Cloud, Colo and Control


It comes up time and time again – “Why would I choose Colocation when I can host in the Cloud?”

After all, the Cloud is globally accessible, scalable and you only pay for what you use.

But how about the control aspect, especially if you’re trading in a regulated sector or operating environment and you need to know exactly where your servers are hosted and who can access it?

Here’s why it pays to think carefully before choosing between Cloud and Colo.


Let’s start with the basics. What is the Cloud?

Fundamentally, the ‘Cloud’ is just a bunch of servers (albeit a rather large bunch) that share resources amongst millions of customers. These servers are stored in data centres across the world. Effectively the same as Colocation but with a few key differences.


The big Cloud players

Cloud giants such as AWS, Azure and Google all store their servers in their own data centres, ensuring control of their own environments and linking data centres together, safeguarding customers in the event of a failover scenario.

They’re scalable resources that allow your business to increase and decrease storage, RAM and compute as needed. Sounds great, right?


So, what's the catch with Cloud

Too many times, we’ve seen IT teams go a little rogue.

By which I mean it’s all too easy, and therefore tempting, to spin up a test environment in the cloud, work with it for a little while and then leave it there once it’s finished with, resulting in unpredictable and unaccountable costs.

If that sounds unlikely, you’d be surprised. After all, it’s very easy for anyone with secure access to spin up a server in seconds and leave it there unnoticed.


Back to the old favourite, Colocation

We recently wrote a blog that asked the question, "Where is Colocation going?"

I don’t think it’s revealing any major spoilers to say that Colocation will be around for as long as the Cloud is.

And there are good reasons why this should be the case.

Your Colocation service provider will ensure that your equipment is secure, powered up and kept at an optimal temperature. In some cases, they’ll also provide network connectivity to your equipment.

And Colocation gives you full control of your data and the software/features you install. It’s always your server, it’s just stored somewhere else.


What about your data?

When you host your servers in the Cloud, you’re beholden to the Cloud supplier as, more often than not, they’ll be responsible for the data and encryption keys. So, if they have downtime, you have downtime. And your data is stored on shared infrastructure (albeit cleverly separated from the data of other customers).

With Colocation, your data is yours and yours alone. And it’s stored on dedicated infrastructure that belongs solely to you.


So, which is best, Cloud or Colo?

This argument will rage on for years and years and it never will be a one-size-fits-all approach.

All that matters is which solution is right for your organisation here and now, taking account of your current needs and future plans.


How Safe Hosts can help

At Safe Hosts, we've been providing Colocation services for over a decade to organisations from many different industries.

We operate our own private, secure and energy-efficient data centre and pride ourselves on being able to support all our customers equally, no matter their size or requirements.

We understand that no two businesses or organisations are alike and, as such, make sure that every customer has a bespoke Colocation package that exactly fits their needs.

We’d love to chat about how Colocation from Safe Hosts could reduce costs and safeguard business continuity for your organisation, so to talk through your plans and get a surprisingly cost-effective quote, please get in touch.


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