Cloud or Colocation-which is best?

New businesses which are planning to have IT infrastructure of their own have four options to start with- 1) Build their own data center 2.) Buy wholesale space3.) Purchase colocation services and 4.) Host in the cloud

Building a data center might prove expensive and time consuming and buying wholesome space can be fraught with maintenance risks.

The other two options are to do either colocation or take the help of cloud.

Colocation is nothing but renting out space in a data center provided by a third party facility. The facility will be providing network connectivity, rack units, cages, storage cabinets, suites, cabins and other units associated to data center infrastructure.

Usually, in colocation, several SMBs will be sharing the same infrastructure and receiving maintenance from the same provider. Economically it works out in true sense.

Hosting data in cloud is now a more settled model than earlier. Here, the cloud provider offers computing, storage, backup facilities and all other digital infrastructure required-as a-service. The pricing policy is favorable to SMBs- specially the startups, as most providers offer a “Pay-as-you-go” option. This makes the whole data center configuration dynamic as compared to collocation, which is a little more static.

So, which option seems better?

To come to a conclusion, one must be aware of various factors that favor each. Some of these factors are:

  • Compliance- If the organization is governed by regulations such as HIPAA, PCl DSS or Sarbanes-Oxley, the cloud provider should offer required levels of physical and digital security.
  • Uptime: With both collocation and Cloud, it’s good to know the service availability uptime, which can be enforced through SLAs (service level agreements).
  • Support staff: Is the support truly 24×7 or is it time-barred? In case of downtime, what is the process and reporting procedure followed?
  • Racks/cabinets/space – If the collocation is the choice, what are the costs involved in renting out desired sizes of racks, cabinets, cages, cabins etc?
  • Operating costs – Are power and cooling included in the collocation costs?
  • Transportation costs: Every time there is upgradation involved in a collocation scenario, what will be the total cost of transporting equipment and setting them up?
  • On-site engineering – Once the new equipment has arrived, how much would it cost to engineer or migrate the systems from the old to the new?Contact DNF to discover what’s best for your organization
  • The final decision more often than not depends less on cost and more on factors such as compliance, need for privacy, need for direct control, and service availability uptime.

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