The digital revolution has changed the way companies conduct their business, with many of them advancing their digital infrastructure to improve their operations. However, an efficient digital storage infrastructure comes with costs that push up business expenditures. As a result, IT leaders have been forced to look at alternative options for data storage, which has led to a growing interest in colocation and cloud hosting.
Colocation hosting and cloud hosting offer a lot of flexibility and freedom to companies that can’t rely on in-house servers to store their IT data. That said, while the two are not entirely mutually exclusive, the innate differences could determine which is the best option for your organisation. If you’re considering choosing one option over the other, here is everything you need to know about colocation hosting and cloud hosting.
What is Colocation Data Centre?
Colocation (Colo) refers to the provision of server hosting at a specified physical location with all the infrastructure needed to ensure smooth and reliable operation of the servers, such as cooling and ventilation. Data centre colocation is steadily growing into a preferred trend by many companies who wish to avoid the separate costs of setting up an exclusive server storage and maintenance facility in-house.
Delegating this service to a third party entirely dedicated to providing the essential infrastructure for your IT servers is a win-win situation.
At Safehosts, we own and manage our colocation data centre – it is accessible from anywhere in the UK. This colocation data centre provides tailored plans with matching power and bandwidth that generally ensures the smooth running of your servers.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Colocation?
There are many reasons why your company should opt for colocation hosting for its servers when considering lowering the overall operating costs of your business. While you might want to entrust your servers' security to a third party, the advantage of relinquishing this responsibility is worth it in the long run.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of colocation hosting.
- Efficiency and reliability: Colocation data centres are designed with robust infrastructure to enhance efficiency. Their operational redundancies allow them to maintain the smooth running of the hosted systems even when faced with a disaster.
- Flexibility: Many on-premises digital infrastructures are designed just for a single server and thus may not be easily scaled up when your company diversifies and requires additional dedicated servers. However, colocation data centres can easily scale up to accommodate a growing data storage demand with enough power and cooling systems to support additional servers.
- Accommodates a hybrid system: Colocation data centres provide the physical server storage infrastructure that includes connectivity. This creates room for leveraging the power of cloud computing.
- Freedom for specialisation: When a company delegates the maintenance and security of its digital infrastructure to a third party, it frees up its IT staff, who can then specialise in troubleshooting and finding solutions to its software issues. The colocation hosting provider undertakes the responsibility of managing the hardware issues.
- Leveraging advancing technologies: A modern colocation data centre will always try to utilise the latest technology in server hosting, such as cooling and energy efficiency systems. Data colocation centres find this necessary to attract customers.
- Initial start-up costs maybe higher than cloud hosting. With cloud hosting you are effectively renting, but if looking long term this con isn't such a big deal.
- Updates are performed by yourself, however Safehosts does offer professional services to bridge this.
What is Cloud Hosting
Cloud platforms, such as Google or Amazon, have tools and technologies they can rent out as a cloud computing service. This service is based on remote servers accessible as self-service using internet connectivity. Cloud hosting service providers are sole owners of these servers and therefore take charge of storage, size, maintenance and connectivity.
Businesses that utilise cloud-hosted servers simply rent out and pay a monthly or yearly subscription plan. This approach offers a lot of flexibility since companies only pay when they need the servers and can cancel the subscription at any time without worrying about the disposal of the servers.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Cloud?
Cloud hosting has also been a popular menu for many IT managers in leading corporations over the years, particularly due to flexible pricing. That said, here are some of the pros and cons of cloud:
- Flexibility in scaling up and down: Depending on the needs of a business, scaling up and down cloud computing resources is made easy with the self-service model.
- Cloud computing infrastructure only requires the internet to access.
- You only pay for cloud computing when needed and thus do not have to incur the cost of acquiring or building the servers yourself.
- With the internet as its main intermediary, cloud hosting is faced with many security and privacy risks since hackers can easily infiltrate your servers.
- The costs of scaling up cloud servers can quickly skyrocket as the volume of the data stored on the cloud continues to grow.
- Difficulties consolidating and managing shadow IT are a common occurrence arising from the overuse of cloud resources.
Key Differences Between Colocation Data Centre and Cloud
While both cloud service providers and colocation centres have a way of isolating the hosted tenants, that is pretty much all the similarities between the two. On the other hand, colocation data centres and cloud differ in the following ways:
- In colocation hosting, the servers are fully owned by clients who only lease out the physical space owned and operated by the data centre colocation service provider. In contrast, the cloud hosting provider owns and manages cloud infrastructure – clients only pay to use cloud computing resources for a specified period.
- Public cloud can be hosted in a colocation facility while the reserve is not applicable.
- Colocation facilities are multi-tenant but do not offer managed services – hence the client is at liberty to decide what to do with the leased floor or rack space. On the other hand, private cloud is managed and can only be multi-tenants if the tenants are different departments within the same organisation leasing the cloud service.
Several key factors determine which option is suitable for your business. However, with many businesses eventually outgrowing their cloud allocated resources, shifting to owned servers seems like the way to go. Unfortunately, the shift comes with the added cost of setting up, managing and maintaining the server rooms. This is where colocation data centres come into play.
Colocation data centres such as Safehosts are designed to guarantee 100% operational efficiency while giving clients complete control of their digital infrastructure resources. What’s more, the clients have total authority over how much workload is allowed to pass through their servers, hence guaranteeing the security of the data.
Even better, with the option for hybrid systems, colocation centres are now offering a gateway into cloud computing resources.