Colocation services and cloud hosting both move IT workloads out of a business’ in-house data center and offer alternatives to traditional on-premises data center approaches; but the terms are not interchangeable. Colocation and cloud hosting offer some comparable benefits, but each is best suited to satisfy different scenarios.
One of the biggest differences between colocation and cloud hosting is virtual assets versus physical ones. With colocation, businesses own, use and maintain their own equipment, and house it in a facility shared by other tenants. Colocation services offer security, resilience, up-to-date facility infrastructure and high uptime, it’s also very much a do-it-yourself project. A business’ IT team or an IT consultant must piece together IT infrastructure with management, monitoring and automation tools in the colocation center.
Though colocation is often considered a “box to house computing power”, many colocation providers offer networking services, cloud services and other options beyond straightforward colocation. Colocation facilities can also mix and match a hybrid cloud stack, with multiple connections for public and private cloud elements. Colocation customers can connect to public cloud providers without using the public Internet via direct connections at colocation providers.
Cloud hosting also offers cost savings through the use of a shared facility, however, with cloud hosting, the cloud provider supplies and manages your full hardware infrastructure, including servers, storage, and network elements. Cloud hosting eliminates the need for a business to buy and own disk storage, servers, network and security devices. The cloud provider’s staff, not your IT staff, are responsible for day-to-day administration, routine maintenance, troubleshooting, and problem resolution.
Both approaches can solve problems like disaster recovery, business continuity and data center compliance and certification requirements, which are expensive and difficult to maintain. Businesses need to weigh compliance and privacy needs, need for direct control, as well as availability and uptime requirements when deciding between colocation and cloud hosting.
Larger companies and enterprises with well-developed IT departments often choose colocation in data centers to house their computer rooms. SMBs and startup companies may prefer a cloud hosting model because it does not require much internal technology expertise to operate. It also requires less capital. Startup costs can be low with cloud hosting (unlike colocation) and the barriers to entry are usually small.
As with colocation, cloud hosting for businesses succeeds or fails with the right partner. ACE IT Solutions delivers a portfolio of best-of-breed cloud computing solutions that are secure, cost-effective and flexible enough to meet the specific needs of any business. We thoroughly vet our cloud and colocation partners to ensure maximum uptime, security and performance. Contact ACE IT Solutions at 646.558.5575 for more information.