Web Hosting Articles

Why Co-Locate Your Web Server?

Server co-location is an option that some web hosting companies offer to companies and institutions that are confident that they can administrate their own server, which they lease, rent or purchase.

The advantage is that the server is kept in the facilities that the web host provides, and that it is connected into that company's high-speed network. This solution saves the cost of direct hardware maintenance, physical security and high-speed network connections. Introduction to server co-location contracts.

The specific details of server co-location contracts can be tailored to the specific needs of the client. Some web hosts offer a wide range of consultation services and can provide technical support to clients in the case where a company wants to handle the bulk of the day-to-day server administration, but occasionally needs the help of the technicians.

Others plug your server into their network and let you take care of all the administration. What you need to know:

  1. Where will your server be located? Although, your technicians will be running your server from either your own office or from the control center of your choice, your server will be located at your web hosts facility. Make sure that it is an insured, secure, clean environment, monitored around the clock by people who understand telecommunications and computer hardware. You want to know that in the event of a problem there will be skilled people on hand to take care of your server.
  2. How will your server be connected into the web? There are two main connections for your server; one from your control center to your server and one from your server to the Internet. The first defines the speed of access your systems administrators have to your server. The second defines the maximum bandwidth that will be available and therefore the access that your visitors will have to your web site. Find out what telecommunications companies your web host works with. Look for a redundant system, one that can re-route through different connections to maximize reliability.
  3. How will your server be protected from damage or theft? Insurance is important but in the long run it is best to be up and running all the time. Your host's facility should have a number of security systems available to protect your server and your data. Look for an uninterruptible power supply to protect your server from power failure. Look for a physically secure facility to protect from theft. Look for a safe structure with high-grade fire protections systems. Look for a tape data-backup program, so that your site can be, in a worst-case scenario, up-and-running as soon as possible. Find out what other companies share the facility, this will tell you a lot about quality of the web host's facility.
  4. Do you need extra technical support? Consultation and technical support are other possible reasons to co-locate your server. Not only will a good web host have a robust facility, staffed by knowledgeable staff, but they will also have a team of system administrators and technicians that can help you.

Your decision as to whether you want to co-locate your server or try another option, such as purchasing a dedicated server package, comes down to resources. If your in-house technicians are fully capable and costs are not prohibitive, then co-location could be the way to go. The best thing to do is to ask around. The staff at well established companies can be very helpful for companies seeking to expand their Internet presence.

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