What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the ready online access to the applications, data, operating systems, and other information that enables a company to run its business. Cloud computing means that the company’s IT applications will be hosted on virtual systems so that those applications can be accessed through a web browser or other technology.
If the applications the company needs are already in the cloud, startup can be easy. Capital expenses are minimal (usually just the cost of the computer) because the company pays the cloud service provider a fee—usually a monthly fee—in return for giving the company access to the cloud provider’s hardware and software. IT support is also usually included in the fee.
What is Colocation?
Colocation is the physical presence of a company’s hardware, storage, network equipment, software, and data in another building. In a colocation arrangement, IT departments essentially rent the equipment they need and share the cost of power, cooling, floor space, and other overhead charges with other companies.
While large companies may be able to build their own data centers, small and medium-sized businesses need to be much more concerned about their return on investment and the cost associated with ownership of their IT systems. When consolidating resources and virtualization don’t work, and the cost of building a private data center is just too expensive, collocating to a third-party site is the logical choice.
Colocation offers the following benefits:
- Better uptime. Most colocation services have the generators, power lines, and Internet connections to make sure the company’s site is active virtually all the time – 24/7.
- Ownership. Colocation centers allow the company to rent or purchase their hardware, giving the company a lot of flexibility on how it spends its IT budget.
- Relocation. If the business moves or expands, there’s no need to move or expand the internal IT systems. Access to the colocation center is independent of the business’s location.
- Security. Most colocation centers offer the latest software and hardware security features.
Colocation and cloud computing services
Colocation helps companies that are expanding their use of the cloud in the following ways:
- Colocation makes sure the cloud services run virtually 100% of the time. Cloud redundancy works better when it is backed up by a colocation’s ability to address power and disaster recovery issues.
- Colocation providers offer IT support staff that understands how to make the cloud work best for each company’s needs. The colocation center includes staff with extensive IT experience.
- Many companies use various clouds along with their own applications. Colocation is a central point for managing these different cloud services and the company’s own programs.
Colocation providers are also offering their own cloud hosting services, managed services, and other valuable services – which can benefit businesses of any size.