What is the Difference Between Co-Location and Cloud Hosting?

The Corbel Blog

Determining how you host your server infrastructure is a big decision for any organisation. With several options available, it’s important to find a solution that works for you and is in-line with your needs.

Choosing between managing your own server or using a pre-existing cloud-based solution needs to be a carefully considered move, as each option provides its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Here are the differences between co-location and cloud hosting:


Co-location is the process of managing your own server but using the infrastructure and resources of an external data centre in which to store it, rather than keeping it on-premise.

The primary advantage of co-location over third-party hosting is the level of control that it provides. You decide what goes onto your server and make the decisions about its specification and configuration; this is useful if you have an internal IT team who need to be able to control its day-to-day use or have a complex system which requires a specific integration.

You will also benefit from the added reliability and security offered as part of using a data centre to store your server – something which you would not likely get if you chose to store your server in-house.

However, because you are in sole charge of your server, you are responsible for security fixes, performance enhancements or any other updates and upgrades. You need to look after your server properly otherwise you risk harming your entire IT ecosystem, which can have serious knock-on effects for your business.

The other drawback is the initial financial expense required to get you up and running, including the purchase of hardware and software, and ongoing costs associated with keeping it up-to-date and secure. Unfortunately, servers can be costly to set up, particularly if you have a complex infrastructure.

Cloud Hosting

On the other hand, rather than managing your own server, it can be more cost-effective and convenient to make use of existing cloud hosting setups for your server infrastructure.

Because you are making use of an existing infrastructure which can be configured to your specific needs by an experienced team, cloud hosting can reduce initial expenditure and maintenance costs.

Cloud hosting is also fast and secure and, because it exists on the cloud rather than in physical servers, it is safe from potential issues such as power outages or natural disasters. Your data can be easily backed up in the cloud so it can be quickly salvaged in the event of emergency, giving you complete peace of mind.

However, as cloud hosting is managed on your behalf, you do not have the same level of control as you would if you were using your own software.

Overall, there is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to hosting your IT infrastructure. Different organisations will have different needs, which will be driven by factors such as the size of the business, the complexity of the systems and financial resources.

Corbel offer a range of hosting options to suit all needs. We offer full managed cloud hosting by way of our Business Cloud solution, provide unmanaged cloud hosting with Bare Cloud or co-located hosting with Bare CoLo. If you would like to know more about how we can help you host your IT systems, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.