A few decades back when the internet was gaining momentum, nobody thought it would grow to a scale that servers would become a necessity. During the first twenty years companies struggled to find a suitable host because it would cost twice the company’s entire revenue.
Take, for example, a normal floppy disk shown below.
Floppy disks underwent revolution in the year with the introduction of high-density floppy. With the new technology in place, floppies can now have a whopping storage of 2.8 megabytes (MB). Yes, you heard it correct. A simple word file might take more space than that now. So, the concept of storage devices was meant for common people anyhow.
Websites that existed then were not sized more than a few MBs. It is for this reason the amount of content was also limited and mostly comprised of text. Just a few years back a photo from CIAs early days got viral. It showed two men moving what looked like a giant floppy disk, the size of a mini table. Given the technology that CIA might have access to at that time, the storage disk could not have been more than 10 MBs storage.
It was only in pre-2000 and 1990s (in some country) that servers became so popular. The arrival of hard disks completely phased out previous floppy drives. In the same size, hard drives could store thousand times more and were somewhat more reliable.
Entrepreneurship boomed with the dawn of the internet. Companies like Amazon, Alibaba entered world market. But still, these enterprises would not grow to even half their size today because the hosting industry was still high priced for its high demand against low supply.
Years passed by, more and more data centers began to setup. The data centers changed themselves entirely every 5 years, just to suit themselves with the evolving demands.
Even though hosting services became dead-cheap in comparison to what it once cost, it was not cheap enough to be accessible to everybody. Further, the organizations that had subscribed to hosting complained that their provider offered little to no control and almost everything was governed by the vendor, leaving little at the hands of the company.
A lot of companies also wanted their own data centers but had only a fraction of funds to spare. It was only a matter of time that companies constructed their own data centers.
Challenges in constructing data centers
Colocation data center was still far from vision. The challenges in constructing data center are not just funds but a lot of other factors as well. Environmental conditions pose the biggest challenge. To make a server running at its optimal level, a right balance of humidity, temperature
needs to be achieved. Maintenance is an issue in itself as the hardware tends to wear out quickly and may trigger a series of reaction making the entire array of server to either fail or short temporarily.
Organizations were well versed with these challenges and so decided to leave such tasks to people it best suited.
In time, businesses realized they only need a single server rack so the idea of constructing an entire data center was foolish.
Some companies realized this and knew they could develop a business model around it. There began the first ever data center colocation services in the history of IT.
What is Colocation business?
The idea is simple. It is less painstaking as compared to hosting but offers better performance and control to clients in trouble.
In colocation hosting, the clients, instead of buying server space, rents empty racks in data centers. The racks are then supplied with the client company’s own hardware. The data center provider then installs the server, connects switches, plug in power, get lights on, and when everything is working, hands the control to the client.
A thing to note here is the provider may or may not be liable for the maintenance of your server.
How is colocation billed?
Colocation hosting is billed somewhat differently than traditional server hosting service.
Based upon how much bandwidth you have used, combined with power unit consumed by your cabinet, your bill comprises fixed and variable components.
Even though the cost per bill cycle is far less than what you would have encountered in server hosting, purchasing hardware involves high upfronts and is likely to hurt your budget right at the beginning.
But, given the cost you would save every month, the server will eventually become free after a year or so. So, there is cost saving in the long run.
The reason why colocation continues to exist today
A lot of organizations run on shoe-string budget, so cost savings is always welcome. There are tons of reasons why colocation business is so profound. Today, there are as many colocation data centers are there are cloud data centers.
Control – control is a factor that has played key role in making colocation service so very profound. The provider has no means to interfere with your services unless it involves physical maintenance. The capability to build a server from scratch is an indicator of the level of control clients get when they co-locate their server. Better control translates to a better environment, which, in turn, guarantees better website performance.
Security – your data is monitored somewhere without you having even a hint of it. One reason why you should buy yourself a colocation space is it helps deter the over-hanging risk of security being compromised. One way to do that is denying people the access to your data and procuring colocation service.
Performance – technically, even though, dedicated servers are supposed to be mapped to a single client, it might never be so. Cases have emerged in the past where the hosting provider had stealthily hosted two clients in the same server. The fact that neither client had the required control to detect that the same server space had been resold twice kept them both in the dark. Thankfully, with colocation hosting, it is very unlikely that the provider would do so because he has literally zero control on the racks where your server sits.
If you are looking to co-locate your server to a world class data center facility, you could consider co-locating with Go4hosting. We have several tier-III data centers backed by continuous power and optimum cooling to keep our services running smoothly.