Self-hosting vs server housing: what is the difference?

Self-hosting vs server housing: what is the difference?

21.11.2023
Cadolto Datacenter
General

The terms ‘colocation’ and ‘server housing’ are often used interchangeably. While the functionality offered is similar, however, there are many different products. Server housing can mean greater security vulnerabilities. But what about self-hosting, sometimes also called ‘server homing’? Is this just an alternative name, or is it something quite separate?

 

Was ist Serverhoming?

Self-hosting is about not outsourcing your IT infrastructure. Businesses that self-host retain ownership of all their servers and hardware. In addition, they are responsible for keeping them running and doing maintenance, rather than handing these tasks over to a third party ISP (internet service provider).

Self-hosted IT is accommodated in the organisation’s own premises; another term you might read is ‘on-prem’ or ‘on-premises’ operations. As long as the IT infrastructure requirements are not too high, there is no real need to run a separate data centre. If the business simply wants to host a website comprising just a few pages, a small rack in the office may suffice.

However, compute-heavy operations require a lot of CPU. In turn, that entails a redundant power supply and an efficient cooling system. When the organisation’s IT infrastructure needs increase to this level, it is better to self-host the servers and hardware in a professionally run data centre.

What is different about server housing?

The main distinction compared with self-hosting is who is responsible for looking after the servers, and where they are located. With both the colocation and server housing business models, the hardware is housed in a data centre operated by a third party.

The data centre provides the power, cooling, security and network infrastructure, including connectivity to the outside world. Customers generally pay to lease space as well as the services consumed (such as maintenance). However, they have less control over the physical infrastructure.

This loss of control represents the greatest risk when outsourcing IT systems. For this reason alone, it is important to retain control over your own self-hosting. When a service provider takes charge of maintenance, customers are generally restricted to issuing instructions through a ‘remote hands’ support agreement.

Server housing has an additional point of weakness in that the IT components used by multiple customers can be located in the same rack and connected to the same network ports. This presents a risk to data security. In contrast, when you host your own services the risk of unauthorised access, physical or virtual, is much lower.

Self-hosting done right

Most SMEs in particular think that self-hosting is very expensive. At first glance, it can also seem like scalability is much easier to manage when you outsource your organisation’s IT. There is no need for the business to build its own data centre to meet its growing computing requirements.

In the long term, however, purchasing services from third parties can be even more costly than running a suitable in-house data centre. Self-hosting also offers the advantage of retaining control of your server hardware, maintenance and data security. Even colocation providers do not always offer redundant connectivity, due to long distances that have to be covered.

Cadoloto Datacenter has developed its modular construction to ensure optimum scalability from the start. If your growing organisation requires additional IT capacity, you can extend your IT infrastructure simply by adding more modules to our high-tech data centre. Your IT systems will then quickly be operating back at the levels you need.

Self-hosting can utilise the scalability and flexibility of outsourcing by adding fully technically equipped modules (uninterruptible power supply, cooling, security), but brings with it greater reliability, security and high availability.

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