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Colocation vs. The Cloud – What’s the Difference?

Colocation vs. The Cloud – What’s the Difference?

Are you confused about colocation versus cloud computing? Well, they are both modern solutions to business problems. But how do you decide between the two? To start, IT colocation is when a business runs its physical infrastructure out of a service provider’s data center, yet they still deal with the management and maintenance of the infrastructure. On the other hand, cloud computing is when a cloud provider both supplies and manages the infrastructure (servers, storage, and network elements) all within their data centers.
So, let’s go over the specific differences between the two!

THE WHOLE PACKAGE
Colocation – addresses the data center facilities needs of a business. It simply moves the infrastructure to a provider’s location.Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing – includes the facility savings of colocation, and also includes countless other benefits: computing, storage, backup/additional infrastructure.

COST
Colocation – your business continues paying to manage, maintain and update equipment. None of this transfers over to the provider and operating costs for the data center may be high.
Cloud Computing – uses a pay-as-you-go model. This allows the organization to remain in control of its spending. You use what you need when you need it, and then pay accordingly.

SERVICE
Colocation – requires the business to continue to own, use and maintain your own equipment – which really leaves the majority of the responsibility on your shoulders, despite going through the hassle of moving your equipment to a provider’s data center.
Cloud Computing – with cloud computing, all of these responsibilities are handled for you, while the organization can continue to focus on running their business. The cloud has matured enough that businesses with compliance requirements can meet these needs.

EQUIPMENT
Colocation – it’s a bit pricey to initially move the equipment from one location to the provider’s data center. Costs can include transportation, staff, vehicle rental/fuel, means to secure hardware as it travels, and insurance on the transportation.
Cloud Computing – it doesn’t require the business to buy their own servers, switches, storage or software. Instead, it frees up IT staff to focus on innovation, rather than monitoring and managing equipment or dealing with backups and maintenance.

SCALABILITY
Colocation – the business is still limited to the resources it can afford. Once it reaches maximum capacity on their servers, it takes time and money to upgrade the equipment.
Cloud Computing – it is extremely scalable, allowing the business to adjust its resources as necessary, based on things like demand, time of year or business growth.

Both colocation and cloud computing deliver more benefits than traditional computing. However, cloud computing may be the smarter option for your business in order to improve your environment!

Derek Roush

Derek Roush is the President and Founder of VocalPoint Consulting. He has over 15 years of experience in the industry supporting telecom and cloud service resellers. Since 2010, he has led VocalPoint Consulting to become one of the leading telecom and cloud service consulting firms in the industry.

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