18 Feb

Co-location or Dedicated, What is Right For You?


Modern businesses and organizations are no longer confined to the ‘brick and mortar’ form of running operations. Instead, they have taken their businesses, processes, systems and operations online and are heavily relying on the internet to enhance their competitive edge, attract and retain their customers and increase their market share. Development and maintenance of quality, accessible, reliable and efficient websites is one way of achieving this. Web hosting is an essential element that your website requires in order to provide productive and pleasant experiences to your website visitors.

There are different types of web hosting services, each offering varied connectivity and administrative services that cater for particular types of users. You may have heard so much about shared hosting and cloud hosting since they are the most discussed and used types of web hosting. It is important for you to know more about other types of web hosting, which includes colocation and dedicated web hosting so that you can decide what is right for you.

Deciding between Colocation and Dedicated Web Hosting

Colocation web hosting is a form of web hosting, which permits you to position your server in another person’s data center. The advantages of using another person’s data center are that they pay and provide power that your server uses, they offer internet connectivity and you have the advantage of a dedicated IP address. Be it as it may, you are still responsible for maintaining the server. Colocation web hosting is suitable for your business if you require the features and the advantages of a large-scale IT unit without incurring the huge costs of powering and maintaining safe environment for your server. Nevertheless, you may opt for other types of web hosting if the costs of maintaining the server in colocation hosting are too high for you, when you have more and multifaceted hosting needs and when you cannot find a suitable and proximate colocation provider.

With dedicated web hosting on the other hand, you have an opportunity to lease a complete server from a web hosting provider for your website and you do not share the server. The main difference between colocation and dedicated web hosting is that in the latter, the provider owns the server and you only have the control of it. The advantage of dedicated web hosting is that the cost of buying server hardware, server maintenance and software installation is borne by the provider who owns the server. Dedicated web hosting is right for you if your business offer mission-critical ecommerce, which has high speed needs and involves significant transfer of data. Understanding what colocation and dedicated hosting entails is the first step to establishing what type of web hosting is right for you.


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18 Oct

Linux Based OS vs. Windows-Based OS

There have been many debates about which operating system is better for hosting: Linux or Windows.

The argument can be confusing for a person who has limited background knowledge on the topic. The truth is that the choice should ultimately come down to your IT intentions. If you cannot afford to hire an expert to make the decision for you, read on. In this article, we’ll take a look at the features associated with Linux-Based and Windows-Based OS so you can make the right decision.

Windows-Based OS

The Windows-Based OS can run Active Server Pages (these are scripts that run dynamic websites). It also works with SQL databases, which is an important feature. This is because SQL is one of the most popular and most powerful databases available today. The Windows-Based option is ideal for new and intermediate administrators. The interface is user-friendly and the design is simple.

One downside with this option is price. It costs several thousand dollars to use this operating system on your server. Additional features such as remote admin programs, ASPMail, ASP Encrypt, and firewalls will cost extra. With that being said though, there are several features that make getting the Windows OS especially worthwhile.

These include:

  • SQL Server Database
  • Access Database Support
  • ASP Support
  • ASP.NET Support
  • Compatible with PHP and MySQL
  • IIS Web Server

Linux-Based OS

The Linux-Based OS is the low-cost solution in the hosting industry. The core platform of the Linux system was created by a community of developers who made it available to everyone. Because of its open-source nature, some parts of it are continually being customized by users to fit their needs.

However, there are also downsides in using Linux-Based OS. It is much harder to administer compared to Windows because it can only be used through remote shell access. It doesn’t contain buttons that you can simply click on to initiate commands. Some developers prefer Linux for this exact reason though. It gives them much more control over the server compared to Windows.

Here are additional features you can expect from a Linux-Based OS:

  • Apache Web Server
  • PHP and MySQL Support
  • Chmod File Permission
  • Mod Rewrite Support

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15 Oct

How Can Colocation Save You Money Over Your Own Physical Data Center?

Data centers have become a necessity in doing business today. As more information is shared electronically, the amount of data that companies need to store is increasing. The cost of setting up, running, and maintaining a physical data center can be steep though. Here’s where colocation comes into the picture. In essence, colocation means that a company’s servers are housed and powered in a shared data center.

Colocation allows you to piggyback on existing infrastructure. It is important to choose your colocation service provider carefully. They should be equipped with the ability to run, cool, and secure the servers – these are functions that cost a lot of money. Besides the basic requirements of running the data center, choosing colocation has other benefits including:

  • Lower energy costs – it can be expensive to keep physical data centers cool, especially during summer. Colocation providers usually use state-of-the-art cooling technology to keep the servers running smoothly.
  • Increased Bandwidth – one of the main advantages of colocation is the availability of high-speed connections to multiple internet backbones. This provides an abundance of potential bandwidth but you’ll only pay for what you use. The cost can be significantly less compared to a T1 line.
  • Protection against power outages – colocation providers can guarantee 99.99% uptime because they have redundant power lines, generators, and multiple internet connections. In case of physical damage, the colocation centers usually have in-house staff that can repair the damage quickly.
  • Hardware ownership – at this point, you might be thinking, “What’s the difference between colocation and managed hosting?” The answer is colocation can help you upgrade your company’s capacity quickly. There’s no need to wait for the web hosts to acquire new servers. You’re in charge and you’ll get the equipment you want, when you want it.
  • Software options – another difference between colocation and managed hosting is the availability of software options. In the former, you can install the software you want on the machines. The choices aren’t limited to what the web hosting company provides so you can use Adobe ColdFusion, Microsoft ASP.net, or any other software.

Colocation is the ideal option for businesses that currently cannot afford to set-up their own data centers or those that prefer to avoid the hassles. It is a viable option over the short term and even the long term. The crucial factor is to choose the best colocation service provider right now.

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11 Oct

Colocation Hosting – Sprocket Networks

There are always more ways you can improve your business; being in a constant state of improving and staying up to date with technology is vital in today’s market to stay competitive in your industry.  A great examples of how to stay ahead of the curve while improving business functioning is colocation hosting.  This is a popular trend that can save your business time and money by using shared data infrastructures.  Outsourcing your network traffic can have major benefits such as faster web access, disaster avoidance, a secure site, and the ability to exchange information with other companies to have access to more clients. When you choose a quality colocation facility, it will provide redundant service to guarantee you reliable uptime.  Due to this redundancy if anything goes down the customers will not even notice due to the networks in place that will automatically replace the ones that went down.   Due to the extra precautions these facilities go to you are provided with extra speed and reliability much greater than the typical office would have access to. Most typical offices do not have automatic emergency backup generators and the ones that do usually only have the capability to run for 2-4 hours.  The extensive equipment that facilities provide will keep your network up and running during outages.  This type of equipment would be a lot of work to install in an office building and would likely require a skilled and trained IT staff to keep the equipment up and running.  With all of the equipment necessary it would likely need an entire room.  For an office to install this type of power system they would have to upgrade the power grid to the facility and get permits from the owner and city for the UPS system.  This would also likely require more permits from the fire department to be able to store the additional fuel needed for the generators.  Additionally, the office air conditioning systems generally aren’t capable of handling large amounts of server and gear and the cooling that they would require.  If your air conditioning equipment should fail or need to be turned off for maintenance this can cause the equipment to overheat and possibly fail and cause a shorter life span for the server and network equipment.  The price for all of these requirements, not to mention the time and hassle they would cause you is often more than a office can afford and colocation facilities provide a great option to avoid all of these unnecessary hassles and risks.   Whatever your network needs seeking a web hosting company for your network has many benefits.  You are putting your IT infrastructure in a facilities capable and secure hands.  You will have the added benefit of not dealing with the hassle of installing the equipment in your business, having trained experts available if anything does happen, saving your business time and money, you will have reliable uptime, faster web speeds, and knowing your web will be safe in power outages.  There are many great benefits to utilizing colocation hosting that you should look into today for your everyday network needs in your office.

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02 Oct

What is Colocation and Why Would You Choose it for Web Hosting?

Colocation for web hosting is the practice of renting out a space  for your server on another company’s server rack. This is an ideal option for smaller web hosting companies because it reduces costs, provides increased security, and the provides the benefits of technical support which increases efficiency.

A web hosting company can elect to rent a space on a server rack in a colocation center. This is the most beneficial option since colocation centers are used by large firms for the same reasons a small web hosting company would choose rent out a space on a server rack: cost, security, and technical support.

Colocation is an ideal option for a variety of reasons, from access to power to security to cost reduction and efficiency in a business. Centers are designed and able to support the levels of power necessary to maintain the climate and needs of the servers and networking systems. This is extremely important if a client’s brick and mortar office cannot support the system required for their business to be successful. It may be an issue of space, ability to control climate in the building, excessive costs for climate control, the possibility of natural disasters causing power outages, or all of the above. Centers are specifically designed to provide the space and necessary power levels to maintain not only the servers, but the climate requirements as well. Centers also maintain backup generators in the event of a power outage to maintain their clients’ systems. Additionally, centers are constructed in areas with a low percentage of natural disasters to ensure that systems remain safe and secure.
Additional security measures are part of colocation center services. Servers and network systems are kept in locked cages in the area the client rents to reduce opportunities for unauthorized access. Centers are also well guarded and limit access to areas without an authorized escort to further limit unauthorized access. These levels of security are beneficial to web hosting companies, especially when they are storing sensitive information.

Colocation for web hosting companies also reduces costs and increases efficiency. Centers provide staff to maintain systems and provide technical support as part of their packages; therefore, the web hosting company does not need to hire staff to maintain the system that is housed at the colocation center, leaving the client’s staff to focus on the actual business and not the technical issues related with maintaining servers and networking systems. Costs are also reduced since the client is no longer responsible for the additional electric bill associated with running the server or networking system and maintaining the correct climate levels. The web hosting company has also lost the cost of security measures, either from a security guard, system, or both. If the web hosting company did not originally have strong security measures in place, they have gained it as a benefit.

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24 Aug

All about Colocation – Sprocket Networks

Five to ten years ago, most enterprise corporations housed their servers, on-site, in their offices with a team of IT professionals to manage the hardware.  More recently, these enterprise corporations have been utilizing dedicated redundant servers off-site that are managed by Tier 4 providers (2.4 minutes/year of downtime). The majority of small to mid-size companies do not have the infrastructure to maintain servers and hardware on-site, which would take up valuable real estate along with rising power costs. As a result, these smaller businesses have also been turning towards managing their servers off-site, although they are usually not large enough to have their own dedicated server farm.  One of the safer and more reliable options for small to mid-size businesses to overcome this hurdle is colocation.

What is Colocation?
Colocation is a hosting option for small to mid-size businesses in which they share server space, power and bandwidth at an off-site facility.  Colocation facilities are multi-tenant data centers that provide the client with space, power, cooling, and physical security for their server in a shared and flexible environment.  This can be coupled with on-site and virtual redundancies. Through this agreement, clients can also share the high speed T1 or better bandwidth instead of having to pay for it on their own.

How does it work?
A client can store all of its customer facing and internal data onto a dedicated or shared server.  They will either physically take their own server to the colocation facility or they will utilize an already provisioned server.  Once the server is in place, the colocation facility will install the server into their rack and will then provide the client with an IP address, bandwidth, and power to their server. This is commonly referred to as ‘Power and Ping.’

What are the benefits of colocation?
Some of the major advantages of colocation are having the flexibility of expansion, shared power costs in addition to on-site and virtual redundancies. Furthermore, any business that houses and stores sensitive data has concerns regarding security.  By leveraging colocation facilities, business owners can feel comfort that their data is more secure and always backed up in the event of power outages.  In addition, as a business grows, there will be a need for faster connection or more memory. Colocation facilities make it easy for the customer to refresh and expand their server footprint depending on their needs. Companies that use colocation facilities don’t need to allocate their internal resources towards an IT department, so they can focus on their core products or services.

Is Colocation right for you?
If your infrastructure is unable to handle your business needs, your applications could perform better or your website traffic is approaching peak levels of your server infrastructure, then colocation is a viable option for you.  Colocation is a fast, efficient and risk adverse option for your business that lets you focus on your core business needs and get out of the IT business.

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