For part 3 of this series, click Here
After taking a look at some of the pros and cons of web hosting, including virtual hosting packages, virtual private or cloud solution, and dedicated hosting boxes, I believe that we have covered all of the hosted solution that are commonplace in the market. There are obviously pros and cons to each, but before we really get to comparing them, we had better make sure we do not leave anything out. This section is for the guys that are control freaks; the ones that are server-huggers to a fault, and don’t want their physical servers to be far away, and want to own as much of the infrastructure as they possibly can. In this section of the series, we will be taking a look at colocation services.
If you want to own the hardware, and get physical access to it at all times, then colocation is the name of the game for you. There are some obvious advantages to this, such as being able to go to the DC and work on your own servers. This is many times a good idea if you already have a sysadmin or technical in-house staff ready to go. Why pay a hosted solution cost if you are already paying employees that can take care of the hosting stuff for you?
Colocation services are offered typically by the “U” or “RMU” which stands for Rack Mount Unit, or one single server height of space(I believe 1.75 inches). This typically includes a shared power strip and a dedicated internet connection. There are perks to this, as the cost is typically very low, somewhere in the 100 dollar range for a standard internet connection. Usually, providers will bill this connection by the speed of the connection, on a 95th percentile billing model. Usually, the higher you commit to, the cheaper per Mbps it will be. Beyond charging per server, they will also provide dedicated portions of racks, with dedicated power and connectivity options. Quarter racks, half racks, and full cabinets. These are great for a bit of added security and privacy, as to not be sharing space with a dozen other people.
One of the biggest advantages to the colocation model is that you are nearly completely in charge of the services that you want to subscribe to. You can typically order power in whatever flavor you like, be in 120 or 240w circuits, with whatever amperage that the facility can provide. If you need more cooling, you can order modified cooling tiles that can up the amount of air that is running through your rack. There are many different options that are available for colocation, and if your servers last longer than about two years, after amortizing the cost, you will typically pay less for colocation than you would for a comparable dedicated hosting service.
Next time on part five, we will wrap up our series with some specialized options and comparing some of the different options we have talked about thus far.
Image Credit: Flickr – sivaserver