The rapid growth of cloud-based technology has lead to a huge decline in traditional data centres which would typically be based on the company's premises. The thinking for many SMEs in particular, is that costs can be saved and services could be more agile and responsive to sudden changes in the business.
However, there is a growing trend of co-location datacenters as a nice balanced intermediate option. But what exactly is the difference between the data centre and the cloud?
Both the cloud and the datacentre serve the same need: meet the information requirements of your business regarding the handling, processing and storage of data.
On the face of it, there’s not much difference between the cloud and a data centre choices – both are made up of a network of servers and hardware and are used for the storage, processing and distribution of data.
The only real difference really comes down to location: a data centre would traditionally be on site with the company they service, where the cloud is usually run by a company that specialises in renting rackspace at a centralised data centre that may serve many companies.
Data centres have long been believed to be the best solution for many companies as it allows total control and management of the hardware and processes in a way that suits the business best. There are also additional security considerations that are easier to meet by having physical possession of the hardware that houses the data itself.
Of course, the biggest negative point to consider about a data centre is the cost involved in setting this up and the ongoing costs of maintaining it which will likely also require dedicated staff to manage. There is also more difficulty and cost associated with expanding the data centre if your company grows and it’s data requirement expands as a result.
One benefit of a cloud-based solution is that resources are usually easily scalable. This means you can usually upgrade your servers disk space, memory or performance with a simple upgrade via the dashboard or a phone call. Most of their systems will be set up in a way that makes this possible almost instantly.
However, three are several trade-off’s this introduces: as a result of effectively outsourcing your data requirements to a cloud data centre, you will have less control over how the systems work.
With Colocation, you effective rent some space in a data centre to house your own servers that you manage. The building where they live will also be shared by other companies using this colocation data centre, but you still have full control, and access to your own hardware and systems running within it. Typically, the co-location data centre would provide staff to help manage the server hardware and maintenance if required, although traditionally it's literally rent a space.
For many businesses, the price of a colocation data centre is a lot more affordable and offers a nice trade-off in which companies gain back most of the control over how the systems and hardware work, while avoiding the costs of having a dedicated physical space with staff to maintain. The majority of businesses using this method will rent the space needed to house this colocation data centre making it a lot easier to expand and scale up the data centre in response to changes in the business.
If you are in need of advice or help setting up your data centre or any cloud requirements relating to your website, why not get in touch with the Simplepage team today?