Colocation server hosting the essence of which is that a host company places a customer’s equipment on its territory (i.e. in data center) and provides a high bandwidth connection. Such a placement can help to significantly save on communication channel establishment from a web hosting provider to a customer. Usually such service is used for placing of those machines which are destined to maintain a very large web projects and other network services characterized by a huge traffic. It is also used for placing equipment requiring a reliable access from several remote points. For instance, it may be used for heavy-duty servers, IP-telephony gateways or VPN-concentrators placement.
In such a case, a customer’s machine is located in provider’s colocation data centers, and then it is mounted in a special rack and connected to the Internet channels of high speed and bandwidth. The customer must not necessarily bring to provider a whole physical server; sometimes individual components such as CPU, RAM, etc., may be brought.
Usually colocation service includes not only an equipment placement and connection, but also a physical security of colocation space as well as climate regime provision, redundant power supply, range of services for equipment maintaining, and operation monitoring. You can also get an information protection and data backup, but these services are positioned as extras, so usually they are available at an additional cost.
Unexperienced users often confuse colocation with dedicated machine service. The difference between these two types of host service is that the first one is a placement of customer’s own equipment in provider’s center (thus it stay very close to space rent), while the second one is more like an equipment rent.
Nowadays, the majority of specialists incline to believe that colocation is a separate service, but not a type of hosting, as it looks more like physical space rent.