What is the difference between managed hosting and colocation?

In a managed hosting account, account owners are provided the required hardware, software and the managerial functions necessary to keep the website up and running while colocation accounts are accounts where account owners actually has their own hardware and software provided by the hosting provider either through purchase, lease or rent.

While account owners of managed hosting accounts enjoy the relative peace of mind and security through the services provided for by the hosting providers, owners of colocation accounts actually are responsible for installation of the hardware and the necessary software, to properly set-up and configure both the hardware and software as well as the responsibility for the proper upkeep of the equipments.

And while managed hosting account owners sit back and enjoy the benefits of having expert people run their website for them, colocation owners has the full responsibility of keeping the website up and running, making it a do-it-yourself hosting solution

In what ways do managed hosting and colocation differ, in terms of hosting packages?

In as much colocation and managed hosting are two entirely different types of hosting solutions, they offer totally different packages, especially in terms of hardware ownership and management. Below is a comparison of their hosting packages:

  • While a managed hosting package includes the “intangibles”, meaning the services and the software, a collocation package offer consists of and includes the “tangibles”, the actual physical properties which includes the building and the racks, among others. Colocation providers usually offer the following in their package:

    o The building where the storage racks for your servers and other necessary computing and hosting hardware will be installed;
    o The bandwidth;
    o The cooling system required to keep you machines cool and safe while running 24/7;
    o The power required to keep your machines running; and
    o The guarantee of the safety of your computer hardware.

  • In a managed hosting account, hosting provider takes care of the management of your website, keeping it at optimum performance while in a colocation, the account owner needs to personally maintain both the hardware and the software to keep the website running;
  • While it is a fact that some managed hosting plans – especially the low-end managed hosting plans – require customers their share of responsibilities as to administrative functions in maintaining their website, colocation relegates to the customers the full responsibility of keeping their website running;

What are the advantages of colocation and how does it compare against managed hosting?

As both managed hosting and colocation has its inherent advantages as well as disadvantages, it would be best compare both and ascertain which of the two is more advantageous. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both managed hosting and colocation:

Advantages

Managed Hosting:

  • You need not spend for the cost of the server hardware as the service provider owns the server;
  • Your provider takes care of all the networking and internet connectivity details for you;
  • Your provider regularly takes care of monitoring and back-ups for you;
  • You do not need to hire and pay for employees, personnel and administrative staff as the hosting company manages your website for you;
  • You will have peace of mind as you do not need to worry about managing the website and network performance, including regular security and operating system updates.

Colocation:

  • A colocation facility can be served by a single server that can provide higher bandwidth speeds which lowers bandwidth costs;
  • Collocation facilities are provided with powerful generators that can continuously supply power during outages;
  • You own the machinery and the server software, giving you the freedom to decide on what hardware and software you want to use.

Which is better, colocation or managed hosting?

If your need a more robust, more stable and have more total control in running and managing your website, then colocation may be a good choice for you but if you want peace of mind and let the experts manage your site, then managed hosting is best for you.