3 ways data center colocation isn’t like the cloud

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One common misconception across the technology sector is that working with a colocation provider is like taking on another cloud service. There are plenty of good reasons for this confusion – colocation is a form of IT outsourcing, cloud solutions are often hosted in colocation facilities and colocation delivers many of the cost saving and shared resources benefits that come with the cloud. All told, it is easy to see why colocation is often considered as another branch of the cloud.The problem is that data center colocation service models are actually distinct from the cloud when it comes to the actual technology. Colocation is built around facility resources, not infrastructure. Let’s take a look at three key elements of colocation that are distinct from the cloud to help demystify the data center services picture.1. Colocation solutions involve facility space
When you invest in the cloud, you are subscribing to application, infrastructure of compute platform resources. Either way, you are paying for the hardware resources used to deliver the resource. In colocation plans, you are paying for space in a data center and any management services you want. This means that where cloud providers try to differentiate through better infrastructure setups, colocation vendors deliver value through advanced facility systems like redundant power and network sources, efficient cooling systems, scalable configurations and robust access control platforms.2. Colocation is all about control
Most cloud strategies come with the caveat of giving up some control of infrastructure. This is less true with the private cloud, but there is still the possibility that you get locked into how a vendor builds the private cloud if you are using a hosted model. Colocation plans are all about giving customers a facility shell that they can build within. The result is letting your IT teams optimize the configuration for your specific needs and ensure everything is managed in compliance with regulatory standards.3. Data is kept behind firewalls
One of the risks of the public cloud is that data and applications are housed on shared infrastructure. From there, data and apps are delivered via the Web. Colocation facilities clearly segregate client systems behind independent firewalls and send information to clients through a variety of network channels depending on customer security needs. As such, you can completely protect data in transit and control its route when using colocation.There are many ways that cloud computing and colocation look alike, but the unique aspects of colocation make the service model a prime option for organizations with significant security demands.