What's best for your business - Colocation or Cloud?

Although colocation and the cloud both offer the resources to run websites and business critical applications there are some key differences between the two that can make some businesses more suited to one than the other. If you're keen to ensure that you make the best choice then these are some key factors to consider.

Where do the similarities lie?

Both tend to offer a secure and comprehensive server environment and may run the same operating system, services and apps. Both colocation and the cloud provide opportunities for improvement in terms of:


This is no longer the responsibility of your business when you move operations to servers off site, whether they are in a colocation facility or in the cloud. Today, providers of both these services offer high level security - their businesses depend on it.

Optimal connectivity

If you've been fully reliant on an entirely on-premise solution in the past you may have had problems with connectivity. This is something that colocation, for example, can easily solve with dependable connectivity built into SLAs.

Disaster recovery services

If the worst happens and systems are affected, if you're using colocation or the cloud, providers will likely have systems in place to enable swift disaster recovery and resumption of services.

All of the above depend on the quality of the provider that you choose. Whether you opt for cloud or colocation, it's essential to work with a trusted partner.

What are the key differences?

Perhaps the main difference to consider is that the cloud is hosted on a virtual machine whereas colocation is physical. There are a number of advantages to this that highlight the differences between these two options:

The Cloud

  • Scaling can be implemented instantly to cope with demand spikes
  • There are cost benefits to hosting in a virtual environment, which is often cheaper
  • Cloud servers can be operated like software e.g. new servers can be created and deployed quickly
  • No set up costs and availability of pay as you go options


  • Dedicated servers mean that you are able to control the configuration of the machine in a way that delivers better performance
  • Can be more powerful than cloud servers
  • May be slightly more expensive than the cloud but some providers offer up to 100% uptime guarantees
  • Colocation packages include ancillary services, including hardware maintenance, patching and updating.

The reality is that both colocation and the cloud offer a range of benefits for businesses today. Some organisations choose to work with a combination of the two - for example, you might use the public cloud for end-of-day or end-of-month batch processing to save on cost, combined with colocation for business critical data and applications. There are advantages for any business in creating a custom package that delivers on everything, from cost through to compliance and security expectations.

If you'd like to discuss the right options for your business we can help - contact our team to find out more about colocation and the hybrid cloud.

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