For many smaller businesses and rapidly-growing startups, making the choice between onsite network management and colocation can be difficult. There's a lot of information out there, and wading through the myths to find the truth is easier said than done. If you're trying to decide if colocation is right for your business, don't let the prevailing myths steer you in the wrong direction. Here are a few of the most common myths about choosing colocation and the truth behind them.

Colocation is Just Managed Hosting

Some business owners overlook colocation because of a misunderstanding about the service itself. If you think that colocation is just another term for managed hosting, you are in for a surprise. Although both managed hosting and colocation happen offsite, the similarities stop there. In a managed hosting situation, you don't own the server or the software involved.

Colocation, on the other hand, involves placing the equipment and software that you already own into a space that's shared with other providers. You'll rent the space and place your own equipment there. It also means that you're responsible for managing your software and scripts. This gives you more freedom to handle your own hardware and infrastructure.

Colocation is More Expensive than Onsite Management

You may have heard that colocation is more expensive than housing your data center on your own property. In some cases, this may be true. If you've got a particularly small operation and you don't need security, server backups or redundancies, colocation may be more costly.

For most businesses, though, the cost of colocation is not as much as the cost of the overhead, security measures, climate control and disaster preparations that you'll need to house the equipment onsite at your location. For the rental fee that you pay, colocation providers offer you redundancies, security protection and even precautions to avoid fire, storm and flood damage.

Additionally, if you choose a colocation provider in a different part of the country, you might be able to even reduce your energy costs. Energy services are cheaper in some parts of the country when compared to other regions. Whether you opt for renewable energy or just a region with lower utility rates, you can cut the cost of your overhead significantly with colocation services.

It's Inconvenient to Manage Your Equipment Offsite

Most of the maintenance and script updates that you'll need to do can be managed remotely. And, some colocation providers have onsite technical staff that can do hardware upgrades for you. Otherwise, you may need to have a staff member visit periodically for hardware changes or upgrades. These occasional visits may be an additional cost, especially if you choose a colocation provider in another state, but the savings you'll see by opting for the colocation service will likely offset those costs.

You Can't Ensure Security with Colocation Providers

Most colocation providers pride themselves on the onsite security and service reliability that they provide. Not only can you find a provider with guarantees about their quality of service, most will let you tour the facility before you make a commitment. Look for a property that allows you to secure your server rack individually to protect your hardware from unauthorized access.

When you're trying to decide between onsite server rooms and colocation services, knowing the truth behind the misconceptions can help. With the information presented here, you can view colocation more objectively and with accurate information. If you're still uncertain about which option is best, consider visiting a colocation provider, like Isomedia, Inc. Perhaps seeing the operation first-hand will give you a better idea if it will work for you and your business needs.