or Colocated Servers - Which One Is Right For You
decided the time is right for either a dedicated or colocated
server and are trying to decide between the two. This page
may help in that decision.
let's define what each is.
dedicated server is one leased from a hosting company. They
are responsible for the hardware, the operating system, web
server software, and , within limitations, the software they
load on the server. If a hard drive should fail, it is their
responsibility to replace it, as with any other hardware that
the server is comprised of. Their responsibility with regard
to the software, and the server in general, is to make sure
it functions when they turn it over to a customer. Many hosts
include a control panel, often created by them, which allows
many, even all, administrative functions to be performed via
web browser. Some familiarity with the operating system and
knowledge of server management is called for, though it can
be moderate with the aid of a thorough control panel.
colocated server is very different, though it looks similar.
The server itself is owned by the customer, who is responsible
for all parts of it, from the hardware to the operating system.
Rack space and bandwidth are leased from the hosting company,
and their responsibility is solely the connection to the Internet
and related matters.
the low end, there's not a big monthly difference between
dedicated and colocated servers at many hosts, often $20-$30,
and the minimal difference can be worth it considering the
responsibilities involved on the part of the hosting company.
Higher up the scale, though, the price differential becomes
much greater and the savings with a colocated server can be
substantial. It would be easy to build or buy a web server
for the equivalent of two to four months worth of the equivalent
dedicated server payments.
let a lower price get you in over your head, though. At this
level, you had better know your stuff. This is what separates
the masters from the students. You will be completely responsible
for everything in your box (server), hardware and software
included. Assistance may be available, though it is often
in the range of $200 hourly, and may not be available immediately,
leaving your server and sites inoperative for a time.
a hard drive or any other piece of hardware should fail, your
server may be down until you can provide a replacement unit
and pay to have it installed. Since many people will use a
remote hosting company, and the savings at the low end are
minimal, those who are contemplating a colocated server should
seriously consider multiple hard drives and a RAID system.
This can prevent the server from going down in some instances
and allow time to provide a replacement. It can also prevent
loss of data.
is an alternative that can allow for a colocated server with
a moderate amount of knowledge. Some hosting companies sell
Cobalt RAQ servers, the same type made for relative novices
to use as dedicated servers. They come with an easy to use
interface. There is a catch of sorts. Cobalt RAQ servers are
limited in scalability and, while they may be adequate for
smaller, low usage sites, they are unsuitable for more robust
you are prepared to handle all the needs and requirements
of server administration, from hardware to software, and are
planning on running a multiple hard drive server with a RAID
array, you can save a considerable amount of money with a
colocated server. If your skills and knowledge aren't up to
the task, a dedicated server may be more suitable for you,
assuming you have the less taxing skills and knowledge they
your site's resource needs are not extensive and you are on
a tight budget, a colocated Cobalt RAQ server may be the choice
for you. Aside from responsibility for replacement or repair,
it's the same type server leased as low end dedicated servers,
interface and all.
many, though, an Intel architecture dedicated server will
be the best choice. More memory and hard drives can be added
as needed, and administering one can provide part of the experience
needed for those who may wish to move to a colocated server
at some future date.