No single enterprise hosting solution will work in every situation, so it is important to consider all available options before you choose. This article will look at three common hosting solutions -- colocation, managed hosting, and managed private cloud -- to see what kinds of businesses each is best suited for.
In a colocation solution you own and maintain your own hardware, but it's located in a data center housing similar servers belonging to others. This allows you to combine power, networking, and internet service costs into a single manageable expense. The service provider will monitor for consistent network connectivity and help to provide consistent data security. Colocation service providers generally don't provide technical maintenance for servers, so you have to do that yourself or hire a contractor that specializes in that sort of thing.
You can use your colocated servers for anything you like. They can be mail servers, host web sites, run databases, or anything else you need. It's your hardware.
The advantage of colocation is that it spreads the cost of operating a data center across multiple tenants, lowering the cost to each company when compared to housing, powering, and cooling their own servers. There can also be some performance benefits if the colocation sites are located 'closer' to the users. You get to share the big pipe coming in to the colocaiton data center, and still have your own dedicated server.
A managed hosting solution is similar to colocation, but in this case you don't own the servers -- the service provider does. They will allocate as much or as little server capacity as you need, from part of a single server, to multiple servers that are dedicated to your business. Of course, the more resources you need, the more you will pay. The key to a managed hosting solutions is right in the name -- managed. Unlike in colocation, you don't have to maintain the servers. That's part of the service the managed hosting provides does to earn their keep.
Managed hosting is a good solution when you don't have the know-how or desire to manage your own servers. If you just want to focus on your business, choose a managed solution and let someone else host the servers for a fee.
Managed Private Cloud
"The Cloud" has been the focus of the IT world for many years now, and its promise of better service at a reduced cost attracts the attention of businesses, large and small. However, concerns about the security of their data (we won't take on the debate about whether those fears are well founded or not here) has kept many from making the leap into cloud. One solution is a private cloud, where you own and control all of the hardware and software that make up the cloud itself. But that can be expensive, so service providers offer virtual private clouds where they create a cloud service just for you that isolates you traffic from everyone elses.
By isolating your traffic, and combining all of the costs associated with running the cloud into a single expense, a managed private cloud can be an attractive option. It provides you with the flexibility of a cloud infrastructure along with the same cost-saving advantages that managed hosting provides.
So, what should you do?
Finding the right enterprise hosting solution can save you money and help you provide the best service to your customers. Colocation, managed hosting, and managed private clouds all provide certain benefits in different areas. Colocation can make it possible for you to build a custom solution while reducing some of the operating costs. Managed hosting eliminates all capex and maintenance costs on the hardware while still allowing for some customization so you can define the service that you need. A managed private cloud provides a secure infrastructure that is flexible enough to be used in many different ways as your requirements change.photo credit: Lara Cores via photopin cc