Colocation (also known as Co-Location) is when you
purchase the server, configure it the way you need
and then have a hosting company put the server in
their data center. The hosting provider is connected
to the web and monitored by the hosting provider.
Aside from rack space, power and internet connectivity,
the hosting provider doesn’t provide any other
services for your server.
Some of the main advantages to colocation hosting
are that you have complete control over the hardware
in your server. This allows you to select the components
that will provide the best performance for your needs.
This also allows you to load any software you might
need for your web site (always check with your hosting
provider since many maintain a list of software products
with known security problems that they may not allow
in their data center). You can load your software
and optimize the server configuration prior to shipping
it to the hosting provider so that everything will
work exactly as you need.
This method of web hosting is not without its downsides:
if any piece of equipment in your server fails, it
is your responsibility to have it repaired. The hosting
company can perform the maintenance on the server
for a price, but you must supply the hardware. The
maintenance of any software installed on your server
is your responsibility too. Upgrading your database
engine is not a task the hosting company would perform,
along with installing patches.
This method may be you best choice if you have unique
hardware or software requirements, have sensitive
data stored on your server or your application is
mission critical. This solution also gives you 100%
control over your web server, so you can load and
reload your software as often as you like, you can
determine when to take you server down and when to
have maintenance performed.
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