Colocation is something that more small businesses are looking to when considering their web hosting options. It can give a small business the same security of having a large IT department at a fraction of the cost. Many individuals and small businesses do not have the room, access or money to have an IT department of significant size that will host the website and manage the servers. Colocation allows an individual or small business the ability to share a much larger bandwidth, like a larger company would have.
The business or individual can purchase their own server, take it to a physical location of the colocation provider, and they will place it with the other servers. There is also the ability to rent a server from most of those providers as well. Once it is installed, the customer is issued an IP, the server is powered, and it is given bandwidth. The facility will also provide and manage security devices and a reliable network.
There are many benefits to using such a facility. Even though the cost may be greater than using a traditional web hosting service, for most small businesses they find the benefits far outweigh the cost. The facility can offer multiple high speed connections through a variety of carriers. This helps prevent any downtime that may occur. There is a guarantee of power. The facility will typically use battery backup, as well as diesel powered generators. This is of particular importance in areas where there may be frequent power outages during certain months of the year. Once the servers are installed, the company can immediately be online and conducting business. When the company owns the equipment outright, it can easily add servers as the company grows or replace a server if the memory is too low or it is running slowly. Also, if the company needs to change geographic location, the server can stay on, eliminating little to any downtime to the company while it is in transition.
A key benefit to using a colocation facility is the fact that the equipment is monitored all the time by network engineers. In a sense, it is like having an IT team even if the business location is far from the server. Also, most facilities have ample security to protect all of the equipment. This may be electronic entrance access, onsite security officers or both. It will also provide a climate controlled environment for the equipment.
Some costs that are associated with using this service is the cost of the server, software and hardware maintenance, rent for monthly rack space, and the use of the bandwidth. Even though some of these costs cannot be avoided, businesses utilize them because of all the benefits that it offers.
For small businesses that want an ever increasing presence on the internet, colocation is probably the best way to go. With the security of the facility housing the server and the staff that continually monitors any possible software failures to security breaches, this is the best IT service that a small business could ask for.