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BLOG: Why businesses should consider colocation as a complement to cloud

Martin Bishop | Feb. 7, 2014
Whether a company should go for colocation or cloud depends on its business objectives

Businesses today are being asked to deliver more value with an increasingly limited amount of resources. This industry-wide practice is most felt in IT departments where budgets are continuously shrinking while the pressure to deliver innovative business value is at an all-time high. The need to be lean and efficient has been changing the way businesses are viewing technology as an enabler to reach goals - for example, over the years, we have seen growing adoption of cloud computing across the region as a platform to deliver innovation and efficiency without breaking the bank.

While the lists of benefits that cloud offers are evident, some businesses decision makers are still reluctant when it comes to putting high risk processes out onto the cloud - despite it being comparatively cheaper than building in-house hosting capabilities. The primary reasons behind this reluctance concerns security and the resilience of cloud services with several high profile security breaches and outages making news in recent times.  Accordingly, in some instances, the business perception surrounding cloud has grown slightly sceptical. As a result, colocation is becoming another popular option that many growing companies are considering.

Colocation as an option
Colocation, in brief, is the outsourcing of the physical infrastructure of business processes to a third party data centre with dedicated rackspace purchased for the operational requirements of said processes. While colocation might not minimise capital expenditure or operational expenditure, it is becoming a growing viable alternative for many businesses for several reasons.

With every new piece of technology hitting the market, there is growing strain on existing IT infrastructure to support those technologies. Upgrading IT infrastructure is always a capital-heavy venture, one that does not always align with a company's business goals particularly at a time when IT budgets are being slashed to make room for other innovative business ventures. Hence, to be able to outsource infrastructural needs to a third party without having to revamp the entire existing IT infrastructure is what makes both colocation, as well as cloud, attractive alternatives given they are both comparatively cheaper.

Better Control
Unlike cloud, for colocation companies still need to purchase, amongst other things, the necessary equipment, rack space in the data centre, software, and switches. However, what makes colocation stand out is the total control companies have over the dedicated rack spaces within the data centre - the IT department of the company is able to control and deploy processes and applications, implement access controls, and have disaster recovery solutions and business continuity processes in place. Having total control over where the business data is housed is particularly important for high risk processes and applications and regulatory reasons.


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