How to Choose Between a Data Center and Cloud Storage 

Long gone are the days of storing important information in cabinets in your office. Today, more information is stored electronically. Electronic data storage is a more convenient way to pull up the information you need when you need it, but it also comes with its own set of challenges.

For example, with multiple storage options to choose from, how do you know which way is the best way to store your data?

The colocation industry’s anticipated worth of $43 billion is a convincing reason to choose an off-site data center. On-site data centers are also an option, as are cloud storage solutions.

Knowing which one is right for you means digging into what makes each of these options unique according to the needs of your particular operation.

Consider the Importance of Security


Every business considers security to be important, but some organizations require more security than others.

Cloud vendors do their best to keep their platforms secure, but that doesn’t mean things can’t happen. There are plenty of real-world examples of the cloud getting hacked. It’s always a possibility when you leave your security in the hands of another party.

A data center provides your data with greater security because it is physically connected to your company’s local network. Information is not transferred over the internet, like in the case of cloud computing. Only those with company-approved credentials and devices can access the information.

It’s also important to know if your business is restricted from using cloud storage. Some industries, like those that deal directly with government agencies, need to use a data center.

Know Your Budget

Knowing your budget is important when deciding between a data center and cloud storage.

Cloud storage is the most affordable option. It doesn’t require start-up costs. You aren’t directly responsible for paying to run the cloud, either. Simply subscribe and you’ll get immediate access to the cloud.

A data center, on the other hand, could end up costing you millions of dollars to build, plus ongoing operational costs.

If you realize you need a data center, but can’t afford the hefty price tag to build your own, colocation is a more affordable option. It is comparable to the cost of cloud computing. Just be aware that it requires you to relinquish control of the center to a third party.

Is Your Business Focused on Customizability or Scalability?


If creating a customized system for your organization is paramount, a data center is the right choice. It gives you total control over your data, the hardware you use, and how it’s managed.

If, on the other hand, you want the ability to scale, a cloud-hosted data system is a better choice. It has unlimited capacity, which means you can scale your data management needs up or down, depending on how much your business grows.

Want the security and customizability of a data center, but want the ability to scale in the future? Colocation enables you to expand your data center without having to create more space or move to another facility.

How Much Control Do You Want Over Your Data?

The amount of control you have over your system is an important consideration too. Although cloud computing is relatively easy and extremely scalable, you don’t have any control over the equipment used. Not to mention, the same equipment you’re using is also being used by other companies that also have a subscription to that cloud computing company.

A data center gives you the ability to control the hardware you use and how it’s used. You’re able to use the equipment that you think is best and use it to its full potential.

If you fall somewhere in the middle, consider colocation. It gives you the security of a data center without the need to fuss over the equipment and how it’s used.


You Don’t Have to Choose One Over the Other

Like aspects of both? Consider utilizing a hybrid cloud. It allows you to:

  • Have onsite services and use the cloud for backup
  • Run applications locally, with others delegated to the cloud
  • Store sensitive information on-site, with more public data processed quickly in the cloud

There is no one right or wrong answer when deciding between a data center and the cloud. It could also be the case that the cloud works for your business when it’s just getting started, but you need a heftier solution as you grow. What matters is that you take the time to consider your needs carefully so you get the one that fits your needs and your budget.