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Tips for Colocation Hosting

Started by John23, August 04, 2010, 11:40:40 AM

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If you own a server and want to connect to the Internet, there are companies that will handle the connection for you. This service is known as colocation. Companies that want to have complete control over their server configuration often choose the colocation route. The difference between a colocated server and a dedicated server is that in a dedicated environment the web hosting.

Colocation providers base connection charges on averages instead of the total number of gigabytes transferred during the month. The first is to divide the amount of bandwidth used by the number of seconds in the month. The second method looks at the 95th percentile. To determine transfers using this method, bandwidth is measured every five minutes. At the end of the month, the highest five percent of the readings are dropped.

Before deciding if colocation is right for you, there are several factors to consider. First, you must look carefully at the fee structure. Colocation, unlike dedicated servers, requires payment of both rental and connection fees. You will pay a rental fee for the physical space your server will occupy at the host company.


There are several areas to focus on:

Networking - how big is the network pipe going to your server? Is it shared with other tenants in the same rack? How? How many public IPs do you get? Do you need your own firewall? Do you need dedicated point-to-point from your office location so that folks can easily remote desktop? etc.

Physical presence - Is there someone always on duty at the co-location? Do you need that for security or "button pushing"? Some providers will charge 150 dollars or so for a couple of "hands" hours where an employee will stick a DVD in the box, or push the reset button. This is only applicable in a situation where you are using real boxes in a real datacenter and you need to mount isos, etc.

Security - Again, is the datacenter always staffed, monitored? Can you gain access if necessary?

Power and cooling - many datacenters will charge a monthly fee for the rack, which usually includes cooling. However, they will charge separately for power, usually 120V at 20 or 30 amps. You will need to complete a survey so that they can determine your power requirements, and adding new servers may increase your power charges. Not a big deal, but worth remembering.

The answers to these questions coupled with the pricing model that your vendor is offering will help to shape your decision making process. We're looking at co-locating with our broadband vendor so that we gain some networking benefits between our location and the co-located site without needing to necessarily have a dedicated point-to-point linkup.

I'm sure others will have more to add.

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