Dedicated Server Hosting vs Colocation

All companies have different kind of needs when it comes down to hosting. Colocation and dedicated servers are two types of services offered by a hostingprovider.

The big difference between colocation and dedicated server hosting is that with colocation, the hardware is the property of the client and with dedicated server hosting, the server is rented from hostingprovider. In the case of colocation, the client performs all the maintenance on the server, while with dedicated server hosting the installation, management and maintenance of the servers is done by the hostingprovider. Companies are able to fully manage their own IT or hand it over to a hostingprovider.

What is dedicated server hosting?

A hostingprovider rents out dedicated servers for companies. With dedicated server hosting a client rents a server with a installation, connectivity, bandwidth and the rackspace in the data center. If you rent a dedicated server, you can install your own software, but the hostingprovider owns the hardware. This means that they are responsible for any defaults and maintenance. Dedicated servers are usually supported by uptime service level guarantees and these are described in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). This document contains all the contractual agreements that the hosting provider must keep.

When do you choose for dedicated servers?

A lot of companies use shared hosting or a VPS because it’s cheaper. With shared hosting, a web server is shared by multiple parties. The capacity is also shared on the web server and this effects the performance of the hosting. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and this gives more control than shared hosting.

With dedicated server hosting, you rent a server that’s not shared with other parties. A dedicated server is more reliable and secure than shared hosting or a VPS that uses shared resources. As a result, the performance, internet connectivity and disk space of a dedicated server are fully allocated to the customer. This service is designed to enable 100% uptime and customers at the enterprise level can be sure that the applications are always available. The servers can be set up in such a way that they can run heavy business-critical applications with good uptime and performance.

Dedicated server hosting vs. Managed dedicated server hosting

With dedicated server hosting, there is a difference between dedicated server hosting and managed dedicated server hosting. Dedicated server hosting is cheaper and offers less support compared to managed dedicated server hosting. Companies do not always have the technical knowledge. For these companies managed services offer a solution because they do not have to hire their own IT staff.

However, the biggest disadvantage of dedicated hosting is that people have limited control over the choice of hardware and software, because hosting providers often offer standardized options.

Advantages dedicated server hosting

  • No purchase costs
  • More performance
  • Maintenance is done by the hosting provider
  • Agreements about server maintenance are in a SLA
  • Support from the hosting provider

Disadvantages dedicated server hosting

  • Limitations in the specifications of the servers

What is colocation?

A data center only delivers electricity, cooling and internet connection. This means that companies are fully responsible for the maintanence of the hardware. If you choose colocation, than you have to place your own hardware on a external location in data center. Companiesn can rent rackspace in the data center. Rackspace are racks within a serverroom where the hardware, like servers and network equipment are being placed. With colocation, the client has fully control over the server and is responsible for every change made to security, hardware, software, OS, and so on.

Advantages of colocation

  • Self-control over hardware and software
  • Self-control over the specifics and memory of the server
  • Self-control over the operating system
  • Flexibility and scalability

Disadvantages of colocation

  • Traveltime to the data center
  • Investments in your own hardware
  • Employees for maintanence

The decision of a company for dedicated servers depends entirely on the needs of the company. The costs and benefits have to be checked. With dedicated server hosting, the hosting provider remains the owner of the hardware. Dedicated server hosting is often a cheaper solution compared to colocation, because there is no investment needed for hardware. Time and money will be saved because there is no need for new staff for the maintanence. Companies can fully concentrates on business growth.

Thanks to an SLA (Service Level Agreement), agreements on resolution times of any problems with the hardware are stated in writing. With colocation, the company is responsible for the maintenance of the hardware.

Both hosting options have advantages and disadvantages. There is no clear answer to the question which is better. If a project is expensive, a dedicated server may be a more cost-effective option, but if you have the technical resources and knowledge, colocation may be a better choice.