The Benefits of Colo & Rack Space

It is first important to explain what colo and rack space actually means. If somebody or a company wants a website, the first thing they must do to get started is think of and purchase a domain name. Once they have done this they need to organise hosting so that the website actually appears on the Web. The website needs to be hosted on another type of computer called a server. The company could choose to host the site on their own servers located in their offices, but the need to provide ancillary services such as cooling, high-bandwidth connectivity and 24/7 support staff usually make this less attractive. As an alternative, a managed server provider will rent the hardware, reliable data centre hosting and support services to the company, easing the administrative burden whilst maximising reliability. The company could also choose shared hosting this is managed in a data centre by another company but it is the cheapest of the options because the site is not hosted on its own server but is shared with others.

There is a fourth option called colocation, or colo for short. This is when you own a dedicated server but rent space in a data centre located nearby. This is appealing to many because of the high level of security it offers. Servers need to be kept safe, especially if you are dealing with customer information and credit card information. Colocation provides the same advantages as a dedicated server, in the event you prefer to own and maintain the hardware yourself; if you want that all taken care of for you, choose a dedicated or managed server.

A data centre carries additional costs such as air conditioning, power, network costs, generators and someone to work there round the clock. By renting space elsewhere a company can drastically cut their hosting budget. With colocation, purchasing and maintaining the hardware, including installing replacement parts, is the only cost you undertake. Everything else is supplied by the hosting company.

Although servers are essentially computers, they are not necessarily recognizable as such. They are shaped a bit like slimline DVD players! Servers need to be fitted into racking or rack space as it is also known. Not only does racking provide storage capabilities, it also provides the connection and power of the server to the internet. It is a very important part of the whole hosting package. If you are renting just a small amount of space in a data centre then the chances are the hosting company will supply the racking. If you are renting an entire data centre room then you will likely have to supply your own rack space. This will depend on individual requirements.

If organising colocation and rack space sounds like a step too far for your own needs, you may prefer to choose managed dedicated hosting. This provides the safety aspect as no one apart from you has access to your server, but everything is taken care of for you. There is no need to consider purchasing servers, or rack space or any other type of hardware. You can even enjoy the benefits of round the clock monitoring with alerts telling you the status of your network and server. If there are any problems you will be contacted via email or phone or even text message. This provides you with time to sort out any technical hitches so the website can return to normal. Visitors to a site are not very patient, and if the site is slow to load or has any problems with functionality then they are unlikely to return.

If you are starting a website, you need to consider what type of server you need. Is it shared servers of dedicated servers that would be most appropriate. Then you can decide whether it is managed servers that appeal or the colo and rack space option instead.