Colocation vs Cloud Hosting

Dec 03, 2018

Do you have a hard time choosing between colocation hosting and the cloud? Or maybe you think why even consider colocation when there  is cloud. Well, here are some insights for you.

Basically; even the cloud needs physical storage. The question to you is whether you want control over that decision or not. There are several reasons why you might want to control it. The first being security: One aspect of security is disasters. Most data centers of today are not prepared for climate change. That means that cloud services can be severely affected by manmade or natural disasters.  Read more about Uptime Institute's research on the subject. The second being sustainability: (Old) data centers are major carbon dioxide producers, given the amount of power and cooling necessary to run a data center.  Today however, the norm is changing on how to design and run data centers in order for them to use a minimum of (clean) power and re-use the excess heat. We have written loads of blog posts on this matter. Here is one on what characterizes a green data center – and not.

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Ease of scaling is of course cloud’s greatest advantage over the rest. As a consequence, flexible and scalable pricing. For cloud hosting, you only need to pay for what you need - but: costs for physical storage and administrative management is baked into the price. For organizations with huge amounts of data, the cloud might not be the most cost-efficient solution over time.

Also, be careful when choosing cloud hosting providers, especially if your organisation has to comply with various standards and regulations. Make sure that appropriate certification and the most recent security measures are in place to protect information. The cloud service should guarantee 100% availability – downtime means heavy losses. Customers should be able to conduct business without interruption.

Pro's with the Cloud vs Colocation

  • Potential cost savings as companies that rely on the cloud do not have to acquire expensive infrastructure.
  • Information on the cloud is normally easily accessed from different units.
  • All documents and files can be emailed or shared in a near-instant. Required information can be transmitted at any time.
  • The cloud being a virtual environment reduces the costs involved in expanding storage space, memory and processor power.
  • Backup to the cloud is a great advantage that saves data recovery time and money in case of system failure.

Con's with the Cloud

  • You might not get necessary support when you need it in the cloud. Vendors do not always provide contact information which is a red flag for businesses handling sensitive information.
  • There may be compatibility problems for employees trying to access information from different devices.
  • Being online, the cloud can be vulnerable to hackers. Use experts to ensure that your data is properly secured.
  • Reduced influence over data back-up processes –  a major downside for companies that would wish to have some influence over their files and documents on the cloud. Lack of insight into your network proves troublesome as you wouldn’t tell when there is a bug, hardware problem or other problem affecting your system.
  • The cloud might become expensive if the service provider keeps charging additional fees. Some essential features may be missing with the hosting services which would reduce the quality of the cloud as a hosting service for your business.

Still unsure of what to choose?  Read our recommendations on Cloud vs Colocation.