On-Premise Data Centers vs Colocation: Which is Better? 

Whether you’re building new infrastructure, expanding, or renovating an existing space – there’s a lot to consider. 

Capacity demands, scalability, and storage all play a critical role in maximizing your bottom line and budget. Your critical IT infrastructure should work to empower you as your business develops or expands. 

Many business owners face the ultimate question: should I keep my data center on premise, or go the co route? Data Centers and colocation have their unique benefits and drawbacks. Let’s dive deeper into both. 

On-Premise Data Centers 

On-premise storage uses in-house hardware and software. This essentially means your team is in complete control.  

Every resource is procured, owned, and managed by your team. For some enterprise organizations, managing their own data center makes sense. Consider these advantages of having an in-house data center.

Advantages of an On-Premise Data Center 

  • Complete control, allowing you to modify, expand, and consolidate as you see fit 
  • Allows staff to conveniently access it at anytime 
  • Implementation of tailored measures for security and uptime 
  • Full data access control appropriate for organizations with regulatory requirements 

While there are quite a few advantages for an on-premise data center, there are some disadvantages as well.

Disadvantages of an On-Premise Data Center

  • Upfront payment necessary for additions and modifications, plus the time required to install, and physical space limit which can cap growth 
  • Responsibilities for all aspects of infrastructure provisioning, troubleshooting, and data center management fall to the in-house staff 
  • Construction costs fall to the enterprise and operational costs for in-house data centers can be higher than for colocations
  • Redundancy can be more challenging. Small and mid-sized organizations and institutions may struggle to afford divergent internet connections and robust emergency backup facilities 
  • Single point of failure 

If these disadvantages sound like a deal breaker, you may want to consider exploring colocation strategies.  

Data Center Colocation

For businesses looking to expand or upgrade, renting server space and hardware might be a viable option.  

That’s where colocation comes in. 

Rather than an on-premise solution, colocation allows businesses to rent space for your server and other computing hardware via a third-party facility. These facilities also typically have redundant power and internet systems to boost your maximum uptime. 

For many business owners, the benefits of colocation offer ideal solutions.

Advantages of Colocation

  • Shared colocation facilities can reduce costs as cooling and power are spread across multiple customers, and colocation facilities tend to have the volume required to negotiate better contracts with internet providers. 
  • Redundant internet and power connections are generally offered and can maximize uptime. 
  • Colocation providers may offer mirrored data centers for disaster recovery purposes, so a local outage or disaster will have minimal impact on operations. 
  • Many colocation providers offer high-end physical security features. 

Though there are several positives to colocation data centers, there are negatives to consider, too.

Disadvantages of Colocation

  • Initial set-up fees and licensing costs can impact budget. 
  • Transitioning to colocation can be risky and expensive. 
  • Physical access and maintenance downtimes may not be able to be scheduled depending on the colocation provider.  
  • Bandwidth between the company/organization and its equipment can decline and latency problems can arise. 

On-Premise or Colocation? 

To summarize, selecting between on premise and colocation isn’t a clean-cut choice. While each offer their advantages and disadvantages, it ultimately depends on what works best for your organization.  

What we do know is the IT world is constantly evolving, and your critical infrastructure must adapt to keep up with the growing demand for scalability, reliability, and flexibility.  

Your Trusted Critical Infrastructure Partner

As your local Vertiv Office, we have the expertise and solutions to maximize your uptime and investment. Our solutions help you set up, manage, transition, upgrade, troubleshoot and more.  

Get in touch with us today to learn how we can scale your critical infrastructure.

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