How does dedicated server hosting differ from colocation hosting?

It is called Dedicated Server Hosting when a client leases the entire server that is housed in the data center of a service provider. Having leased the entire server for himself means that he gets to have all the server’s resources for himself and with no other website sharing it with him. Generally, it is classified into two: the Managed server hosting which means that the service provider takes care of everything for you, for a fee, of course; and Unmanaged server hosting which means that the service provider leases the server to you and you have full responsibility over the management tasks of the server. Under both cases, the provider retains ownership of the server and gets to decide whether to upgrade it or not, and when to upgrade it.

Colocation hosting is when the website owner puts his server, that he owns himself, on a facility owned by a colocation hosting provider. The role of the service provider is to provide for the power needed to keep the server running, the bandwidth and storage facilities.

Their most common basic difference is that dedicated hosting servers are fully owned by the hosting company and are only rented by the website owner while colocation servers are owned by the website owner himself.

What are the similarities between dedicated server hosting and colocation hosting?

Colocation and dedicated hosting actually share more similarities than differences which is the main reason why for the confusion between dedicated hosting with colocation or colocation with dedicated hosting. Among these similarities are:

  • The servers of both hosting solutions dedicate all their resources to a single website. This means that not an iota of the server’s resources is directed away from your website.
  • Most large companies choose Dedicated and colocation hosting solutions because of the privacy, the security, the space, the control and the vital resources of their servers that the hosting solution brings.
  • Both hosting solutions are considered to be the most expensive compared to other hosting solutions. However, both are also recognized to very beneficial to the websites that they hosted.
  • Both hosting solutions offer the option for Managed or Unmanaged. Managed means that the hosting provider takes care of everything for you while unmanaged hosting means that you are responsible for everything in your website.

How does dedicated server hosting fare head-to-head against colocation hosting?

Because of the similarities that they share, many people find it hard to compare both in term of their performance. The easiest way to compare them head-to-head and assess which hosting solution is better, is to compare them in an economic point of view.

1. Dedicated:

  • You need not pay for any upfront cost, you only get to pay for the monthly bill which includes the lease of the server, the bandwidth and the power.
  • You bill is a fixed monthly rate which is inclusive of everything.

2. Colocation

  • You need to pay an upfront cost for the servers, as you need to buy them, in case you don’t own one already.
  • You also get to pay for the other hardware and the rack space, upfront.
  • You don’t need to pay for any fixed monthly bill for the server; what you need to pay monthly are space you used (which is fixed) and the bandwidth (which is billed according to your use)

3. Summary:

The upfront cost of colocation hosting could come very high that small companies easily get intimidated. However, the monthly that one needs to pay in dedicated server hosting is more expensive than that of colocation. This means than in the long run, colocation could be cheaper than dedicated server hosting.

Dedicated vs Colocation hosting: Which one works best for me?

Both hosting solutions could work the best for you. However, choice depends upon whether you want to own the server or simply lease one. This choice would play a major role in terms of economy. Performance wise, both can stand head-to-head against its other as owners of colocation hosting can opt to choose a server that could match the servers offered in dedicated server hosting, or maybe get one that performs even better. If you want to be the owner of your server but is willing to spend a higher upfront cost, colocation is the best you. But if you opt to lease a server, escape a high upfront cost but is willing to pay a higher monthly bill, then dedicated server hosting works best for you.