With the uptake of cloud computing and colocation set to take over in the years to come, we share knowledge and clarify the differentiating factors between the two services.
Key factors of colocation services
- Managing and Monitoring equipment - The IT staff’s time will be taken up by managing/monitoring the equipment and also maintenance and backups. Note: Some of the best colocation providers offer managed services to enable leverage to manage and monitor your own infrastructure.
- Invest into High tech equipment – Even though Colocation centers provide the space, cooling, power and security etc. Users will be required to buy their own servers, switches, storage and software this will free up resources, enabling employees the time and bandwidth to focus on more strategic tasks.
Key factors of cloud computing services
- Resolving issues - How will your cloud provider resolves issues/problems? Does their staff work around the clock; 24/7/365? To resolve issues, what processes does the cloud service provider follow to resolve this?
- Company data privacy - Companies that are subjected to data privacy and protection regulations such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, etc. Ideally you will want your cloud provider to be able to have appropriate certifications, demonstrate compliance, follow mandated procedures to pass an audit, and lastly sustain a high level of physical and cyber security. Note: The key thing is to remember is that the burden of compliance still lies with YOU.
- Cloud Availability - Running a critical business application on a service that is prone to outages will not be acceptable. You will need a cloud provider that offers services with availability guarantees based on service level agreements, an understanding of how the provider manages infrastructure resources, controls access into the environment, and addresses change management.
Comparing Cost of Colocation services vs. Cloud Computing
Both Cloud and Colocation approaches have value. Small and startup companies may actually prefer a cloud computing model because it doesn't require a lot of internal IT expertise to operate. Startup costs are usually low with cloud computing, and the barriers to entry are usually small. However, there may be some instances in which colocation may actually cost you less than cloud solutions.
Large organizations and companies with strong IT departments will often choose colocation to house their computer rooms. These companies value colocation’s change and flexibility for growth. The capital costs of a data center are huge and building your own wouldn’t make sense for most companies that need high levels of reliability and flexibility.
Cloud & Colocation Conclusion
To sum up, colocation centers users buy the servers and shipped them to the colocation operators, while the cloud is outsourced IT services operated and owned by a 3rd party. Both services provide their customers alternatives to traditional in-house data center approaches.