For a long time, there was a need of a hosting plan wherein you would have the option of specifying the kind of hardware or software that would be used for the purposing of hosting your website. Webmasters were looking for a hosting service that could install custom hardware and software (customized according to the needs of their website) to run their websites. The need for such a plan led to the emergence of colocation hosting solutions.
A colocation hosting solution is a hosting plan wherein you buy your own server hardware, install the required software and then send the server to your hosting provider. The hosting provider installs the server in its network, provides it access to its network resources and provides you with an access to the server. This results in a setup wherein you have complete control over the kind of hardware and software that you want for your website. This ability to have everything customized to your needs is the biggest advantage of using a colocation hosting plan.
Apart from this, there are several other advantages of making use of a colocation plan. One such advantage is that in the long run you end up paying less money in hosting fee as compared to a traditional hosting plan. This is due to the fact that the inherently included hardware rent cost is no longer included in your billing plan since you have already paid in full your hardware costs.
Another thing is that the physical server is your property, so you need not worry about data security that can be an issue with hosting company owned servers. Let us illustrate this. Suppose you are using a traditional hosting plan to host an e-commerce website and storing customer credit card details on the server. Now, suppose you want to switch hosts; doing this would result in your server being hired by someone else. Now a few simple data recovery efforts can result in all your sensitive data being disclosed to the new party. This situation does not arise when the server is owned by you; you simply order it back from your host if you wish to change hosts.
Another advantage of using such a plan is that it is easier for you to manage your server as you are aware of all the capabilities of your server in advance and do not have to worry about performance issues when it comes to customizing the website hosted on the server.
But there are also a few disadvantages or outs of making use of a colocation hosting plan. The biggest issue is that you have to come up with the money that is required to buy server hardware and given the fact that server hardware is expensive, pooling in this money can be difficult especially if your business is just making its mark in the market. A similar alternative to colocation hosting is a dedicated server hosting plan where you rent a dedicated server instead of having to buy a server upfront.
Another thing is that you have to pay your host to maintain your server’s hardware on your behalf, as you cannot go to the server location every time there is a hardware issue. Also, if you have no knowledge about server management, you would have to hire someone or pay your host for server administration.
But these limitations are nothing when it comes to the benefits of using such a plan if you truly require it for your business’s success. Hence, it is one of the best plans for those who require specialized hardware or software for running their websites.