What is server colocation?
What is server colocation and why would you want it?
Renting servers, either cloud-based or dedicated, from hosting solution providers has been the go-to strategy for SMEs for quite some time. It was probably the most reliable alternative to setting up your own servers at your own location, and we all know why companies don’t want to do that. Servers are incredibly noisy, they kick out tonnes of heat which needs to be handled, and, they cost a small fortune in electricity to run. If you’re not willing to get into the hassle of dealing with server hosting on your own, you’d typically choose to rent a server. That works out well for most, but we’re here to introduce you to a different solution that will completely revitalize the way you look at hosting servers. So, if you’re an SME trying to find a more intuitive way to host compute power, store data, run applications, games, apps, or anything else, you’re at just the right place. Here’s all you need to know about server colocation and its various benefits.
What is Server Colocation?
Server Colocation is a specialised service meant for SMEs that would like their own servers but don’t have the infrastructure to support them. With server colocation, you’ll be deploying your servers at the hosting provides facility in their own ecosystem. The benefits of this are probably obvious, but there’s a ton of reasons why a company should be looking at server colocation as their primary form of server hosting.
In simpler terms, the servers you buy remains the property of you and your company. You’re just placing them in the hosting provider’s data centre. The hosting provider then offers uninterruptible electricity, internet connection, cooling, and, basic remote hands for troubleshooting, etc. So, basically, you’re parking your car in someone else’s garage. But, the person who owns the garage is taking responsibility for cleaning it, taking care of it, and getting it ready for when you want to drive to work.
Who Can Use Server Colocation?
The answer is simple; anyone. Server colocation services like QuickHostUK are providing have absolutely zero restrictions. Here are a few use cases of server colocation.
The number one kind of customers we cater to are SMEs looking to put their websites on the internet. Finding a regular web hosting service works for most companies. However, if you’re running an e-commerce platform or any type of company that needs to be online 24/7, shared web hosting services often just don’t offer enough for business users. Server colocation is an excellent option for such websites.
If you’re running online games, you’re going to need an impeccable connection to the server, and you’re going to need it consistently. Servers for video games are some of the hardest to host just because of the low latency that they require. Server colocation is a good option since you’re going to be choosing the hardware and all the nitty-gritty tech details of what server you need to run the game server properly.
Data Storage and Backups
A lot of companies store their data locally. However, they also like to run off-site backups. A company’s data can be its most important asset, and that’s why backups and backups of backups exist. If your company wants a backup of their data at another location but wants to host it on their own servers for privacy reasons, it doesn’t get any better than colocation services.
Benefits of Server Colocation
So, now that we’ve talked about who server colocation is for let’s dive into why it’s such an excellent alternative for SMEs in the United Kingdom.
The number one reason why companies consider server colocation is its reliability. A million things can go wrong with your servers in your offices. One power outage and your entire system are offline. Even a battery backup (UPS) won’t keep you running for long. If the internet in your office goes down, then suddenly no one can connect to your servers. If it gets too hot in your office, the kit might start shutting down to protect itself. However, server colocation providers ensure that they create a reliable ecosystem where your system can thrive. QuickHostUK has a backup diesel generator that can power the entire facility for days in the event of a mains power failure. They have multiple fiber optic internet connections that don’t go down. Even if an individual line does get damaged somewhere, they have a sufficient number of connections on hand which allow them to work around the damaged route. Furthermore, they provide around-the-clock support and access to your servers so you can deal with any problems that may come up in real-time.
Privacy isn’t something that can be guaranteed when using shared web hosting or a virtual Cloud server. Your website/data is placed on the same servers as other users. Either your website alongside other websites on a shared web server, or, your virtual server alongside other servers on the same hardware node. You could look at it like sharing a room with them. While there are protocols in place to ensure they cannot interfere with you, there are still some hazards of sharing servers. We won’t go into too much detail here, but you should definitely have a Google on the subject.
With server colocation, you’re not sharing anything with anyone.
Another major reason why companies are moving towards server colocation is cost-effectiveness. Dedicated or Metal Servers can cost a lot to run or rent. Businesses that are running their services virtually in the cloud are usually looking to tone down their server hosting costs. hosting your own equipment does give you some level of cost-effectiveness. However, between battery backups, flawless internet, and optimal cooling solutions, you’re not going to be saving much. Furthermore, a cost that no one really talks about is electricity. Server rooms rack up the electricity bill pretty quickly, and as energy bills are constantly on the rise, a significant part of your budget will have to go to keep the lights on. Server colocation saves you money on electricity costs as well. The only costs you’ll need to make is to purchase your server hardware. After that, you’ll only be paying a monthly subscription for the server colocation space, and that’s pretty much it.
You can colocate anything from a 1U space to a quarter rack (10U), half rack (20U), or a full rack(42U).
Some people disregard the idea of server colocation because they often think that they don’t have control of their equipment. That’s a perfectly valid debate since your servers are going to be in the service provider’s facility. However, server colocation gives you total control of your server space. For instance, QuickHostUK allows you to visit your servers at any time, seven days a week. You can come and do your maintenance at any time and enjoy the provided refreshments. Furthermore, we also provide remote hands for essential support to help troubleshoot most minor issues.
Server demands rarely stay the same. As your business grows, so will your server capacity needs. A server colocation service allows you to scale your server space without any issues. For instance, here at QuickHostUK, you can host a single device in a 1u slot, or, scale right up to entire server racks.
Frequently Asked Questions
How dependable is server colocation?
Very. Server colocation service providers offer backups and backups of backups to ensure that there is no situation that brings down your service. QuickHostUK has multiple fiber-optic connections. Even if a couple of connections break down, we still have the bandwidth to support our servers. There is enough power backup to last days without mains, and, we provide N2 cooling to ensure there are no thermal issues.
How much on-site support does the service provider offer?
QuickHostUK and other services like ours are only there to house your servers and provide them with power, network, and cooling. After that, it’s up to you to ensure that your servers, or whatever you are hosting, stay in optimal condition. We do offer remote hands for basic troubleshooting like server reboots, disk, and cable swaps, etc. However, anything above that would require you or your IT department to remote in or drive over and work on your own equipment. You can visit your server racks any time 24/7 without any restriction.
So, to sum up, server colocation is a great alternative to traditional server renting. It’s safe, convenient, and it’s way more reliable than most setups you can run at your own location. If you think that server colocation is for you, QuickHostUK is here to help. We’re a well-established hosting provider in the United Kingdom and we’ll be glad to help you get you up and running. Give us a call and we’ll figure out the best server solution for you!