Of all the many available hosting services, only a handful of companies offer the service known as co-location hosting. The internet service providers (ISPs) that provide this service are equipped with uniquely designed data centres, which they lease out to clients who place their own servers within the data centres physical infrastructure but remain in charge of the operation of their servers, without receiving any kind of system administration from the ISP.
These colocation services allow clients to take advantage of a superior infrastructure while remaining in control. Amenities provided include environmental controls, such as humidity maintenance, particle filtration and temperature control, as well as redundant power sources, fire suppression systems and UPS back-up facilities. In addition, a large capacity of multiple quality bandwidths, server monitoring and technical support is provided. Co-location hosting thus provides a much more cost effective way of achieving minimal network latency and business continuity and scalability than would be possible by running a private data centre. Physical security measures, such as CCTV monitoring of individual server housing and surrounding facilities, as well as entry to the facility being restricted to key card holders and private access codes, are also part of the provided service.
As colocation in itself is basically providing dedicated hosting, as the one client is using the leased space, dedicated server colocation can be defined as a choice between the leasing of a server which is hosted within an ISP data centre and purchasing a server and then hosting it within a data centre.