There are a variety of web hosting services available in today’s market. It can be difficult for people to understand the true benefits and disadvantages of each service to make a strategic decision for their business. We have broken down two of the main web hosting services available, Managed Server Hosting and Colocation, defined their purposes, differences and similarities to help you decide which service would best suit your business’ needs.
What is Managed Server Hosting?
The unique aspect of managed server hosting, compared to other web hosting services, is that you do not own the server. With managed hosting, you lease the server from a service provider. However, the server that you are leasing is dedicated solely to your business.
While this means you have less administrative control over the server, your provider is responsible for administering your server. This is often a more convenient option for businesses who are unfamiliar with the technology used by servers.
What is Colocation?
Unlike managed server hosting, colocation services allow businesses to actually own their server. This means that businesses have total control over the server while keeping it off-site at the host’s premises. Colocation requires you to purchase your own server, set it up and physically store it at the data centre.
Colocation services generally offer a greater bandwidth that your business can tap into. This is a great cost-effective service for small businesses to access and expand their bandwidth as their company grows. A colocation provider supplies the IP, bandwidth and the necessary power to run your server.
What are the differences between Managed Server Hosting and Colocation?
When choosing between these two services, it is important to note their differences when evaluating which service will best support your business.
The most obvious difference is cost, opting for a colocation service results in a high startup price as you are purchasing your own server. Whereas, managed server hosting functions on a monthly lease. The lifetime costs of both services are likely to end up roughly the same.
Ownership and Control
As mentioned above, a colocation service allows you to own the server and lease the space at a data centre to store it. This level of ownership gives you total control. Whereas, a managed hosting server is owned by the service provider and you lease it. While this service provides you with less control, you do not need to be concerned with managing the server as this is looked after by the provider.
Hardware Upgrades and Software Choices
If you notice that your server is running too slow or you need more memory, those using a colocation service will be responsible for updating the hardware to suit their expanding needs. Alternatively, businesses using a managed server host will need to simply contact the provider who will then upgrade your server for you.
Similarly, these responsibilities are reflected in the software choices that businesses can make. For example, under colocation, as you have total control over the server you can choose the software you wish to install, simply purchase it and install it yourself. Under a managed hosting provider, you will need to contact the service provider and request the software or tools you wish to use.
By investing in a colocation service, the responsibility for maintaining the server is on you and your staff. Therefore, you will need to employ staff who have sufficient expertise to undertake hardware, software upgrades and maintenance. If you do not have a high level of expertise or staff with knowledge of servers then colocation may not be for you. Managed server providers have the technical knowledge and experience to complete these tasks for you.
What are their similarities?
There are a number of similarities and advantages shared by these service options.
Most services will provide you with a server that is completely dedicated to your use and you do not have to share it with another organisation or business.
Under both service offerings, your server is located in a different site to your business, often in data centres. This often proves to be the best for ensuring the safety of your data.
The advantage of using data centres is that your business will have protection against downtime. For example, most facilities have access to backup power or generators that will kick in during a power outage. They are also likely to have a network redundancy plan that ensures your internet connection will remain uninterrupted.
The advantage of both services is that they are made to grow with your business. So, if you need to need more space or expand servers you can do so by leasing more space or purchasing/leasing another server.
How to determine which service is best for your business
Comparing the similarities and differences between the two services can help you analyze which offering best suits your business. In summary, managed server hosting is often a preferred choice for companies that currently have limited technical experience and knowledge. The provider handles all tasks that require a high level of experience. Finally, managed server hosting is great for businesses that do not have access to the initial capital expense to purchase a server.
Colocation hosting is best for smaller businesses who need access to servers that often reflect a larger IT department without the expensive price tag.
Whether you choose a managed hosting or a colocation hosting option, eStorm is here to help. At eStorm, we offer fast, safe, secure and reliable managed and colocation services at competitive rates. We know how to get the most out of your system, and we offer 24/7 monitoring and a 99.9% guaranteed uptime, so your server will always be up and running.