When to Use Cloud or Colo?

 In IT Services, Unified Communications

When to Use Cloud or Colo?

“Cloud” and “colocation” could both be spelled “confusing.” It’s not even the technology that’s so challenging: it’s the dizzying array of choices and options that can confound.

On the plus side, businesses can utilize the cloud, colocation or some combination to sculpt the perfect solution to meet even highly idiosyncratic needs. On the minus side, the exponential number of possible configurations can feel overwhelming.

When to Use Cloud or Colo?

The Challenge AND Solution

This is no trivial challenge. Both colocation and cloud relieve IT of the strain and burden of owning in-house (often aging) infrastructure and needing to develop the physical space to house one or more data centers.

But the solutions diverge greatly from there, and with a nearly infinite mix of “hybrid” options, how do you determine which – or what combination – is the right solution, and in what contexts? The answer depends entirely on the needs of your business and customers

The Breakdown

Each cloud type, as well as on-premises and colocation, has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s start with on-premises private clouds – the term that refers to a cloud infrastructure that is dedicated and is in a data center owned by that company. The resources (data storage, applications) are dedicated to that business.



  • Utilizes existing resources.
  • Fewer connectivity concerns. (Important in areas where Internet connections are slow or unreliable.)


  • Most expensive option.
  • You remain responsible for facilities (e.g., HVAC, physical security).
  • Infrastructure and data security are 100% your responsibility.
  • More internal skills required.
  • Takes longer to scale up; harder to scale down.
  • Loses CapEx-to-OpEx conversion benefits.

Colocation is similar to a hosted private cloud and, in fact, is sometimes used synonymously. We’re differentiating the two based on who owns and manages the infrastructure.



  • No need to worry about facilities management.
  • High availability.
  • 24X7 access to IT support staff.
  • Easy to add managed services as needed (e.g., OS and application management).
  • High-security environment (e.g., entry authentication, cameras, motion detectors, 24X7 staffing).


  • Requires an investment in hardware.
  • Most cyber-security remains your responsibility.

The pros and cons of Cloud and Colo

Regardless which one is the best fit for you, we are here to help! We know this can be overwhelming, and in this time it’s important to have a trusted partner on your side.

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