The colocation hosting solution is a hosting plan wherein you send your own server to a colocation center (data center) where it is put into a server rack and connected to the internet, thus enabling it to be used for the purpose of hosting websites. An advantage of this type of a set up is that you have complete control over the server configuration and need to pay money to rent a server and only need to pay for the space used.
Since colocation hosting involves sending in your server to a data center, you need to ensure that the data center is a leading data center that is located in a major industrial city. This way you can take advantage of the convergence pattern of high-speed networks. Also, you need to ensure that the data center is equipped with world class facilities such as redundant power supply, filtered clean air, remote connectivity, physical security, air conditioning, etc. Not only this you need to ensure that the data center has at least two connections to Tier One providers.
The next thing you need to take care of is the hardware that you are going to send into the colocation provider and the software that is going to be installed on that hardware. You need to ensure that your server is rack-optimized i.e. it can be put in a server rack. Rack-optimized serves are usually flat and long and have a height of 1 U (1 U = 1.75 inches). Also, you need to ensure that your server can be run “headless” which means without a keyboard or screen. You need to ensure that your server can be booted without any type of intervention. Not only this you need to make sure that your server auto powers because most colocation providers offer an auto power cycler that can be used from a web-based system.
After you have done all this, you need to make sure that you have correctly configured the network address, the DNS server and the gateway information on your server after requesting such information from your colocation hosting provider. You also need to be sure that you can get remote access to the server once it has been installed in the colocation facility. Remote access in Linux machines can be enabled by running the SSHD daemon.
Also since most of the rack-optimized servers come with multiple Ethernet ports, you would need to mark the correct Ethernet port and mask the rest with some type or masking tape, etc. You would also need to take care of cooling considerations. Since servers in a colocation facility are installed in a rack there is very less space for cooling. Hence before sending in a server to a colocation facility, you would need to take a look at the amount of heat being generated by your server and its processor and set up sensors so that you can monitor the temperatures remotely.
After you have done all this, all you would have to do is find a box that is capable of carrying your server and mail your server to your colocation hosting provider. The hosting provider would plug the server into his data center after which it would be up to you to manage and run the server in any manner you deem fit, just like a dedicated server.