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 Hosting and Colocation Explained

Hosting and Colocation Explained

A discussion point for a new business and technology is, what server service works best? Should we use the cloud? What does that even mean? Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure offers great options, no doubt. Let’s look at the reasons why the cloud is the baseline approach.

Not every new business has the brick and mortar space to create an internal data centre. It can be a huge cost to absorb for a tight startup budget. Air conditioning required for server technologies, in most venues, that isn’t an option. You don’t want to end up spending 50k either. That’s over the top. Not a lot of options right?

Cloud Server Services

The latest trend is to push this scenario. Those cloud pushers can be single-minded. Don’t get me wrong, It has some advantages.

Scale is one of those advantages.

A business can go from having a few servers, to 50 in about an hour. But in what real-world scenario are most small-businesses going to be in that situation? If you need 50 servers, chances are you’re in site location that can have a few computer rooms, let alone one.

Then there is cost advantages of going cloud right?

Wrong! It’s actually not a cost-saving. That’s a myth. It may be a cost saving for a hosted or managed service provider. That cost savings is not going to be passed onto the business. That’s why we offer a different approach. An approach that has one valuable difference. Control and privacy. OK, that’s two benefits.

Hosted and Colocation

Selenium’s Hosted Data Center Colocation – Toronto, Mississauga. Barrie

Let’s discuss the minor differences between hosted and colocation.

Hosted is you use the service provider’s hardware, licenses, power, network bandwidth, etc. You pay a fee for this hosted service based on hardware specs, back-end services, etc. Tax and Tip not included.

A colocation service (colo) is you buy the hardware, licenses, operating system, etc. Then the managed service provider puts that hardware in their data centre. You pay a fee for the server rack space, power, bandwidth, support, etc.

Either way, your not in the cloud or some mysterious data centre in Kazakhstan. Not that Kazakhstan doesn’t have nice data centres.

Benefits of Hosting or Colocation

Security, Monitoring, and Cost – Benefits of colocation in our Toronto data centre locations

There are a few benefits, let’s deal with a myth about why you should consider moving your server services to the cloud. Cost.


Cost is something that cloud pushers try to use as the reason going to the cloud. The problem with that is it’s a cost in the wrong direction.

It can be as much as 20% to 30% more expensive to use the cloud. That’s not an overall cost, that’s monthly. Yes, I know. That is a compound math problem to say the least. By the end of a year, you could have purchased your own hardware 2 times over and still had money left over for a night out at Ruth’s Chris. If you look at it over three years, that’s a lot of servers you’re buying to not own any of them.

The lifecycle of that server is 2 to 3 years. If well maintained, more. Add up the cost per month in the cloud, it’s not the best price solution at all. Hosting and or colocation is the way to go.

Let’s discuss the other benefit of colocation and hosting, security.


There is not a cyber security analyst in the world that is going to convince you that owning or managing your own hardware is a downgrade in security. If it’s managed properly. The reason behind this is quite simple.

Here are the top 12 reasons why cyber security is better with colocation and hosted service.

  1. Control of the hardware
  2. Control of where it’s located
  3. Control of who has physical access to it
  4. Control over how physically it’s accessible
  5. Control over who has logical access to it
  6. Control over going to get it, and moving it if need be
  7. Audit controls of the infrastructure
  8. Audit reporting of the access, and changes
  9. Control of network traffic flow between systems
  10. Control of vulnerability testing
  11. Control of penetration testing
  12. Control over maintenance schedules

This list goes on. This is why at Selenium we prefer clients at least discuss this opportunity. Cost alone is not enough, security is by far the best benefit.

All that being said, in order to be effective, all 12 items have to be documented, controlled, audited, and monitored by the IT service and the business.


One last myth to deal with.

Scaling server requirements in a colocation IT service

The one advantage of a cloud service is scalability. You can move quickly in an organization. You can go from 20 to 100 servers without a sweat. Just don’t look at the price on the way out of your mouse click.

Now, most businesses are not going to see a requirement like this. But it is something that should be considered for long-term business growth.

The myth is that managed service providers (MSP) can’t scale, and if you need to scale, go with the cloud.

The Selenium Group has a scalability process built into its colocation services in Ontario. If you would like more information on how we can scale your business, get in touch with us.

For more information on our hosted or colocation services, please consult our contacts page to get in touch with us.

The Selenium Group Team

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