Colocation and data center: what is difference

Started by arthyk, Oct 26, 2022, 12:08 PM

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arthykTopic starter

Large companies are driven by economic benefits to consolidate their production facilities in one location, resulting in the creation of data centers. This strategy reduces the total cost of equipment available to the organization.

Data centers serve different purposes and are classified as corporate or commercial, depending on whether they serve only one company or third-party organizations. They can also be provider-independent or provider-dependent.

Colocation is when a provider allows you to place your own server(s) in their data center. This service typically includes uninterrupted power supply, temperature regulation, fire safety, equipment security, remote access, and monitoring. It may also cover simple server maintenance tasks, freeing the customer from the hassle of equipment upkeep.


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Emily Evans

Colocation involves hosting a personal server (or multiple servers) in a provider's data center, typically offering a dedicated server with continuous power supply, temperature control, fire safety measures, intrusion and theft protection, remote access, and monitoring. The colocation service may also cover server maintenance tasks such as installing new disks and memory upgrades.

The terms "colocation," "colocation," and "collocation" are all used interchangeably and refer to the same service, with one being derived from English and the other from French.

Providers usually accept specialized servers that are 19 inches wide and one to four units tall, with the cost of placement increasing with the server's height. Server hardware differs from regular computers, including a powerful power supply, a motherboard with built-in hard disk controllers, network and video cards, and reliable and fault-tolerant components.

To guarantee uninterrupted server operation, high-quality components and thoughtful ventilation are necessary, particularly since servers operate 24/7 for years. Established manufacturers typically take care of these issues.


There are different types of data centers, such as corporate or commercial, depending on the target audience they serve. Corporate data centers typically cater to a single company's needs, while commercial data centers offer services to third-party organizations.

Data centers can also be categorized as provider-independent or provider-dependent. Provider-independent data centers are self-owned and managed by the company itself, whereas provider-dependent data centers rely on external service providers for infrastructure and management.

Colocation is a service offered by data center providers where companies can host their own servers within the provider's facility. This service comes with several benefits, including uninterrupted power supply, temperature control, fire safety measures, equipment security, remote access, and monitoring. Some colocation services also include regular server maintenance tasks, relieving the customer from the responsibility of equipment upkeep.

Colocation and data centers are related terms, but they refer to different things:

1. Data Center: A data center refers to a physical facility that houses computing infrastructure, including servers, storage systems, network equipment, and other associated components. Data centers are designed with features like redundant power supplies, backup generators, cooling systems, and security measures to ensure the reliable and secure operation of the equipment.

2. Colocation: Colocation (or collocation) is a service offered by data center providers. It involves renting space within a data center facility to house a customer's own servers and IT equipment. The customer brings in their hardware and places it in the data center racks, while the provider takes care of the infrastructure aspects such as power, cooling, security, and connectivity. The colocation service provider typically offers benefits like uninterrupted power supply, environmental controls, fire suppression, network connectivity, and physical security.

In simpler terms, a data center is the physical facility where computing infrastructure is housed, while colocation is a service offered within a data center where customers can place their own servers and equipment.

Colocation is an attractive option for businesses that want to have control over their hardware but don't want the burden of managing the entire data center infrastructure. By leveraging colocation services, companies can benefit from the robust infrastructure and facilities provided by the data center while focusing on their core business operations.

Here are some additional points about colocation and data centers:

1. Cost Efficiency: Colocation can be a cost-effective solution for businesses, especially smaller ones, compared to building and maintaining a private data center. By sharing the infrastructure and resources of a data center with other customers, businesses can reduce their capital expenditure and operational costs associated with power, cooling, maintenance, and security.

2. Flexibility and Scalability: Colocation facilities offer flexibility in terms of scalability. Businesses can start with a small space or set of racks and easily expand as their needs grow. This allows them to align their IT infrastructure with changing demands without the need for significant upfront investments or infrastructure changes.

3. Connectivity Options: Data centers provide high-speed and reliable connectivity options for colocation customers. They typically have multiple network carriers and redundant connections to ensure the availability of internet connectivity and enable businesses to establish robust and redundant network connections.

4. Security and Reliability: Data centers, including colocation facilities, prioritize security and reliability. They implement physical security measures like surveillance systems, access controls, and security personnel to protect the facility from unauthorized access or tampering. Additionally, data centers have redundant power supplies, backup generators, and advanced cooling systems to minimize the risk of service disruptions.

5. Enhanced Performance: Colocating servers in a data center can lead to improved performance due to better infrastructure and connectivity. Data centers often have high-speed internet connections, low-latency networks, and enterprise-grade equipment, ensuring faster data transfer and reduced network congestion.

6. Expert Support: Colocation facilities typically provide on-site technical support and remote hands services. This means that customers can rely on the expertise of data center technicians for tasks like hardware installation, network troubleshooting, and routine maintenance. This support can be valuable, especially for businesses that don't have dedicated IT staff available 24/7.