Colocation hosting and shared hosting are popular services for operating websites by managing network security systems and web servers. These services are provided from remote data center facilities. In shared hosting service, multiple websites are accommodated in a single server hence the name ‘shared hosting’. Colocation pertains to positioning of own server equipment in remote data center for operating website by accessing network connectivity.
The important differentiating factor between shared and colocation hosting is the ownership of software and hardware. Clients of colocation hosting continue to own the hardware as well as software to support IT infrastructure to explore all privileges of owning the equipment. It should be noted that the responsibility to set up and configure hardware as well as software also lies with clients of colocation hosting.
In contrast, customers of shared hosting are neither owners of the hardware or software nor do they have to look after configuration of the same. All software and hardware is owned by hosting service provider.
Noteworthy benefits and downsides of colocation hosting
Colocation hosting allows clients to own software and hardware while offering them a space to house their server equipment in data centers including power, IP addresses, data cabinets, and uplink port among others.
In addition, clients can enjoy round the clock access to the network with support of colocation center’s staff. In addition to basic technical support, clients of colocation hosting can leverage stringent security measures provided by colocation host in their data center facilities.
The most obvious downside of colocation hosting is the huge capital investment needed for purchase of server equipment as well as software. This followed by responsibility of installation, monitoring, and updating software and hardware associated with their infrastructure.
Important highlights of shared hosting
The biggest advantage of shared hosting is economy. There is a complete freedom from responsibilities of server monitoring, software configuration, server upgrading and technical maintenance to name a few. Hosting service providers look after all technical aspects of hosting and provide user friendly web control panels to clients for managing emails and applications.
There is a considerable resource limitation in shared hosting because of the sharing of resources of a single server by large number of clients. There are also limitations in terms of installing and using desired applications, programs, or modules. Clients of shared hosting are also unable to implement their own security policies or add firewalls for safety. Shared hosting is more vulnerable to hacking attempts or infringement.
Key considerations to choose colocation hosting
From the above discussion, it is quite clear that colocation hosting is essential for better control of hosing environment. Users of colocation hosting have freedom to manage their servers as if they are their own managed hosting provider. Although, it is impossible to design a check list to help website owners choose the right type of hosting for management of their web applications, one can certainly consider some important factors that necessitate colocation hosting instead of shared hosting.
Better control- Users choose colocation hosting primarily to exercise unlimited control of your online presence. While colocation hosting provides excellent flexibility, it also needs users to be more responsible in terms of maintenance, updating, installing, and operating their hardware and software resources.
Colocation hosting requires users to look after trouble shooting, system administration, and all types of repair tasks.
Custom applications and bandwidth support
In shared hosting, your webhost chooses the software and hardware that will take care of most of the basic requirements of your website. However, if you are planning to host database applications online applications or portals and search engine applications that are going to generate heavy traffic then you will have to choose a hosting solution that can cater to higher requirement of software, hardware and bandwidth resources.
Colocation hosting solution scores over managed hosting solutions by offering greater bang for your buck. Since modern servers are designed for remarkable server density and compute power, you will be able to design a solution with help of a single solution that will be at par with multiple virtual servers or hundreds of shared hosting accounts. If your are able to make initial investments in server purchase and have a support staff to look after technical aspects of your colocation hosting, then this solution can offer amazing advantages in the longer run by paying for itself.
Choosing the right hosting solution
As you can notice, colocation hosting and shared hosting offer unique advantages to users with distinct needs of web hosting. One needs to consider different factors before arriving at a decision to use a particular type of hosting.
One needs to assess long term business objectives, level of complexity of applications that would have to be installed, and server resource for satisfactory performance of web project. The two main considerations are the budgetary provisions and level of controls needed to execute server operations.