What is Collocation and How Does it Work?
If you have placed your own servers or some other network related equipment in an Internet data center and there are hundreds of other servers to accompany yours; that is known as colocation (Also, spelled as collocation). The Data Center is properly managed so that reliable networking, connectivity and security services are provided.
Advantages for the customers
- You can add additional servers easily as the needs grow. Also, if you find a particular server acting very slowly, you can upgrade it yourself; without waiting for the provider.
- You can install servers immediately. Same is true for the software that you want to install in the server.
- Network Engineers monitor all the services always, providing a high uptime. Hence, if you are managing a mid-sized IT team yourself, you don’t need to maintain any separate team to look at the logistics periodically.
- The power supply is completely uninterrupted thanks to the power generators and backup power being available. Not only that, but, fire protection systems are also available for safety of the servers being kept. In general, smoke alarms are also installed so that any instance of fire development can be detected and handled at the earliest.
- You save a lot when it comes to the bandwidth, in case of colocation hosting.
- Colocation provides your servers some additional security. All of your servers are placed and maintained in a secured environment; hence, the chances of an intrusion are limited. Your server cabinets are generally locked; security cards are required for accessing the data center (Therefore, unauthenticated accesses can be prohibited).
- Security guards generally patrol the area where your servers are placed. These physical security measurements are impossible to be achieved if you are using a simple online host for managing your web server.
You need to make the initial investment for acquiring the server. There are additional costs for software and hardware maintenance as well. Per month, you also need to pay for the bandwidth and space used by your server. However, some of the hosting providers give away discount coupons for collocation hosting that you may avail.
The servers that you place in a collocation hosting are mounted in the rack. Wondering what a rack is! It is a metal framework with proper electronic equipment and it has the bays to maintain a server. The space that your server takes is measured in Rack Unites (More popular by the abbreviation RU).
There are two different types of racks used as well: 19-inch racks and 23-inch racks. The former is used for data equipment and servers, whereas, the latter is for telecommunications equipment only.
The power cables are kept at separate racks from that of the racks for data.
A colocation standard has to maintain a few standards such as: SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type I and Type II (These standards were formerly known as SAS 70 Type I and Type II respectively). The Tier System by Uptime Institute, PCI DSS Standards and Accountability Acts are some other standards that many colocation data centers follow.
There are certain disadvantages associated with collocation hosting which cannot be ignored altogether:
- It is hard to find to a collocation hosting provider near your location. Unlike the regular hosting, the collocation hosting has to be maintained physically by you and hence, you will wish it to be near your location. If you are in a big city, there are still chances of finding it, if you are not; chances are slim that you will find a collocation center nearby.
- Collocation hosting is costlier than any basic hosting provided by companies such as Yahoo or Midphase.
In case, you are running a small business, you don’t need to go the collocation way. However, for big industries, collocation can be advantageous as the effort for maintenance is reduced.
About the guest author: Costea Lestoc loves to talk about latest hosting providers. He often writes about Midphase. He also offers yahoo domain coupons in his site WeightLossTriumph. Costea will also love to answer the queries of the readers. Readers are requested to publish their queries regarding collocation hosting through the comments feature. He can help readers to find good collocation hosting providers as well, based to the readers’ location and exact requirements.
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