Colocation vs. Cloud Hosting

Think of colocation as high-tech real estate, an outsourced data center space, where you can operate your company-owned software and hardware — hardened data center buildings, power redundancy, cooling redundancy, physical security, fire suppression, and access to telecommunications carriers are part of the real estate.

With cloud hosting, you rent the equipment, the space and the manpower to manage it and keep it running. No upfront capital costs are involved and services are delivered for a monthly fee. If you need more equipment or technology, just rent more.

There are a myriad of customized solutions available that range from straightforward colocation to full infrastructure, application and data hosting in the cloud and everywhere in between. Many colocation providers offer cloud hosting alongside straightforward colocation, allowing businesses to take advantage of a hybrid infrastructure.

Colocation Pros & Cons

Colocation is a good option for businesses that prefer to use their own hardware.  Businesses particularly concerned with the security of the cloud and wish to maintain self-ownership of business-critical applications and sensitive data should consider colocation. Organizations that have invested heavily in IT equipment can move its infrastructure into a colocation provider’s modern facility and gain the benefits of redundancy and disaster recovery required for compliance. Colocation arrangement allows room for businesses to grow without sacrificing control and can be a first step to building a private or hybrid cloud.

All that control comes with extra costs: The business is required piece together IT infrastructure with management, monitoring and automation tools.

Cloud Hosting Pros & Cons

Cloud hosting has real appeal to small business, which don’t often have the capital required to purchase and maintain equipment as well as the space to house the equipment. Cloud computing eliminates the need to purchase and maintain disk storage, servers, network, security devices, etc. Cloud hosting is an ideal solution for businesses that don’t have the access to the technology expertise it takes to make colocation work.

The primary difference between colocation and cloud hosting is that with colocation you are dealing with physical assets versus the virtual assets of the cloud. And virtual assets don’t come cheap. A businesses may have to reassess its public cloud strategy after reaching a tipping point with soaring cloud costs.

Which is best?

That depend on your business. Cloud and colocation can often be combined to deliver reliable and secure networks in the most cost-effective way. Both cloud hosting and colocation can help define availability, recovery point and recovery time objectives and can solve problems like data center compliance and certification requirements, which are expensive and difficult to maintain. Look for SAS 70, SSAE 16, PCI DSS and Safe Harbor certifications.

The right partner plays a big part in the success or failure of  a business’ colocation and cloud hosting initiatives. ACE IT Solutions consults with clients on building affordable cloud and colocation solutions tailored to meet their specific business requirements.  Contact ACE IT Solutions at 646-558-5575.


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