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Cloud vs Colo

Image: Adobe Stock / Connect world

David Khan, chief cloud officer at Pulsant, discusses why it doesn’t have to be a case of either or when it comes to colo or the cloud and outlines how you can successfully incorporate the cloud into your colo strategy.

Organisations always strive to access the best technology at the most cost-effective prices and colocation can provide this. It makes sense to use experts for managing your IT security and power requirements. After all, you’re not in the energy management industry – trusting a colocation vendor to manage this for you frees up your time to focus on your organisation’s core business.

Colocation gives many customer benefits, including high bandwidth access at low cost, disaster recovery in the event of a power loss, increased security in the form of CCTV and lockable rack-cabinets, as well as lower network latency; all resulting in a high level of resilience.

Colocation offers the opportunity to consolidate your data centre assets to reduce costs.

Other advantages include minimising your capital expenditure as you don’t need to build a new data centre, allowing you to reinvest these savings in your business.

The promises of lower costs, superior agility, increased resiliency and flexibility that the cloud has to offer may also tempt you to reconsider your colocation strategy. But what if you have workloads that aren’t well suited to virtualised platforms or you’re simply not ready to adopt a cloud model yet?

The good news is that while colocation can provide a step towards cloud migration, it doesn’t have to be either one or the other. Organisations should step back and adopt a more holistic approach to their cloud journey and use it to inspire a re-engineering of their business.

If you’re wary of relying on the public cloud for reasons of security and compliance, but you want to offer high-quality application performance to customers, a hybrid cloud solution could be the answer.

Three questions need to be answered.

  • What are your business reasons for moving to the cloud? This involves taking a step back and defining why your journey is necessary in the first place. For example, an ISV may want to start using SaaS offerings.
  • What issues do you need to overcome? To continue with the example above, you need to deliver the new cloud and SaaS offerings to your organisation while maintaining compliance with new regulations, including the GDPR and PSD2.
  • What solution will help to solve this? You may choose a hybrid solution that is suitable for cloud consumption and maintains compliance. This would give you more control over your data.

The private side of a hybrid cloud solution allows you to continue using your existing infrastructure more effectively. It can be configured and reconfigured at will, while maintaining data security and complying with governance and regulations. It also ensures the predictability and reliability of critical applications.

Move specific workloads to the public clouds, and you can enjoy cost-effective analytics and disaster recovery services. Public clouds also allow for surges in traffic by giving you extra capacity when needed.

The question most companies have is how to effectively connect their existing infrastructure to these private cloud access services. This is where colocation providers, and specifically the new breed of managed service providers comes in. Companies who have a heritage of colocation, hybrid and communication infrastructure are far better placed to help companies on this journey than many ‘born in the cloud’ services providers.

Colocation is still relevant in our constantly shifting technology landscape but keep an open mind; adopting a colocation to cloud strategy could be a better fit for your evolving business.

These types of service provider understand the complexities of migrating services, applications and data to multi cloud environment and importantly have the DevOps, monitoring, security and management skills experience to help take companies navigate what is a far more complex environment than they have today.

Colocation offers the opportunity to consolidate your data centre assets to reduce costs. You can eliminate many of the upfront fees associated with setting up and maintaining your own facility.

While this is colocation in the traditional sense, adopting a colocation to cloud strategy provides you with a strategic advantage and improves the agility of your business. You get to benefit from immediate access to secure cloud storage as well as the ability to replicate your own private cloud off site.


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