Public cloud vs colocation: Which is better for your business?
Hosting your own servers in your office has plenty of benefits, especially in terms of data security, but doing so can be severely prohibitive. Besides spending on the upfront cost of necessary hardware and software, you’ll have to budget for repairs, maintenance, upgrades, and the possibility of hiring additional personnel who will manage your machines. What’s more, servers take up space, consume electricity, and require cooling to function properly.
Business owners looking to avoid these issues usually have two options: the public cloud or colocation.
What is the public cloud?
It’s a service that lets you use computing resources through off-site servers and data centers that are owned and managed by third-party cloud service providers (CSPs). One public cloud server can be utilized by multiple users, which means the cost of using that server can be spread across those users. This makes the public cloud an affordable option for SMBs.
Is the public cloud ideal for your business? The biggest benefit of the public cloud has to do with the fact that you don’t own any hardware. You can store files and run apps without having to buy your own servers and paying for the machines’ upkeep. The CSPs take care of everything: repairs, maintenance, upgrades, security, power and cooling, and patching software.
Most CSPs follow a pay-as-you-go model, which means you pay only for the computing resources you use. Furthermore, the public cloud lets you easily scale up or down the services you’re using according to your business’s needs. For instance, if you need additional data storage space, you simply need to coordinate with your CSP to modify your storage allocation.
Bear in mind, however, that you have little control over public cloud servers and how they’re managed. For example, you can’t deploy your own security software solutions to enhance your data’s protection.
What is colocation?
The opposite of the public cloud is the private cloud, in which a server — which may be owned by you or by a CSP — is dedicated exclusively to your business’s data. Colocation can be classified within the private cloud umbrella. It is an arrangement in which you own the server, software, and networking equipment, but these are housed together with other businesses’ servers in a third-party data center.
Is colocation ideal for your business? Colocation gives you total control over your servers and the data stored in these. You can configure your own servers and enhance their defenses as needed, making colocation more suitable than the public cloud for companies that have to comply with strict data security regulations.
With colocation service plans, the rack space you purchase is usually packaged with benefits that can help you avoid downtime and unnecessary costs. For instance, colocation providers offer redundant power and connectivity, which minimize disruptions caused by power failure and always ensure a stable connection to your servers. If your company handles and processes plenty of Internet of Things data and workloads, the stability offered by colocation can work to your advantage.
Owning the servers does come with drawbacks. Because you purchase your own machines, software, and updates, the initial investment required in colocation may be high. And although providers offer support, you are responsible for maintaining your servers, which means you may still have to hire additional staff to do this for you.
Moreover, distance has an impact on latency, which is the time it takes data to travel from one point to another. The farther away you are from the data center, the higher the latency and the less stable the connection can become. Unfortunately, depending on where you are, finding a colocation service that’s close to your business may be challenging.
Whether it’s the public cloud or colocation, it’s crucial that you select the right solution that improves your company’s efficiency and security at a manageable cost. At SimplyClouds, our team will be more than happy to assist you in selecting the option that best addresses your business's needs. Consult with our experts today.