Colocation for Data Backup
A colocation centre is a data centre where equipment and bandwidth can be rented out. Big companies will have the finance and infrastructure to keep their own servers and maintain it, while for a lot of small companies this is overkill. This is where colocation comes in. You can either use your own server machine or rent one from the company. You will then be given an IP, bandwidth and server power. It costs a bit more than web hosting, but for those companies who don’t need the full monty in house then it is a great way of getting the hardware without shelling out huge amounts for it or needing the physical space.
The primary advantage of colocation is that you save on bandwidth costs. They are doing everything in bulk, so instead of having a rent out a line only for your business you can pay the same amount (or less) to get a better connection. Other advantages include increased outage protection, the ability to upgrade the server or software at any time without relying on a provider and constant upkeep. Even if you move office the colocation server will still be running, meaning that your business’ online presence will never take a hit.
However, there are disadvantages to colocation. The first of these is that you may not have a provider near you. It is always good to have one nearby so that upgrades and maintenance can be done with ease. Also, it may not be cost effective to use colocation depending on what you need it for. If you are just looking for web hosting then it is probably cheaper not to rent out your own server for that. Also, a lot of colocation servers will charge you dependant on how much data is transferred. So if you have an unusually busy period then you will be shelling out a lot more than you usually would.
You can use colocation centres as a data backup solution. You still have full control over the hardware and software, but it comes with the added bonus of everything being stored securely offsite. Imagine if your office was struck by a hurricane. It is a dramatic example, but if you were storing your backups there then it would destroy them as well as the original data. Having everything kept in a secondary location means that if something happens you will still have a copy existing.
Some colocation centres have advanced backup procedures in place which allow you to restore your data within moments from the servers. The fact that they run 24/7 means that you will always have a backup of your data regardless of your office hours.
Colocation is a great solution for small businesses, but some may find it too expensive for their needs. If you are looking to run servers externally then it makes sense to also use it for data backup, but it isn’t advisable to use it solely for that as there are much cheaper methods available that would achieve similar results.
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