Managed Hosting vs. Colocation Hosting? What’s Best for Your Business?

Posted by on February 10th, 2021 in Blog Posts, Cloud Solutions, Colocation Hosting

When it comes to deciding the best hosting plan for your business, leaders need to have a solid grasp of the options available. An excellent place to start is to look at the similarities and differences between managed hosting and colocation hosting. One of the primary deciding factors between each option is controlling the business needs over the server. That’s because, with colocation hosting services, the business owns servers and other equipment, giving them total control over it. Colocation hosting is attractive for some companies who want to have ‘full control’ over their hardware, but they don’t want to finance and build or host their data center or keep servers on-site. Companies can keep their servers on the host’s property and share bandwidth and other tenants’ costs. Let’s review other characteristics of each hosting solution to help guide you down the right path. 

What is colocation hosting, anyway? 

As touched on, colocation hosting means a company’s servers sit in a third-party hosting provider’s rack. Customers utilize the data center’s space, power, IP, cooling, and physical security for the server. Colocation services can also include storage and networking equipment and connections to a variety of telecommunications services. Colocation facilities also provide network redundancy in case of internet disruption, and they deliver backup power or generators to protect against power outages. Other than that, colocation means that servers are entirely managed and maintained by a company’s internal IT staff, not the service provider. Colocation often gives businesses the biggest bang for the buck, especially when considering servers’ compute and storage density today. 

Who’s best suited for colocation services? 

Colocation hosting works for any size business, but it is a desirable option for SMBs who want to have all the features of a large IT department without the high price tag of setup. Thanks to server virtualization technologies, even one powerful server in a colocation facility could feasibly meet a company’s complete IT requirements, including delivering dozens of virtual private servers or hundreds of shared hosting accounts. It’s also a more cost-effective way for a smaller company to obtain a lot of bandwidth because some of these costs are shared with other companies. What are some characteristics of colocation? Let’s dive deeper.

  • Company ownership – Teams also have complete control of all hardware and software and implementation processes and operating procedures.
  • Internal planning, setup, and management – Colocation requires an organization to set up, configure, and install the server at the data center location. Teams are also responsible for software updates and on-going management.
  • Remote support only – Colocation services don’t include assistance, except in an emergency.
  • Companies are responsible for security – Internal teams are accountable for data protection and security measures.

What about managed hosting? 

If you’re considering a managed hosting service, companies can purchase or lease their dedicated server from the hosting provider. However, instead of being responsible for everything and having full administrative control, a managed hosting provider manages essential physical tasks and is responsible for administering the server and implementing specialized software to manage it.

Who’s best suited for managed hosting? 

Managed hosting services are convenient because they help teams with small IT staff and the managed support frees up internal IT teams to focus on other priorities. This also opens up a significant opportunity for SMBs who cannot make large capital investments in hardware and software and instead benefit from an OPEX model, paying a monthly fee to a managed hosting service. Monthly managed hosting fees spread out costs over a more extended time. Unlike typical cloud services that can vary depending on demand, managed hosting services are typically consistent, ideal for planning purposes. Server availability and performance is guaranteed by Service Level Agreements (SLAs) outlined by managed hosting providers. SLAs outline the service’s terms, including the depth of service required highlighting measurable metrics and guarantees. What are some characteristics of managed hosting? Let’s explore.

  • Expertise and server management – For companies that want to off-load server management to a skilled IT team, managed hosting provides everything from server installation and setup at the data center to on-going management, including hardware upgrades and approved software installations. 
  • Security management – Providers deliver security monitoring and offer upgrades in security hardware and software as needed.
  • Support included – With managed hosting, teams can rely on the service provider’s technical expertise during implementation, maintenance tasks, and customer support included.
  • Data backup –  Service providers setup automated data backups on a redundant, centralized storage solution to protect customers from data loss – either from human error, power failures, or other disasters. 

Making a move

Both managed hosting services and colocation services are highly effective options for organizations looking to meet modern enterprise demands. Organizations should consider the level of control they need over their servers and management tasks and how much IT expertise and resources are available to handle all server tasks. Whatever route you take, you’ll ultimately experience tangible benefits and ROI compared to investing time and money into keeping servers on-site. 

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