By Stuart-Nielsen-Marsh, Microsoft Cloud Strategy Director, Pulsant
To colo, or not to colo, that is the question. Actually, in this day and age the question is more likely to be does colocation still have a role to play in a cloud-based world? The answer is yes. While we’re constantly being told that the future of computing is cloud, there are still organisations not quite ready to take that leap and move everything to the cloud. This could be due to compliance or security issues, or because they’re not ready to give up on their existing on-premises infrastructure investment.
Regardless of reason, colocation can help fill that gap between on-premises deployments and a full migration to the cloud. I’m talking about a colocation to cloud strategy that enables you to locate your servers in third-party datacentres where you can take advantage of lower costs and improved security. And from there, you can work with your provider on a longer-term strategy to get you into the cloud.
Of course at this point you need to consider which model is best for your business, public, private or hybrid cloud. As it stands, hybrid is the most compelling option because as we know it combines the best of both worlds; taking advantage of the scale and low cost of public cloud, and the control and security advantages of private cloud.
As you ease your business along its journey from colocation to cloud you also need to consider the possibility that cloud might not be the best solution for your business. But how do you know for sure? Working with your trusted provider is always a good idea – ensuring you’re getting a solution that’s fit for your purpose.
You can also answer these three questions before you take your plans further:
What is your compelling business reason for moving to the cloud?
What is the technology challenge that you must comply with?
What technical solution or service offering can be put in place to solve your challenge?
Importantly, these three questions will lead to a wider conversation with your colocation and cloud provider. They will help you articulate the service offerings that may apply to your organisation and how they can actually help you get there. This is especially important if one of your challenges is connecting your existing infrastructure to private cloud access services. This is where colocation providers, and specifically the new breed of managed service providers (like Pulsant) comes in. Companies who have a heritage of colocation, hybrid and communication infrastructure are far better placed to help you on this journey than many ‘born in the cloud’ services providers. At Pulsant, we understand the complexities of migrating services, applications and data to multi cloud environments and importantly have the DevOps, monitoring, security and management skills experience to help you navigate what is a far more complex environment than you have today.
Whether colocation in the traditional sense, or colocation as private cloud, adopting a colocation-to-cloud strategy provides you with a strategic advantage. It enables you to find what’s right for your business, while still delivering to your customers and keeping the ever-important issues of security and compliance in mind.
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