As more companies migrate their client support services to the Internet, IT departments are constantly pressured to deliver better and faster performance and results in less time. That means investigating alternatives such as cloud services and colocation providers for many.
The challenge they then face is deciding which option meets their needs. While cloud services and colocation providers offer comparable benefits, each is designed to meet a particular set of business and technology requirements.
Cloud Services Providers
The National Institute of Standards and Technology once defined the cloud as an online environment that enables on-demand access to a shared assembly of computing resources such as programs, applications, networks, servers, and storage. These assets can be made available with little management effort or interaction with the service provider.
The same description applies to managed clouds, but client workloads, along with the interface to their current IT processes, are also managed in this instance. It combines the benefits of the cloud with the total management of hosted workloads.
Benefits of cloud-based services include:
- Reduced network maintenance costs, especially for corporate clients who do not have an in-house IT department
- Software upgrades are instantly available
- All key applications and servers are managed at one central location
- Faster disaster recovery
- Immediate response to emergencies
A common assumption is that a colocation provider is simply a data center where you rent server storage, power, and a connection to the Internet. The reality is that many providers today offer a wide range of services, from managed IT environments to public and private clouds. Some even provide clients with a direct connection to Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services.
There are two primary types of colocation providers:
- Wholesale: Clients lease space that is customized to meet their requirements. Those who have substantial power requirements and need over 10,000 square feet of storage space usually select this option.
- Retail: Clients lease space inside a cage. Those who do not require vast power resources or more than 2,500 square feet of space prefer this option.
- Higher levels of security and data protection
- Lower IT management and infrastructure costs
- Increased power capacity
- Greater redundancy
- Improved uptime and reliability
- Fast disaster recovery
- 24/7 support
The Bottom Line
So, which is the better option? Cloud services or colocation? Each presents its own features, benefits, and advantages, but the recommended solution depends on the client's needs. A company’s infrastructure, data management, and application hosting requirements determine which service is better for a business.
Does your company use cloud services or a colocation service provider to deliver some or all of its IT-based services? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
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Recommended Resources for Cloud Service Providers and Colocation Providers
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