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XMission's Company Journal

Who Still Needs Colocation?

coloCloud hosting has been getting a lot of press in recent years. It’d be easy to assume that everything is going to “the cloud.” With promises of lower CAPEX and higher elasticity, some business owners might feel obligated to move everything over. But is that the best choice for all organizations?

Statistically, most companies still don’t want to host everything in the cloud, especially SMBs. In fact, many organizations continue to host a percentage of their servers on-site. While it can be convenient, hosting at the office typically ends up being very expensive (if a UPS-backed, N+1 infrastructure is built) or quite risky (if a redundant infrastructure isn’t built). Neither situation is always ideal, as more and more companies realize each year.

Host Proprietary Software
Most businesses utilize custom and proprietary software which can’t readily fit into cookie cutter cloud solutions, so when management decides it no longer wants to bear the burden of hosting servers on site then colocation is the best available option. Even when colocation isn’t the best long term solution, it can facilitate a smoother transition of parts of your on-site infrastructure eventually to cloud.

Off-Site Backups
Colocation can also provide the most cost effective solution for a company’s massive storage and backup requirements. While cloud storage options are available and convenient, it can be cost-prohibitive for entities with vast data requirements. As well, security risks increase and overall control of your valuable data diminishes. As one of my blog posts discusses, even SMBs can make offsite backups affordable using colocation.

More Bandwidth
Colocation offers amazing value in regards to bandwidth such as 200 Mbps flat rate or 1 Gigabit options at significantly more affordable rates than are typically available outside of a data center. Network scalability can be a very important factor if any portion of your IT infrastructure experiences bursts. Historically, bursting could rack up large additional fees, based on 95th percentile billing, but flat rate options are now available which enable a customer to avoid such surprises.

Security
While the cloud provides elasticity and low CAPEX, most organizations still show caution when it comes to storing all of their data elsewhere. Encryption over the wire and on disc helps but when it comes to valuable and sensitive data, cautious companies still want to maintain full control, which is only possible when you own and administrate the entire infrastructure that data sits on.

Hybrid Approach
Most businesses still need to take a hybrid approach to hosting and that almost always includes colocation, unless the company is large enough to run its own proper data center and manage everything internally. View XMission’s slide deck for more information about the hybrid approach.

So, yes, many organizations still need colocation. Are you colocating currently? If not, or if you’re unhappy with your current hosting provider, contact XMission and let us help you customize a hybrid approach that’s best for your business.

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