Managed Hosting versus Colocation Hosting and Cloud Hosting

Managed Hosting versus Colocation Hosting and Cloud Hosting

Most people are familiar with the concept of Managed Hosting.  A service provider provides and manages an IT infrastructure in a data center on which a customer operates their systems.  This can have benefits for the customer in reducing the capital costs of acquiring the infrastructure and reducing the time taken to deploy it.  The data center is responsible for the supply, maintenance and management of the infrastructure.

Colocation Hosting is different in that the data center only provides space for the customer to install their own infrastructure, typically rack space for the customer servers.  The customer owns the equipment and is responsible for server management and maintenance.  The data center is responsible for providing a secure environment and supplying services such as power and environmental management.

Cloud Hosting is a variant of Managed Hosting, where the managed service provider supplies an environment that offers cloud-based services to their customers.

Managed Hosting

How does it work?

Many businesses are being forced to change their IT development strategies following the COVID pandemic.  At the same time, they have serious cash-flow problems because of a downturn in business and can’t afford the capital outlay for the new IT infrastructure needed for their new e-commerce systems and enhanced web presence.

A way out of this dilemma is to use a managed service provider to supply hosted infrastructure which will allow them to develop their new systems, while at the same time operating the existing systems.

In short, the managed service provider supplies all the equipment and systems software needed.  The customer pays a hosting fee based on the hosting plan they choose, supplemented by any extras and add-ons.


There are two major benefits, cost and time.  The customer pays the service provider a hosting fee from operational expenditure, removing the need for large capital expenditures for new infrastructure. In addition, any skilled resources can be supplied by the managed service provider, so no need to hire expensive temporary skills.

Secondly, the new systems can come into operation more quickly because there are no procurement delays in sourcing and implementing the new infrastructure.

Colocation Hosting

How does it work?

Colocation Hosting is where an organization already has the infrastructure, both hardware and software they are to use in their new systems but need to expand their data center to house it.

Again, rather than incur the capital expenditure of expanding their data center, they rent or lease space in a colocation host’s data center.   The customer moves their hardware to the data center, then physically installs it, sets it up and configures it themselves. There is no physical contact between the host’s and customer’s infrastructures unless specifically requested by the customer.

The customer is responsible for the hosted equipment.  The hosting service is responsible for all other aspects, such as environmental management, power supplies, and physical security.


The benefits are largely the same as those of managed hosting, principally that of cost.

Cloud Hosting

How does it work

The concept behind cloud hosting is to make applications and websites available using cloud technologies and resources.  Both managed and colocation hosting uses a single server, but cloud hosting uses a network of connected servers, both virtual and physical to host them.   A Cloud Hosting solution may also be implemented in more than one physical location.

Cloud Hosting is enabled in a VPS environment.  The customer uses the underlying infrastructure to host its own applications, services and data.  For example, a physical server in a VPS environment is configured as several cloud servers, all sharing the resources of the underlying physical server.


As a specialized form of managed and collocated hosting, cloud hosting provides the cost benefits seen in both.  In addition, as a distributed solution it can be extremely flexible in managing the capacity of hosted resources and their scaling.

Cloud hosting can also provide a complete computing environment through cloud-based servers, desktops, storage and applications over multiple geographies.

The solution that best suits a customer will, of course, depend on their particular circumstances.  Some will see the benefits of the cost reductions and speed of implementation of managed hosting as key determinants.  Others with excess equipment will look at colocation hosting as the solution.  Others will look at the scaling and flexibility offered by cloud hosting as the answer to their needs.

Each solution will provide costs and time benefits, but in the final analysis, it is down to the customer to see which solution best fits their requirements.

HostSailor offers hosting plans covering managed, colocation and cloud hosting. If you want to discuss the finer points of the different benefits offered by each, or have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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