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The Top Three Reasons to Choose Colocation over Cloud Hosting

Posted by QuoteColo on September 25, 2014 - Updated on October 16, 2020

The Top Three Reasons to Choose Colocation over Cloud Hosting

Cloud Hosting or Colocation? A question as old as…well, you get the point. If you are a company or a personal consumer looking to invest in a long term hosting solution, you have a choice between utilizing the latest and great Cloud Hosting technologies or you can choose to utilize the more hardware oriented solution, Colocation.

While both have their major benefits, in this article we are going to explore why picking Colocation over Cloud Hosting as your long term web hosting option makes more sense from the point of view of security, money and technical expertise.

Is Cloud Hosting More Affordable than Colocation?

Is Cloud Hosting more affordable than colocation? In the short term, yes. In the short term, Cloud Hosting is more affordable than colocation solutions because you aren’t paying for hardware, you aren’t paying for technical fixes and you aren’t paying for massive scaling. With Cloud Hosting services, you are paying for ease of use. For one small monthly fee – some company can charge as little at $5 per month – you can lease on demand data, scalable resources (RAM, Bandwidth, CPU, Disk Space), backup data services and a variety of other Cloud services (SaaS, PaaS and IaaS come to mind).

Yet before you jump in headfirst recall the word “lease”. When you invest in Cloud Hosting platforms, you are leasing the entire technical infrastructure required to run your mission critical needs. This means while you are getting a powerful and responsive website or MySQL server, you are not in charge of the hardware decisions which make up your Cloud infrastructure.

Due to this, if your Cloud Hosting Company chooses to change the type of server they use to a less powerful web server to save a few dollars, you have no say in the matter. It also means if your Cloud Hosting Company has full management control over your web hosting server. All installs made to your system are determined without your consultation and will not always be in the best interest of your company.

This is a very important point to make clear: Investing in Cloud Hosting web services might prove cheaper in the short run yet for that lower cost, you will trade control over how your Cloud infrastructure is installed, managed, protected and eventually, put to rest. Like everything in life, there is a trade off you that need to be aware of.

Short Term v. Long Term Web Hosting

Earlier in this post we admitted in the short haul, Cloud Hosting is more affordable than colocation. This is true across the board. Yet, if you are thinking of investing in long term web hosting solutions, the cost benefits of short term Cloud Hosting pail in comparison to the cost benefits of long term colocation services.

Cloud Hosting is renting. Colocation is ownership.

When drawn out over a few years, renting a Cloud web server means continually giving up ownership of the hardware you use to power your business.

When drawn out over a few years, renting a Cloud server means continually paying for scaling solutions instead of paying for a single scaled environment capable of scaling to demand without adding extra costs.

When drawn out over a few years, renting a Cloud server means paying a hosted environment in which the security protocols and features you want to install, can not be installed. As renting forfeits full server security control, long term Cloud hosting means operating off a less personally secure hosted infrastructure.

With colocation, long term hosting means:

  • You are purchasing servers, switches and software allowing you to control the security protocols and hardware preferences within your hosting hardware
  • You are investing in an environment where additional scaling within the server won’t continually cost more money
  • You are investing in a long term hosting platform wherein you have the ability to install any applications, programs and software you choose. Additionally, colocation means you have the ability to install your own server firewalls and security apps.

So, is Cloud Hosting more affordable than colocation in the long term? No. For a long term solution, Cloud Hosting means sacrificing the one aspect of your business no business owner can afford to forfeit, control.

Is Cloud Hosting More Secure Than Colocation?

In both the short term and the long term, the answer is no. We hate to continually hit the same drum yet Cloud Hosting is renting physical hardware. By way of renting, Cloud Hosting means the bulk of server control – security, pre installed applications, firewalls – is controlled and determined by the web hosting company you purchase services from.

While this might not seem like that big of a deal for the consumer using a $5 Cloud server to perform bitcoin miner hosting or to operate a low traffic blog, for the growing company whose business life blood is consumer financial transactions, control over your web hosting equipment is vital.

On the other hand, colocation is owning hardware. Colocation means purchasing servers, switches, network gear etc. Colocation means owning the entire critical hosting infrastructure needed to operate your web hosting solutions. It means you own all hardware and rent space within a datacenter. The basic benefit here is simple: by owning your own hardware, you can wholly control the hosted environment by installing any programs, applications and firewalls you choose to.

Once installed, colocation means shopping the market for the best data center in your area. While that data center will not control the programs and applications on your colocation web servers, the consumer gets the benefit of utilizing their network, connections and outgoing/incoming packet firewalls. Colocation, unlike Cloud Hosting, protects your services by allowing customization and large-scale data center security protocols.

Another major benefit of colocation over Cloud Hosting is investing in a data center provider that provides a la carte management of solutions. A la carte management means the consumer can pick and choose what operations and aspects of a collocated server they want to manage while the data center provider manages other aspects. For instance, if the consumer wants to manage all of the security controls associated with the server while the data center provider manages all of the hardware/software installs, this can be worked out.

Colocation Offers More Technical Control and Privacy

Another major selling point of colocation over Cloud Hosting in terms of long-term web hosting need is the ability to fix technical issues on your own. By owning your own web server hardware, you have the ability to perform all levels of maintenance on your own servers thus providing you with more privacy.

In most Cloud Hosting vs. Colocation article, you will read about how colocation offers more privacy than Cloud Hosting because you own your own server. While this is true, another very important aspect of colocation privacy is the privacy of not having data center technicians touch your server(s). When you invest in Cloud Hosting, the data center staff routinely performs upgrades on your web server and its supporting equipment. This means there is more room for error, more room for failure and more room for security breaches.

With colocation, the exact opposite is true. Owning your own web hosting hardware (unless otherwise worked out with your data center provider) means you and only you have access to hosting equipment. Colocation means personally taking care of servers without worrying about data center staff putting hands on your equipment. Even though it isn’t talked about as often as virtual data security, having physical server data security is just as, if not more, important.

This is about peace of mind. By investing in colocation, you can be certain only the IT professionals you trust will be handling your colocation servers. Knowing who is performing routine maintenance on your colocation web servers means having peace of mind. As we all know, in business, peace of mind allows you to focus and accomplish business growth targets.

Conclusion: In the Long-Term, Colocation Is Better Than Cloud Hosting

Listen, at the end of the day we understand the IT solutions you choose will eventually come down to a budgetary matter. We understand, unless you are an IT company, that IT (web hosting, telephone, data storage) is a secondary part of your business – one which you must have to run smoothly yet one which you would rather not think about. For the vast majority of companies, IT solutions are a necessary part of business only talked about when something goes wrong.

For you, the company who would rather focus on your core competencies, the last thing you want to worry about is data security concerns, the rising cost of server scaling and if you have the people on staff to rectify a technical problem. For these reasons (and many others not mentioned in this article) colocation is a much better choice as a long-term hosting platform.

With more granular control over hardware, more granular control over programs, applications and installed software, more granular control over security firewalls and a more cost stable environment in terms of scaling and technical maintenance, colocation services are an obvious choice over Cloud Hosting for long-term need.

So, is Cloud Hosting more cost effective than colocation solutions? In the short term, yes. In the long term, not a chance.

Categories: Colocation

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