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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

A technical term for "farming out" work or networking services to outside service providers. For example, many organizations outsource their Web sites to Internet service providers. This makes sense since ISPs usually already have data centers that are staffed at all hours by trained technicians who have expertise in security, software development, and site management. Since an ISP can manage many customer sites in the same facility, savings are passed to customers who would spend much more money hiring the staff to build their own sites. Some organizations outsource their entire IT operations. Other companies may outsource staff as well, hiring temporary workers as needed.

Outsourcing can include co-location services and/or managed hosting services. With co-location, an organization installs its servers and software at an Internet facility. The facility provides security, fire protection, support staff, and high-performance connectivity. With managed hosting, the Internet facility owns all the equipment and leases services to organizations. Exodus Communications and Digex provide both co-location and managed services.

An ASP (application service provider) is an ISP-like service provider that manages applications for customers, essentially renting software at Web sites on a per-use basis. ASPs may also manage collaboration and groupware applications to companies whose employees are scattered throughout the country or the world. An MSP (Management Service Provider) provides outsourced network management services, while an SSP (Storage Service Provider) provides storage services.

The topics "Internet Architecture and Backbone" and "ISPs (Internet Service Providers)" provide information on outsourcing and co-location services on the Internet, including the use of Internet data centers.

Service providers and carriers provide outsourcing service to ISPs such as virtualized networks and virtual PoP (point-of-presence) sites. See "PoP (Point of Presence)" and "VPN (Virtual Private Network)" for more details.

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.