud, and it allows you to utilize the best aspects of multiple approaches to your technology challenge.  Contact us today if you would like to learn more.