Colocation is a strategy that works for businesses with little space to host their personal servers. Keep in mind that storing these (sometimes) giant mainframes requires investments in infrastructure and cooling systems. Some businesses just don’t have the physical space to accommodate all requirements. In a colocation dynamic, a business outsources for a physical space where to locate their equipment, a colocation provider, then rents the space along with several other features to accommodate the clients’ hardware.
Pros and Cons of Colo
Colocation advantages are deeply rooted in the control a business wishes to enforce over its resources. Colo allows for businesses to use their own hardware; in case they’ve already made the investment or do not wish to rent other parties’ equipment. This means that the business has complete control over the server specifications and access. On the other hand (and depending on the terms of the arrangement), the provider supplies bandwidth for accessing the servers, the power needed for them to run, and cooling mechanisms. Conditional to the provider, a monitoring system and a maintenance team may also be provided.
The downside to co-locate your equipment will indubitably rest upon of the service provider you chose. Connectivity may be an issue as a lack of internet access will be a risk to factor in. Damage to your equipment while in someone else’s care is always a probability; which is why it’s a needed clause while signing a contract.
Cloud hosting is a popular model in which a business rents the servers of a provider in order to store its data. You’re still renting a space, but rather than a physical area, you’re renting a virtual one. Cloud storage is another solution for businesses with no room to host a personal server.
Pros and Cons of the Cloud
The advantages of cloud hosting include greater accessibility and reduction of costs associated with maintenance. With cloud hosting, you can access your information from any device that has a web browser installed (not that we recommend you to use any device). Cloud hosting removes the need to buy servers, as you will be renting your provider’s equipment. The space you rent is predetermined by your business’ needs, and it’s much easier to accommodate to that while using a cloud.
Far from being perfect, as you move to a cloud storage, you lose control over aspects like security. You do not own the hardware that stores your information, nor is it located in your premises. For some companies, this is a dealbreaker. Monitoring access is always a concern of cloud users.
Which is more suited for you?
Ultimately, the answer depends on what business model you’re running. The tendency for businesses with little space for servers is to run a hybrid cloud-colocation system. You can determine what sectors to Colo and which to host in the cloud. This brings the flexibility and accessibility of the cloud to the security of working with your own equipment. Not only that, but this opens the doors of diversification to your business, cost reductions, and outreach.
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