How should I choose a colocation web server provider?

There are a lot of factors that you need to consider in choosing the right colocation web server provider that would be most beneficial to your needs. Aside from the price consideration, among the most important factors are the location, availability and the distance of the server to your office, the security system in place that should ensure the maximum protection of your server and the site’s connectivity.

Are there any types of colocation servers that I should know about?

Basically, there are three types of colocation providers. These are:

  • Wholesale colocation providers – Wholesale colocation providers are those that lease the whole site to you (whether a whole building, a whole floor or a large suite) but has a hands-off policy regarding the service distribution and management of the center. Usually, what is included in the leased site is an efficient cooling and power distribution system. Even though these centers are sold at commodity prices, the client shoulders the cost of installing the equipments and to keep the data center operational which means you need to invest a lot of time and money.
  • Carrier –owned providers – Aside from the data center site, these providers includes in the package a service which is intended to sell the core of their business, most likely network services. Also included in there package is a much wider list of services that are directly beneficial to the client.
  • Retailers or Managed Service Providers – This type of provider provides the racks and cages, supplies the required cables, takes care of the distribution and management of the power needs and the cooling of the racks, and offers hands-on support services. This type of provider costs more compared to the other two since it is more refined and offers more benefits to the client.

What should I look for in a colocation web server provider?

In choosing a good colocation web server provider, one should look for the following “must be” and “must have” features in the package:

  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) – An Uninterruptible Power Supply should be one of the must have features that the good collocation web server provides. This should ensure maximum server uptime and total security against data loss even during severe power outages;
  • Highly Efficient Cooling System – As the energy consumption of the servers’ increase, the heat it produces also increases making the need of efficient heat dissipation and cooling system important.
  • Physical Security – the colocation server site should have tight security regulations where access control is regulated by an efficient authentication system. It is also a must that the site is provided with a security camera that allows real time monitoring of the premises by the security personnel.
  • Fire Safety Guarantee and Fire Fighting System– It is important that the center is fully equipped with the proper fire fighting system. As water sprinkling system is harmful to the servers, it is imperative that the site is equipped with the gas fire suppression system complete with the proper alarm system and perimeter sensors.
  • Proximity– The location should be close enough to your office to negate the cost of time and money in travelling to the site.
  • Connectivity – The site must have the ability to connect to a broad variety of network providers.

How much should I pay for a colocation web service provider?

The monthly cost of colocation services varies greatly, from a low of $35 per month to as high as $235 per month and which usually depends upon the type of provider, the location, and the additional services and features offered.