View Full Version : Dedicated Or Colocation?

18 Apr 2006, 06:52
Do any of you have you own servers? I was planning on expanding my hosting needs. I was either thinking a dedicated server or a colocation here in Seattle. Colo seems cheaper in the long run, what are you opinions?

If you colo, where is a good place to buy servers at a reasonable price?

18 Apr 2006, 11:03
I've read that colo has its own problems like needing to sell old servers to upgrade and may not work out to be cheaper.

Also, how does someone like me who lives in Australia colocate in the US?

18 Apr 2006, 11:17
Co-location is great if you are prepaired to pay the hardware costs and fix things when they go wrong yourself, although I'm sure some places will fix things for you if you are willing to pay extra for that service.

I think it's really up to you, if you have the time and know how to co-locate then by all means go for it. Otherwise rent a dedcated server and pay the extra money each month to have someone manage it for you.

18 Apr 2006, 13:52
I run a mixed-bag setup....primary web server is leased (with a couple owned parts inside) and I own the mysql server. The on-site techs have been great...my stuff is frequently their "test bed" for upgrades, and they know I'm not afraid to toss $$ at the setups to keep them current...that also means they have "learning time" during some upgrades/installs, since their practice on my stuff helps them with the trips/tricks to make it easier on their other customers.

I do keep some spare stuff onsite...believe I have a 1/2 dozen spare SCSI's in their storage space should one crash....

been with amhosting.com for over 2 years, zero complaints.

18 Apr 2006, 14:31
The TCO of co-location far outwieghts any benifits it could possibly bring, short of having 50+ servers.

I worked it out for my first year of rented servers to be 21,000, and to colo would have cost me about 65,000. Then an additional 42,000 (bandwidth) a year. And that was with only 6 servers, we just added two more.

18 Apr 2006, 19:56
I am now saving about $500/mo. and have probably 20 times the power I had previously. That cost about $6,500.00 up front. I plan to add more servers but that will be even more cheap to do once I get past the up-front cost of purchasing the server. I won't have to pay the hundreds and hundreds additional per server.

IF you find a good colo facility or a company that is in a top tier colo facility I'm not sure I understand where the pitfalls are IF you have good equipment and a good agreement with them.

I've worked out an excellent agreement in one of the best colo facilities in the nation - just visited it yesterday - and I feel very good about this. I'll report more in the near future on total costs and what I see as the pros vs. cons.

18 Apr 2006, 20:35
I think it all depends on your situation and your plans for the future. I am preparing to do this myself and have been researching it quite a bit.

You can build a server to be what you want it to be. As strong as you like and can afford.

You can also recoup some of the costs by selling your extra server space. If you plan to do this you should be looking to buy the largest and fastest HDs you can afford as well as ome extra ram.

You also have to check with the datacenter you'll be racked in to ensure they have a service to replace components if you need it. Some charge a pretty high hourly fee for such things.

If you choose to upgrade to a new server in a year or two, you can always use the server exclusively for hosting.

But there are pitfalls. You own the server, so if it goes down, there isnt really anyone to call - its your responsibility to fix it. You cant be just "moved" to another server since you only own one. You have to completely manage and monitor the server (unless you have a management company do that for you, another expense)


18 Apr 2006, 22:43
Most good Colo facilities offer "remote hands" services and will do whatever you need, often for a reasonable cost. Also, if you get your server(s) through someone like www.ApaqDigital.com (etc), they have great warranties and great prices. I was concerned about all of this when I started looking but feel I have most of it covered now.

Just dumping your server in a colo without an research or options is at least as stupid as just leasing a dedicated server from someone without doing any research on the company at all...

I think I said this before but the colo I went with has not had a single outage that I have been able to determine in the 5-6 years they have been around. I even drove up there and met with them, talked service and ended up going with a sub company that has a lot of space with them who is giving me free hands on service if needed, remote reboot, plenty of room to expand and much more for the same price as the colo facility owner. Lot's of big guys in there as well and the DC's #2 upgrade (doubling floor space) will be online within the month, which speaks loudly to me about their growth.

Bottom line is research and planning pays off. I am very confident that the $500.00 + I will save each month will easily cover even the worst that may happen, and again, my server is rocking fast and built to my specifications.

If you are just getting into needing a leased dedicated server, I wouldn't look at colo. If you have leased dedicateds for a while and need to expand beyond one or two servers and have a revenue stream coming in from your forums (advertisers, ppc's, membership, etc), I would definitely look at colo options.

One more thing.. If you think the leased servers that hosts provide are high-end even if their numbers look that way, you have another thing coming. Most of them buy the servers you lease as cheap as possible, sometimes being refurbs, and with drives and other things that have been used for quite some time. They are rarely the top of the line server you would purchase if you were able to. If you don't believe me, just go visit some reseller data centers / cages and see what you see.

I'm not saying these servers are no good. I'm just saying that if you are serious about your community and it requires good equipment and uptime, wouldn't rather know the history of the equipment and that it is the best that it can be, rather than having a hodge-podge makeup of components, re-used drives (etc) you know nothing about?

18 Apr 2006, 22:48
Thanks for the information, it's greatly appreicated!