Advantages and Disadvantages of Managed and Unmanaged Colocation

Published: 16th September 2009
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There are two types of Colocation available; Managed Colocation and Unmanaged Colocation. Colocation is a type of web hosting, where someone rents rack space from a data centre, where they store their server. This prevents them from having to have their own server.

With managed colocation you only have to rent the rack space, provide the server and other hardware and pay the web host. The rest is done by the employees of the data centre. All you may have to do is purchase upgrades for software when necessary. Problem solving and maintenance are sorted out by the hosting company.

The major advantage of managed colocation is that you are employing experts to control your hosting needs. You can live safe in the knowledge that everything is under control and people who know what they are doing are overseeing your hosting. This leaves you free to concentrate on your core business.

There are two main disadvantages of managed colocation; the cost and the lack of control. It is significantly more expensive than unmanaged colocation. It is like employing anyone else within your business - you are paying for someone to do a job for you. And it will be no surprise that experts cost. You are not in complete control of your hosting with managed colocation as you are employing someone else to deal with it. This is something that some would see as a benefit, but others would see as a negative. If you want to be in charge of your hosting then managed colocation is not for you.

With Unmanaged Colocation you only rent the rack space from the hosting company, while the rest is up to you. You will be in control of your server and therefore hosting knowledge is necessary.

The disadvantages of managed colocation do not exist here. You will pay a lot less as the service you receive is less extensive. And unlike managed colocation you do have full control of your hosting. It is therefore much more flexible, allowing you to do exactly what you want. There are still some limits as you will have to operate within the parameters set out by the data centre. Overall though, the amount of control you have is much more significant.

Unmanaged Colocation is not for novices. It requires some expertise so if you don't have any experience of web hosting then you are better off with managed colocation. Any updates will have to be carried out by you and you will be responsible for solving any problems that will inevitable occur. This means that unexpected extra costs may arise.

There are advantages and disadvantages of both managed and unmanaged colocation. Which is best for you depends on a mixture of your budget, the amount of control you want and your expertise level.

Andrew Marshall ©


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