According to a recent projection by Forbes, 83 percent of enterprise workloads will migrate to the cloud by 2020. Although the public cloud offers convenient options for storing and managing data, more businesses are beginning to use colocation services to house their data. 

Depending on the needs of your business, you may opt to place a premium on data control and security over convenience or vice versa. So, what exactly is colocation and how does it compare to the cloud?

What is Colocation?

Colocation involves housing data onshore with the use of privately owned servers and networking equipment in a third-party data center. In place of storing servers and equipment in the same physical location as your business operations, colocation services enable business owners to “co-late” equipment in a rented space. 

For businesses looking to cut down on expenses, colocation offers a shared facility for data storage. In other words, since the space is shared with other tenants, all tenants share the costs of floor space, power, and other storage-related expenses. Colocation is a cheaper option than buying a new building for data storage, making it the preferred option for many businesses.

Colocation is a great option for businesses looking to maintain full control over networking and data storage equipment. Businesses can exercise full control over equipment in a co-located space in the same way they can control in-house serves.

In addition, colocation services provide higher levels of bandwidth to house data. Compared to a traditional office space, using a co-located space for data storage enables businesses to take advantage of higher bandwidth at lower costs. 

Businesses can also enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their data is protected from power outages, and that their data is physically protected. Reputable colocation services like Next DC ensure that all data is protected through a multi-layered access system with individual authentication using biometric fingerprint technology, ID access cards, an extensive CCTV network, and 24/7 onsite security.

How Does Colocation Compare to the Cloud?

Colocation and cloud services vary in the way that private data is stored and managed. While colocation allows businesses to maintain control over physical assets, the public cloud stores data virtually. Although both colocation and cloud-based services cut overhead costs of data storage through the use of shared facilities, the storage and management of data varies significantly across each service.

When businesses hire cloud providers, the business places the responsibility of setting up servers, data storage, and networking in the hands of the cloud provider, rather than their own staff. Hiring a cloud provider allows businesses to reduce operating costs. On the other hand, choosing colocation services forces a business to incur additional costs of setting up their own servers, networking, and data storage.

Many businesses prefer cloud-based services because of their convenience and flexibility. Cloud providers make it easy for businesses to scale data capacity at a rapid pace depending on the needs of the business. Additionally, cloud-based services enable businesses to focus on improving productivity and promoting expansion.

However, the convenience of cloud-based services has its drawbacks. When it comes to data expansion, cloud providers charge additional storage and management costs, making it difficult for businesses to effectively scale. 

Although colocation requires paying upfront operational costs, it’s often cheaper in the long-term. Renting a co-located space allows businesses to rent space to store assets as needed, while cloud providers limit storage based on the subscription.

As businesses expand, they must choose whether to house data using colocation or cloud-based services. Ultimately, choosing a trusted colocation service will allow your business to scale as needed while maintaining full control over its data.