As IT applications are becoming increasingly vital in ensuring overall productivity and profitability of a business enterprise, they are also becoming more intricate to deploy, operate and maintain. CIO’s now know that to install state-of-the art IT infrastructure that adequately supports business applications require huge capital investment.
“In the present highly competitive scenario, we have to look for a cost effective solution that addresses our current workload needs”, says a CIO of a Delhi based IT firm.
It is not surprising that businesses are looking for vendor services that offer comprehensive range of services that deliver performance, flexibility and uptime.
Managed hosting and colocation offer the right answers to the IT services requirements of the present businesses, but a company has to choose one among the two after a prudent evaluation.
Let us first try to understand what managed hosting and colocation is and how each benefits in its own way.
Managed hosting is a service wherein the provider leases dedicated server(s) and related hardware to a single customer.
The infrastructure is located at the vendor’s facility and managed there by the hosting provider.
The hosting vendor’s services can include:
• Setting up and configuring hardware
• Installing and configuring applications/software
• System maintenance
• Backup and updates
• Technical assistance
• Patch management
• Security management
• Management of network services
In addition to above, the vendor may also include (depending on the package offered) load balancing, disaster recovery, and intrusion detection.
Top-notch hosting providers offer pre-built configurations or standardized offerings that customers can purchase quickly or alternatively buy a tailored solution.
Managed hosting model is now popular among businesses that host e-commerce sites, corporate intranets, and enterprise application hosting.
In the colocation model, the customer rents space for servers and other computing hardware.
In other words, the colocation vendor provides the building, cooling facilities, power, networking, and physical security while the client provides servers and storage.
Some of the compelling advantages that drive companies to go in for colocation services include:
• Secure infrastructure – Vendors offer UPS and backup generators to keep clients’ services running in case of grid power failure. As also secure access with cameras and biometric hand scanners.
• Excellent network – A pervasive and interconnected network with numerous On-net and direct connections.
• Bespoke technical support – Anytime access regardless of time zone
With both colocation and managed hosting promising persuasive advantages, it is not surprising companies are in a predicament which model to choose.
There are several factors you must be keep in mind while choosing one of the models.
An Information Technology manager, who prefers colocation, says, “We experienced limitation in managed hosting service because the vendor selects the hardware and software”.
“On the other hand, with colocation we get leased or rented space, tier 1 internet connection, and assured power, and reliable cooling system and security”.
The above is surely advantageous for small and medium businesses as it allows the staff to focus on workloads as opposed to managing or troubleshooting IT issues.
Yes, this is not without drawbacks. The initial cost of entry may not be cheap because the company needs to purchase hardware.
“Overtime the higher CAPEX is neutralized with colocation”, says an IT manager.
This can be true, but you must also realize that expenses can rise if bandwidth usage increases or you need to rent more space to accommodate additional servers.
Colocation is a good answer to safely house your servers. But you are not free from responsibilities.
With colocation a company will still need to have a network administrator and system administrator.
But do you really?
Not anymore say some colocation providers.
Many entrepreneurs prefer to maintain good amount of control over their mission critical applications but at the same time would not like to be bogged down by the tasks of managing the complexity of the colocation model.
Thankfully such entrepreneurs have a solution.
“We are lucky to get a colocation provider that allows us the required level of control with the additional benefit of a technical support team that assists us with the configuration”.
In other words, managed colocation offers the best of both the worlds.
With managed colocation, customers can benefit by getting rented space as well as getting assistance for monitoring of the applications, devices and operating systems.
The traditional colocation model has its share of drawbacks.
• Issues regarding compliance and security
• Additional CAPEX if business grows
• Maintaining depreciating assets.
At the end of the day, it is for each company to choose which solution suits their requirements best. If they can get hold of a provider that offers managed colocation, they will get a service that is a notch above traditional colocation.
But either of Managed hosting and colocation models can still be good enough for certain situations.
For more information on various types of hosting and plans, call 1800-212-2022 (Toll Free).
For Interesting Topic: What is Colocation and What are its Attributes