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

Every company will have different data storage needs. Figuring out which is the best option for your company requires taking into account a number of factors. We have put together pros and cons to help you make sure you’re informed about colocation, on premise and cloud based solutions.


Traditionally, small and medium companies with poor internet connections would store and process all of their information on dedicated local computers, with on-premise software and hardware. 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 cost a lot of time and money
  • Office space is valuable, and servers take up space that could be used for desks

Cloud computing

Cloud vs on premise has become an important debate for a lot of companies, with cloud computing becoming a strong contender to on-premise storage for small and medium companies. Over 90% of companies now have some sort of cloud based application, with part of their IT hosted on third-party cloud software.

What are the advantages of cloud storage?

  • No upfront costs associated with buying hardware, since the cloud provider is responsible for hardware and software, great for start-ups
  • High resilience, with cloud providers storing servers in data centres which have sophisticated backups in place
  • Since your cloud software is on servers stored in a data centre, they are connected to strong and reliable internet connection
  • Easy to backup your system with as part of your cloud services, making disaster recovery easier

What are the disadvantages of cloud storage?

  • You don’t know exactly where your data is being physically stored by your third-party supplier, which can cause data security and 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 and with private cloud solutions
  • If connectivity to your system is slow, then this will severely hamper your entire company’s productivity


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. Your service provider will charge monthly or annual fees to host your IT, removing the need to have any infrastructure in your office.

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 measures, 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, a particular advantage vs on premise.

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 you and your business needs about the pros and cons of colocation, cloud and on-premise, we can offer impartial advice for which of these data storage methods would be best for you, as Redcentric offers all of these solutions. Call us on 0800 983 2522, use our live chat in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, or submit some info through our quote form.

Related Posts


What is a private cloud?

Cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular and commonplace, but it can sometimes be tricky to navigate the virtual IT landscape. To help you figure out if cloud is right for your business,...

Cloud solutions remote workers

What is multi-cloud?

Multi-cloud is a prominent cloud transformation strategy, allowing businesses to maximise performance and improve efficiency by leveraging multiple cloud environments. But what exactly does this look...

What is a cloud consultant

What is a cloud consultant?

A cloud consultant is an IT professional who specialises in cloud technology and solutions, including having an in-depth understanding of leading cloud providers, such as AWS and Microsoft Azure....



0800 983 2522 sayhello@redcentricplc.com