Home Insight On-premise vs Cloud vs Colocation: Where to store your data

Every company will have different data storage needs. Figuring out which is best for your company requires taking into account a number of factors. We have put together some guidance and advice to help you make an informed decision.

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On-Premise

Traditionally, small and medium companies with poor internet connections would store and process all of their information on dedicated local computers. This type of set up is referred to as in-house or on-premise. This could range from a single server under a desk, a stack of servers in a cupboard, or a dedicated server room with sophisticated cooling and backup power supplies.

What are the advantages of on-premise?

  • Best solution for companies with terrible broadband as workers can direct connect in
  • If you have on-site technical staff, they have immediate access to your servers
  • Retain complete control over resources, including security
  • Create your own system, built to your exact specifications and needs

What are the disadvantages of on-premise?

  • Resilience is often poor
  • Reliability is bad for remote workers
  • If you don’t have technical engineers, out-of-hour fixes can be difficult and expensive
  • Office space is valuable, and servers take up space that could be used for desks

 

Cloud computing

In recent history, cloud computing has become a strong contender to on-premise storage for small and medium companies. Over 90% of companies now have some sort of cloud application.

What are the advantages of cloud storage?

  • No setup costs associated with buying hardware, great for start-ups
  • High resilience, with cloud providers storing servers in data centres which have sophisticated backups in place
  • Since cloud servers are stored in data centres, they are connected to strong and reliable internet connections

What are the disadvantages of cloud storage?

  • You don’t know exactly where your data is being physically stored, which can cause GDPR compliance issues
  • No guarantee over the reliability and resilience of the data centre your provider is using
  • Operating costs can be very high, especially when migrating systems
  • If connectivity to your system is slow, then this will severely hamper your entire company’s productivity

 

Colocation

The best way of describing colocation is that it’s like Big Yellow Storage, but instead of looking after people’s physical items, colocation data centres store other company’s servers.

What are the advantages of Colocation?

  • Complete control over which data centre you choose and where your data is stored
  • You still build the hardware for your system and can customise it to your needs
  • Excellent 24/7 security, both cyber and physical, which you can audit yourself
  • Data centres are vender and internet-carrier neutral, giving you the flexibility to migrate into whichever platform is best

What are the disadvantages of Colocation?

  • Still need capital investment to buy your hardware, the upfront cost of which can be too much for small businesses
  • You need technical expertise to build a system and place it in a data centre
  • Purchasing a private cloud solution is a half-way house between public cloud and colocation if your company is large enough to have its own platform, but your team lacks the expertise to build it.

 

If you would like some advice specific to your company and your current situation, we can offer impartial advice for which of these data storage methods would be best for you, as 4D offers all of these solutions. Call us on 020 3962 0399, use our live chat in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, or submit some info through our quote form.