Colocation, Cloud Services and Hybrid Cloud – A Comparison of Cloud Hosting Solutions

12 July 2017

Colocation, Cloud Services or Hybrid Cloud?

After having heard the terms ‘Colocation’ and ‘Cloud Services’ being thrown around in the world of Information Technology, you now want to get into the nuts and bolts of these two concepts – to understand in detail what they are and which is most advantageous for your company.

Both of these cloud hosting solutions are concerned with outsourced IT facilities. They both provide the benefit of reducing the costs associated with running these facilities and equipment independently or in-house.

Download our ebook How To Make The Cloud Work For You to better understand your business’s options.

The difference between colocation and cloud services

There are clear differences between these hosting solutions. In a nutshell, colocation refers to managing all your company-owned IT equipment from a shared and rented physical space, while cloud services involves outsourcing everything from the equipment and space to the management of the IT workflow from a cloud services provider (CSP).

Colocation Cloud Services
  • Housing for company-owned IT assets like servers, other hardware, and software.
  • Your company manages, monitors, and maintains all above-mentioned equipment and workflows.
  • The colocation facility provides affordable floor space, and other cost-saving features like shared costs in operating power, cooling systems, security, and communications.
  • Provides all needed equipment off-site, plus cloud-based software services.
  • CSPs manage, monitor and maintain all hardware, software, troubleshooting, power and backups, and everything else the company’s  IT department would otherwise be responsible for.



Cloud services vs. colocation: the pros and cons

Each one of these options has its advantages and disadvantages – which are best applied under certain business conditions and will bear the most fruit when used appropriately. Here are the main points to consider before choosing which option to employ for your business between cloud services and colocation:

Considerations for colocation

  • If your business is big and has a significantly established IT department, complete with all necessary components (except perhaps a datacentre to house it), then colocation is a good option.
  • It is also best suited for businesses that need to keep a close eye on their equipment, managing everything themselves, to make sure they remain in good standing with data compliance requirements.
  • Colocation also works great for when you need to increase the capacity of your datacentre or establish a secondary (failover) centre without having to build a whole new one that can accommodate everything. This saves the company the price tag that comes with such a project.

Considerations for cloud services – why it may be best for you

  • Often enough, the IT teams in companies end up spending more time on the management of hardware, software, troubleshooting and related responsibilities, instead of on tasks that drive the business forward. Handing over such responsibilities will free up the team for more profitable tasks.
  • Cloud services are also great for changes in capacity. They give the company more flexibility in scaling (increasing or decreasing resources) as the need arises – manually, automatically based on resource usage or even on a schedule.
  • In addition to the cost-saving nature of cloud services, the ‘pay-as-you-go’ service that some CSPs offer mean you as the client will only pay for what you use and nothing more.
  • Start-up companies and relatively small businesses should go straight to cloud services, especially if they are yet to build a comprehensive IT facility. Rather than spending thousands on an internal datacentre, cloud services stand to save the company truckloads of such start-up capital.

And then there’s hybrid cloud

Traditional IT is under pressure to be more flexible, reduce costs and to do more with limited resources. Businesses need an infrastructure that that is flexible and that can scale on demand.

Colocation and native-cloud offer two options, but there’s a third option that may make your transition to cloud easier and less risky.

Hybrid cloud lets you seamlessly extend your infrastructure, applications and data to the cloud and can provide extra IT resources whenever required, allowing IT teams to keep pace with ever changing business needs. This means that you can maintain your current colocated, on-premises and cloud infrastructures, but use cloud services to develop a hybrid environment that interconnects your infrastructure. You can therefore take advantage of modern cloud services and infrastructure whilst still being able to maintain your legacy applications.

Hybrid cloud
  • Blends colocated, on-premises and cloud in a seamless solution.
  • Provides the benefits of cloud whilst enabling on-premises and/or colocation to be retained.
  • Enables staged migration to cloud

The competitive world of business today demands that companies focus more on equity, revenue, and the bottom line. But since operational and supportive teams cannot be ignored, many companies now have a high-demand for reliable outsourced services like infrastructure management. Cloud services have become some of the most preferred ways of meeting a business’s IT needs.

If you feel this is a route worth considering, keep the following in mind when choosing a CSP:

  • Look for cloud service providers that will offer you a flexible package where you only pay for what you need and use.
  • Check if the CSP has the full capacity to meet all your IT needs without compromise, and understand the support you will be receiving from your CSP.
  • If your company needs to comply with certain regulations and standards, then be sure to look out for CSPs that can carry this responsibility as well. They should have the right certification for their services and undergo the necessary audits.

So, colocation, cloud services or hybrid cloud? Which is right for you?

To learn more about how your company can profit from cloud services, read about the benefits in our ebook or learn about our different cloud service offerings.





Subscribe to Email Updates


We are a digital transformation consultancy. We help our clients succeed.

View Services