With co-location the Webmaster provides the server, and houses it in a data center orfacility that links it to the Internet. Typically, the customer pays a housing fee (called a “rack fee”) in addition to the Internet uplink that runs directly into their server.
Understand Your Hosting Needs
The first obvious step is to determine your needs and analyze your own operation. You try to see what exactly is your priority and what you don`t want in your business which depends on the size and style of your business. If you have a defined budget, decide which criteria are the most important ones on your list and keep those priorities in mind as you speak with providers.These analysis are particularly useful when assessing the need for "managed services" such as data storage, Internet connection security, scalability and application hosting.
Make notice on industry news
There are colocation providers who have withsatnd the swings of dot com and telecommunication businesses for years. Then there are some who have been hobbled and are facing crises, and some have already failed in their venture or been sold. So it is important that you decide to work with a company who has a modest revenue plan, not a newbie in the market and have enough financial back up.
Monitoring and evaluating industry news sites is one way to stay connected and thus you have a fair idea of which providers are faring well and which ones may be carrying large debt loads.
A neutral carrier specific provider offers a single bandwidth or has business incentive to its direct customers to a particular provider.
- Neutral carrier provider offers customers a choice of connectivity.
- Make sure that you have many alternative carriers available to provide you the
- coonection. This eradicate the compulsion of working with a single provider.
- Having choices is important for both price and flexibility.
A reliable and redundant power supply is the basic need for colocation services. Obtaining electric service is increasingly expensive for facility operators, and some maintain more capacity than others. Know as much as you can about how much energy your equipment will require, and whether the provider can meet your needs.
Having enough power isn’t enough. Your servers must continue to operate if a facility loses power. Uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems featuring battery banks and powerful generators are standard in most quality data centers. The best facilities will have backups for the backup equipment in these key areas.
This same approach to redundancy should be applied to other mission-critical systems. Ideally the facility should be equipped with dual fiber and power feeds into the building.
Would your servers stay up and running if an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit the neighborhood where the data center resides? Try to have a knowledge whether the facility has been engineered to withstand disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and fires.
Finally, educate yourself about the physical security in place at the facility. Many colocation providers employ tools such as thumb scans or retinal scans to verify a user’s identity. Some have "man-trap" corridors to restrict access in case intruders who get past the first line of security. Video surveillance is another important component in a facility security plan.
With such measures in place, be sure you understand which employees will be granted access to the facility, and in what scenarios an employee of the colocation company or vendor technician will be allowed to access your equipment.
Is collocation right for you
When you know that you have grown more than the capacity of your local web host you know that time has come to switch to a bigger one. Co-location differs from leasing a dedicated web server in that you actually provide the hardware to the hosting company. You basically "rent" space in their Network Operations Center (NOC) where you receive the bandwidth and facilities to get your web server up and running.
The big advantage of co-location is that you can use your own machine. This allows for greater flexibility in terms of administration and implementation of services, especially when dealing with your own clients and customers. This is also beneficial if you have an existing machine that will suit your web server needs but lack the appropriate facilities to get that machine online. Co-locating your server with a hosting company is usually cheaper than leasing a dedicated server directly from the company because you are providing the hardware rather than leasing a machine.
Typically your machine will be housed in a Network Operations Center (NOC). This gives you many benefits that would not be otherwise available. These include an environmentally controlled and secure facility, uninterruptible power supplies, 24×7 monitoring and the availability of bandwidth to meet your web hosting needs.
One of the biggest drawbacks to co-locating your web server is that hardware tends to become obsolete very quickly. Unless you have an existing machine that will serve your needs, purchasing a new machine specifically for use as a web server may not be cost effective.
Co-location advantages include:
- Greater flexibility
- Ability to use existing hardware
- More control over web server administration
- Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
Co-location disadvantages include:
- Initial cost up front
- Hardware may become outdated quickly
- Web Server Administration is your responsibility
When considering co-location, it is important to determine your specific needs and compare the cost associated with co-location and other types of web hosting solutions. When evaluating a company, be sure to ask plenty of questions and ask for references.
Colocation v/s dedicated derver
If you have outgrown your current virtual Web hosting account and you want greater control over your Web site, you may want to consider co-located or dedicated server services. Both provide greater control and flexibility but there are differences as well.
The primary difference between co-located or dedicated server services is that with co-location, you provide the hardware and the Web Host provides the facility, bandwidth, etc. With a dedicated server you lease or rent the hardware that is owned by the Web Host.
If you have an existing machine that will serve the needs of your Web site, then it may be most cost effective.
Leasing a dedicated server is usually more expensive than co-location but you receive the full package including hardware, software, bandwith, etc. Leasing also allows you to easily upgrade as your Web server needs change.
What is Co-Location?
With co-location the Webmaster provides the server, and houses it in a data center orfacility that links it to the Internet. Typically, the customer pays a housing fee (called a “rack fee”) in addition to the Internet uplink that runs directly into their server. Dedicated servers, on the other hand, are just that: you have a server dedicated and rented to you, which is managed by the data center or provider, but you do not have absolute ownership over the server.
This is the reason why many favor co-location. After a year of paying a dedicated server, you’ve probably paid the server off 3-4 times over, and yet you have no ownership of the hardware. However, if you don’t expect to have a great deal of traffic, and you’d prefer the additional support that providers give, a dedicated server may just be the right way to go. Owning the server and being responsible for replacement hardware may be an unnecessary cost for your business.
Co-location and dedicated servers compare to buying a home and paying property tax or renting an apartment. Both have their advantages, but they vary according to the situation. The only way to know what you are getting into is to sit down and do the math. Co-location is more expensive at the onset, and cheaper in the long run. Dedicated servers are more expensive in the long run, but cost less up front.
Selecting an Operation System
There are several different Network Operating Systems available today, so finding one that satisfies your needs while complying with your budget can be a difficult task. I’ve chosen two of the more popular ones to discuss here: Windows NT and Linux.
The obvious difference between these two popular operating systems is that NT attempts to bring the familiar Windows interface to a server environment. NT allows Webmasters to operate their server by pointing and clicking, which has been a major contributor to the increased popularity of NT. Aside from the user-friendly interface, NT is ideal for sites that plan to run third-party developed software, and NT makes it especially easy to work with databases (Access, Oracle, SQL, DB2).
Linux is also favorite for many, is undeniably harder to learn, but it’s probably the most secure OS. You can expect a Linux machine to literally run for years without crashing. In addition, very few viruses have been found on Linux machines, and Linux runs very efficiently on almost all hardware. Linux sites usually run the free Apache Web server, and while it lacks the point-and-click tools that NT incorporates, the majority of experienced administrators prefer the flexibility that Linux gives by allowing you to work with the raw code.
Selecting Server Hardware
Selecting the correct hardware for your server is as critical as picking anOS. The three most popular platforms in the industry are Sun, Intel, and Cobalt. Sun is acknowledged in the server business for its speed, efficiency, and its reliability; however, Intel does not stray far behind, and tends to be much more affordable for the average Webmaster.
Cobalt, owned by Sun Microsystems, has recently become a major player in server hardware. Cobalt is perfect for Webmasters who need to support many sites, and is the most inexpensive of the three. The Cobalt RaQ server is a great out-of-the box machine, but it is not recommended for high traffic sites.
The next step is to select your networking card. Here, our request is don’t go for a cheap card. Your Networking Card is your connection to the Internet, and since you are co-locating (paying for the hardware yourself), you will experience some major downtime and expenses, in both labor and parts, if you’re forced to make a replacement.
Selecting the amount of memory for your server can vary with your plans, but I’d strongly recommend that you purchase at least 256MB. The server will store accessed Web pages in the memory, so the more memory you have, the more pages can be stored.
Hard drives also play a major role in performance. Hard drives generally come in speeds of 5400, 7200, 10,000, and 15,000 RPM. These numbers represent the speed at which the metal disks inside the hard drive rotate.