What You Need to Know About Colocation vs. Cloud Computing

February 02, 2021

Whenever you hear about managed IT, there are a lot of terms to know. When you see the term colocation vs. cloud computing, it sounds like it’s a competition. The truth is that each type of computing has a place in different situations; and sometimes a business may develop a strategy that uses both types of computing to provide the best solution for their IT challenges.

Defining Colocation vs. Cloud Computing 

Let’s start by defining the terms colocation and cloud computing. Colocation describes a situation where you locate your physical IT infrastructure in a space that you rent in a third-party data center. The data center provides power, cooling, connectivity, security, and network and hardware maintenance. You own and maintain control over the hardware and software.

Cloud computing describes a situation where the cloud host maintains its own data centers and you locate your software to run on those servers. In effect, rather than renting physical space for your hardware, you’re renting virtual space to run your programs.

When to Choose Colocation vs. Cloud Computing

You may choose data center colocation services for a number of reasons. For example, the numbers come out in favor of colocation. It’s less expensive to share a data center than to maintain your own. There are other reasons why you would choose colocation:

  • You don’t want to abandon a large investment in your physical IT infrastructure to migrate to the cloud.
  • You want to reduce the cost of running your own data center, which includes space requirements, large power bills, and maintenance staff.
  • You want to devote your IT staff to completing mission-critical projects rather than spending time maintaining hardware.
  • You’re not able to expand your IT staff to provide 24/7 hardware support.
  • You can’t have the data connectivity you need without a large expense.
  • You’re out of physical space to expand your IT infrastructure and colocation will avoid the expense of acquiring additional space.
  • You want to improve your data security without adding hardware and staff.

Cloud solutions are also attractive for many reasons. In general, migrating to the cloud removes all the cost and responsibility for purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading hardware. Other times when cloud computing make sense include:

  • You need the ability to scale your operations quickly. With cloud computing, you can simply increase or decrease the computing resources you pay for from your cloud provider. You don’t need to worry about investing in new hardware or increasing or decreasing the size of your staff.
  • You want greater data security by keeping applications in the cloud rather than on local devices. You also want to take advantage of a cloud host’s dedicated cyber security staff.
  • You want employees to be able to access your systems from any location.
  • Your business is governed by a number of regulators, and you want the greater compliance that a cloud host can provide.

When to Choose a Hybrid Computing Strategy

When you look at colocation vs. cloud computing, you may find that some of your requirements will lead you in one direction or the other. But, you may also find that you should have some cloud applications and some business critical applications in a colocation environment where you have more control.

If the choices aren’t completely clear, the experts at Access One can help you develop the strategy that best suits your needs. Get in contact with our team.

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