Colocation vs on-premise


A part of my role that I really enjoy is helping customers to find different ways of doing things and seeing unexpected benefits as a result.

A question I get asked a lot as a Colo provider is, “Why would I use Colocation rather than simply storing my servers in-house?”

Here’s what I tell them:


Cost savings

Colocation allows you to save on in-house infrastructure costs, both upfront and ongoing. If you’re a small outfit, Colo will help you save on staffing costs for security and maintenance. And if you’re part of a larger organisation, it’ll save you from having to rent additional space to store your servers.



Colocation helps to remove the pain of downtime. Most businesses won’t appreciate the true financial impact of downtime until it happens; staff get frustrated, customers decide not to renew and take their custom and loyalty elsewhere. And the knock-on effect isn’t just there and then, it’s the reputational damage moving forward. Don’t chance it.



This is a big one, easy to underestimate. A data centre gives you a climate-controlled environment, with clean air, temperature control and advanced fire suppression. This all helps to make sure your servers are kept clean and performing optimally.


N+1 failovers

“N+1” sounds like typical jargon but what it actually means is that there’ss redundancy in place. Be it power, internet connectivity or cooling, all of which are necessary to keep your servers online. The benefit of using a resilient data centre is peace of mind that even if something goes wrong, your servers will remain online.

After all, if your office lost connectivity, your servers would be offline until the internet services were fixed. Can your organisation afford that downtime?

Most data centres have resilient links that failover to each other, meaning that, more often than not, you won’t even know there was an outage.


Flexibility and scalability

Colocation allows you to instantly scale bandwidth on demand, at a minimal cost increase. Perfect for when you experience sudden surges in demand for your data or apps. On the other hand, increasing your office connectivity traditionally has a lead time of 10 days plus. By then, the peak might be over and it’ll be too late.


Remote hands

Should any changes need to be made to your colocated server, you simply have to raise a ticket and the data centre team will action it straightaway, saving you on scheduling staff, travel costs to go to the office and more. With colocation, a simple reboot takes minutes, while for on-premise equipment during lockdown, it could take hours to complete the same task.


Remote backup

Too many businesses back up their servers in the same building in which their core server is operating. If there was an environmental issue, such as a fire, all that work and all those backups are lost. Colocation allows you to back up servers in multiple data centres across the world, keeping your data safe and secure.


So, when asked to highlight the benefits of Colocation, there are several factors that make the conversation an easy one.

However, I’m also a firm believer that one size doesn’t fit all, which is why I always welcome the discussion in the first place.

If, by talking through a customer’s specific challenges, I can help them to identify the right answer for their business – and work with them to move to that best-fit solution – that, for me, is the best outcome!


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