Deciding which hosting plan is right for your organization requires a good grasp of the options. In this blog, we’ll help you compare two common web hosting plans that organizations choose between: managed web hosting and colocation hosting.
Colocation hosting and managed hosting offer tremendous advantages compared to hosting your server on-site, but the details matter – and can determine exactly which strategy is most sensible for your business model.
Managed hosting services: what are they?
Managed web hosting is a form of dedicated hosting.
You’ll purchase your own server, with full administrative control over the details. However, the hosting provider manages the essential physical tasks, while also implementing specialized software and dealing with the difficult tasks of micromanaging a server.
Fully Managed hosting services typically include the following elements, tended to by industry experts:
- Server installation and setup at the data center
- Approved software installations, according to your specifications
- Security monitoring
- Comprehensive customer support included
- Software updates and management
- Data backup and protection
The host signs a contract with the organization called a Service Level Agreement (SLA) which dictates the terms of the provided service. SLAs detail the exact parameters of the depth of service required and provide measurable metrics that the provider must meet.
Managed hosting services offer a real opportunity for small-to-medium sized organizations that lack the capital to keep and maintain their servers on-site, don’t have an appropriate IT team in place, or are time-constrained due to the demands of their business operations.
What are the cost benefits of managed services?
Managed hosting offers an immediate real-world budgetary benefit. It lowers IT overhead by outsourcing the expertise required to manage and host the organization’s infrastructure to seasoned experts at a specialized hosting company.
Finding, hiring, and paying an industry appropriate salary to IT experts can quickly balloon into a headache-inducing project. It’s time consuming to onboard an IT department. It’s difficult to retain true IT talent. Even more prohibitively, true hosting experts are in short supply – so there’s a highly competitive labor market.
Lowering costs through managed hosting services offers a clear benefit: instead of building your own costly IT department, or stretching your existing IT department to its breaking point, you can create a coherent and predictable cost structure for your hosting needs. Unlike cloud services, which are billed like a utility and can introduce unpredictable economic demands, managed hosting services typically have consistent and reliable costs. This means you can plan ahead and focus on your organization’s goals – instead of micromanaging your hosting, or becoming cost-constrained by unexpected demand.
So – what is colocation hosting?
While managed hosting services allow some degree of control and accessibility, colocation hosting allows complete control of all aspects of server hosting to be sourced within your organization.
Colocation hosting means your server sits in the third-party hosting provider’s rack and utilizes the data center’s plethora of power and bandwidth, but is entirely managed and maintained by your IT staff.
Compared to managed hosting services, colocation:
- Requires your organization to setup and install the server at the data center
- Allows your IT team complete control of all software setup and installation according to your operating procedures
- Doesn’t include support except for pay-per-use remote hands in case of emergency
- Lets you completely control software updates and management
- Puts data protection and security in your hands
While colocation is similar to dedicated hosting (you own – rather than lease – the server), the difference between colocation and managed dedicated hosting is the level of control. With colocation, your IT team has unilateral control over all aspects of your server’s management and implementation.
The cost benefits of colocation web hosting
We’ve discussed the difference between colocation and managed hosting – so how does colocation keep costs lower?
Colocation cuts costs compared to on-premise deployments through:
- Lowering the price of power consumption
- Cutting the cost of owning and operating networking hardware
- Offering significantly more bandwidth compared to a typical business location
- Offering superior physical security measures compared to an on-site deployment
- Enabling IT departments to expand their expertise through remote-hands services
Simply put: a colocation data center offers organizations steep discounts on the intrinsic physical costs of keeping servers on-site.
Compared to a managed or dedicated hosting provider, colocation also offers cost-saving benefits:
- Over the long term, an equipment lease will usually cost more than purchasing the equipment
- When migrating from an on-premises deployment, you already have the hardware
Data centers like GigeNET’s nationwide locations offer deep discounts on power consumption, superior bandwidth availability and security against emergencies like fires, theft and damage. Data centers like ours are specifically designed with the environment that servers need by providing proper cooling, inexpensive power, fire mitigation systems and expert 24/7 oversight.
There’s an additional benefit, as well: colocation significantly reduces the risk associated with keeping your valuable servers and data on-site and merely hoping a disaster never occurs.
Colocation is ideal for an enterprise that has robust IT requirements, a competent IT team and a specific awareness of their needs. If any of these elements are missing, GigeNET highly recommends our powerful managed hosting solutions.
How to choose what’s best for your organization
Colocation and managed hosting are two effective options for organizations that demand high-quality internet infrastructure. The difference comes down to the level of granular control that’s required for your organization’s tasks and the level of expertise you have access to within your organization.
Ultimately, both colocation and managed services offer tangible time and money savings compared to keeping your server on-site. The choice comes down to evaluating whether your organization can meet the technical demands of colocation hosting, or if it needs the expertise that managed hosting offers.
At GigeNET, we’re focused on providing our partners with the resources and expertise they need so they can focus on what really matters: achieving their organization’s goals instead of babysitting their server and worrying about their infrastructure.
We’ve got more than 20 years of experience in the server hosting industry. Our data centers and managed services are designed to meet and exceed the needs of organizations of every size – big, medium or small.
Let us help you customize your hosting plan so you can get back to business.
Unsure which hosting solution is best for you? Receive a free consultation.