Firewalls are critical security devices that filter Internet communications to block packets from blacklisted IP addresses and applications. Firewalls can be hardware-based or software-based. There are even virtual firewalls whose software is hosted on instances in the public cloud.

Firewalls are ubiquitous. These security devices are found in corporate data centers, colocation facilities, and as part of public cloud infrastructure. Firewall implementations vary across these different venues. In this article we will review the factors to consider when deploying firewalls at a colocation data center.

Firewalls Can Be a Single Point of Failure

Firewalls at colocation facilities typically are hardware-based network units. Their components usually include processors, SSD storage, communication ports, fans, and power supplies. They are manufactured with highly reliable electronic components and typically do not include mechanical components, though some older firewalls may include HDD storage. Even without moving parts, they still are subject to failure over time; especially when exposed to extreme temperatures or power spikes. Colocation facilities maintain optimal temperature and humidity levels and power condition to extend the life of firewalls and other electronic systems.

Most firewalls in colocation data centers are configured as stand-alone units. As such, they constitute a single point of failure. If a firewall goes down, operations will be interrupted. For high availability (HA) requirements, redundant firewalls may be configured so that operations are not disrupted if one of the firewalls stops functioning.

New firewall software is released as needed to provide operating system upgrades and bug fixes. Some colocation data centers offer enhanced services that may include performing firewall updates. If the data center does not provide firewall maintenance services, clients can remotely manage the update, or they can go to the colocation facility to manually perform the upgrade.

Many of the leading firewall manufacturers have products in use by CAPS’ colocation clients. Firewalls from Cisco (ASA and Meraki MX), Fortinet Fortigate, Palo Alto Next Gen PA Series, and SonicWall are some of the leading firewall vendors with products at the Shelton, CT data center. These firewalls vary in terms of functionality, performance, and price. Higher priced units typically offer more advanced packet filtering and faster processing to enable better security and higher data throughput.

Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) monitor Application Layer (Layer 7) data to provide greater protection than basic firewalls. Basic firewalls monitor only Network (Layer 3) and Transport (Layer 4) data. NGFW products perform deep packet inspection (DPI) and check for malware signatures in real-time to identify activity that resembles known malicious attacks.

Colocation Providers Offer Different Firewall Services

Colocation service providers offer various service options regarding firewalls. Many colocation data centers do not get involved in managing client firewalls. The responsibility for configuring and maintaining firewalls remains with the client. Though colocation staff may recycle a firewall’s power as part of their Remote Hands services, they will not manage the firewall.

Those offering managed firewall services assume responsibility for configuring and maintaining a client’s firewalls. The decision to outsource critical security functions should only be made after thoroughly vetting the colocation service provider to make sure they have the knowledge and commitment to provide the service required.

Firewalls are an important security component whether your IT systems are hosted on-premises, at a colocation facility, or in the public cloud. If colocation is an option you are considering, we hope you will contact the team at CAPS.



Internet connectivity is an essential component of colocation services. Over the past two decades much has changed regarding colocation bandwidth. Prices have dropped dramatically, and available bandwidth has risen. Some colocation providers began offering alternate variable pricing plans based on the amount of data transfer consumed each month in addition to the original model which charged a fixed price for a guaranteed data rate.

In the early days, when CAPS first opened its data center in Shelton, most clients had limited bandwidth. Twenty years ago, affordable Internet circuits ranged from 1 to 10 Mbps. Today, as connectivity costs have plummeted, it is common for colocation clients to employ 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps, or even higher capacity circuits.

Redundant Bandwidth Available

Most colocation clients at CAPS purchase Internet bandwidth directly from CAPS at a fixed rate per month. They get a committed data rate and an automatic fail-over Internet circuit for back-up. Client Internet activity provisioned over redundant infrastructure is monitored continuously. If packet losses or retransmission rates exceed an alert threshold, the circuit automatically transfers to the backup circuit utilizing Border Gateway Protocol technology.

Circuits provisioned from CAPS provide symmetric bandwidth. This means the data rate is the same on the transmit and receive paths of the circuit and will be at the contracted bandwidth rate; give or take a small percentage. Though consumer Internet service providers also advertise symmetric bandwidth, they are more likely to deliver lower transmit and receive bandwidth at times. This is because Internet service providers typically over-provision bandwidth across their customers. Though they may advertise a 1 Gbps circuit, the actual available bandwidth at any given time may be half this rate or less depending on the data transmitted by all clients at a given time on this circuit.

May Save Money Purchasing Bandwidth Direct

Though CAPS sells Internet connectivity as part of its colocation service, we also allow clients to purchase their Internet bandwidth directly from an Internet service provider. Clients who purchase a circuit from an Internet service provider will not be able to rely on our backup failover circuit for redundancy, but they may save money.

The Internet service provider market is extremely competitive. Carriers often offer great deals for Internet bandwidth. Recently some of our clients have decided to order an Internet circuit directly from a provider offering an attractive monthly rate. They recognize they may not actually be able to transmit and receive data at the full rate at all times. Even if they only get half that rate, it may still fulfill their requirements while saving them money.

Clients who opt to purchase low-priced Internet circuits take advantage of the fact that some colocation providers, like CAPS, allow them to procure their bandwidth directly. The flexibility to choose from a variety of suppliers makes it possible for clients to save money for those Internet services where redundancy is not required. We expect this new trend to continue as clients strive to save money while providing the data connectivity their organizations require.



Email has dramatically increased worker productivity. Ever since it was introduced in 1974 by Ray Tomlinson as part of the development of ARPANET, email has grown exponentially. Today, with over 3 billion email user accounts worldwide, it is arguably the most popular software application in existence.

Email is Important but Data Backup Rates Are Low

However, organizations that regularly execute complete email data backups are few and far between. The unique characteristics of email and the low perceived cost of lost email explain the minimal backup rate. However, increasing legal and regulatory exposure may change that in the future.

It has been nearly 20 years since Google’s Gmail was launched. Today, adoption has exploded to about 1.5 billion accounts. This represents roughly 49% of the current email market. Though Google is primarily used by individuals, due to its ease of use and free price tag, small businesses and even some large organizations rely on Gmail.

The Blackberry, released in 2002, was the first mobile device to include the ability to send and receive email. Now, Apple’s iCloud Mail, delivered through mobile devices as well as notebooks, laptops, and desktops, has about 850 million users which represents about 28% of the email market.

In third place, in terms of market share, with about 400 million accounts, is Microsoft’s Outlook/M365 service. M365 is one of the world’s most popular Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. Microsoft leveraged its dominance in the corporate market with its Word, Excel, and PowerPoint franchise to pivot from its boxed Outlook email product to the cloud based M365 office productivity solution. This strategy has helped Microsoft’s Azure Public Cloud close the gap in competing with Amazon’s AWS service.

Email Services Provide Limited Backup and Recovery

Many email users depend on their email service provider to retain email copies. For example, it is estimated that 70% of M365 email clients rely on the default email retention provided by Microsoft. The percent of subscribers who use the standard retention provided by Google and Apple is even higher.

Most email services store emails for a set time or until a certain amount of storage has been used. Whether the service retains emails for a defined period or until an amount of memory has been used, when thresholds are exceeded, emails will be deleted. Unless emails are copied to long-term storage, they will not be retrievable after the backup period expires or the storage capacity is exceeded.

If a proper backup has not been done, it will not be possible to recover emails that are accidentally deleted. It will also not be possible to recover earlier versions of an email if it has been edited over time. Proper email backup ensures that earlier versions and accidentally deleted emails can be recovered.

Emails Can Be Evidence in Legal Disputes

Companies are legally obligated to keep archives of all business critical and sensitive information. It is estimated that 75% of all business critical and sensitive information resides in company emails. As the popularity of email has increased so has its use in settling legal matters. Emails may be used to establish legal contracts. They may also be brought into court as evidence. Electronic Discovery or eDiscovery is a growing part of many law practices. Therefore, companies of all sizes must be sure they have developed an appropriate data retention plan to assure they can retrieve the documents they need, including emails, to protect their company’s interests in court.

Regulatory compliance also requires, in a growing number of instances, the ability to retrieve email. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires all publicly-held companies, and the accountants they employ, to store emails for at least 5 years.

Email differs from other applications with respect to data backup and recovery. Though it may be very important to be able to retrieve an archived email to respond to a corporate, regulatory, or legal request, a quick recovery may not be necessary. Unlike a database application that must be continuously updated for a company’s operations to function properly, the response to a request for an archived email can take days or weeks without causing a lot of problems.

CAPS uses Veeam’s powerful data backup and recovery tools to provide long term offsite data storage and cost-effective recovery of emails and other critical data. Please contact us for a free review of your current email backup practices.

Business continuity is critically important for most organizations. Disruptions to operations can threaten a company’s existence. There are different approaches to providing a backup location if a primary site is down. Since COVID, the use of shared seats at a business continuity alternate site has declined as clients have become comfortable working from home and from other remote sites.

For organizations that require a robust business continuity solution, an alternate recovery site with dedicated seats remains a compelling option. A dedicated recovery site typically requires a bigger investment than other business continuity options such as a shared seat alternative or a work from home solution. For those seeking to minimize the risk of an interruption to key business operations or for organizations with stringent compliance requirements, the additional expense is justifiable.

Regulatory Compliance Drives Dedicated Recovery Sites

Regulatory compliance is often the impetus for a dedicated recovery site. Connecticut is home to banks and registered investment advisors. Frequently these financial institutions must comply with rules such as FINRA 4370 and the National Futures Association Rule 2-38. These rules stipulate that financial organizations must ensure clients can access information about their accounts and execute transactions even when disruptions impact an organization’s primary office.

“Warm sites” are set up at data centers in space that is reserved for the organization’s personnel. Clients furnish these dedicated sites with the IT systems and office furnishings they need so operations can resume as soon as possible after a disruption to the primary office. Once current data is on the systems at the alternate site, all essential functions can resume.

Factors to Consider For Dedicated Seats

Here are the factors to consider when evaluating a business continuity dedicated recovery site.

Location– Location is always one of the key factors when deciding where to set up IT operations whether it be for offsite data backup, colocation, or business continuity. In the case of a dedicated business continuity alternate site, the location should be within an hour or two of the primary facility so key personnel can get to the site quickly. However, the location should be far enough away so the disaster that disrupted operations is not likely to affect operations at the backup site.

Data Center Functions– A warm disaster recovery site needs to be online quickly. IT systems required to support operations need to be accessible as needed. A high availability data center with reliable power and Internet connectivity is a prerequisite at a dedicated seat facility.

Round-the-Clock Accessibility– The backup facility must be available for use at any time.

Security– Adequate security must be in place to protect critical operations.

Compliance– The disaster recovery site must meet industry accepted standards such SOC, PCI-DSS, HIPAA.

Public Transportation– Alternate worksites that are readily accessible via public transportation make it easier for staff to get there.

Hotels– Business continuity sites should be located near hotels. Recovery from disasters can take days or even weeks. It may be necessary for key personnel to stay near the dedicated facility for an extended period.

Conference Rooms– Alternate work facilities should have conference rooms and other office amenities to support clients when they are on site.

CAPS is one of the most experienced providers of business continuity alternate work sites in Connecticut. Our shared and dedicated seat services have been helping clients minimize risk and achieve compliance since 1995.

Colocation data centers offer cost-effective IT hosting services to improve availability, performance, and security. Redundant power, temperature and humidity controls, high reliability Internet connections, and top-level security are required. Data center location and, of course, the cost of the services are key considerations. However, it is often the extra services that differentiate colocation providers.

Though many are familiar with remote hands services, there are varying levels of support offered by different service providers. Remote hands services assist clients with certain tasks without forcing them to travel to the colocation facility. Recycling power on a particular device is a common request. Though this does not require much effort on the part of the colocation staff, it can save clients a lot of time.

High-End Remote Hands

The way remote hands services are delivered can make a big difference. For example, how long does it take for the colocation support team to respond to a service request? Does the staff member communicate questions about the requested service in a clear and timely manner? Does the client receive notification when the requested service has been completed? Finally, is the client charged for remote hands services each time they are requested or is there some level of free remote hands support each month?

Colocation data centers restrict access to only those people who are authorized and who have a valid security card. At times people come to the facility without their cards. In these cases, they may be escorted to their equipment if they are on an approved list. As an additional protection, everyone entering the data center must log in and out and will be video taped as they move through the building.

Key Practices

Physical security is essential at a colocation facility. Servers and other IT systems are secured in locked cages and/or locked cabinets. Though clients are issued keys to open their cages and cabinets, a duplicate set of keys should be kept in a secure place at the colocation data center. There are occasions when an authorized client representative visits the colocation facility and has forgotten to bring the key they need to access their equipment. In these cases, the data center staff can provide a spare key so the client can complete their work without having to go back to their office to retrieve the missing key. Experienced colocation professionals never relinquish control of spare keys. They must be sure there is always a spare. If a client has forgotten their key, the data center support person should escort them to their cage or cabinet and unlock the door. After the work has been completed, the staff will lock up.

Many colocation data centers also accept deliveries and provide secure storage of client’s equipment. Notifying clients when shipments have been received and even reporting the serial numbers of the delivered equipment are helpful services provided.

Lending a Hand

Staff may also help install equipment. From providing carts to move the systems into the data center to helping install the gear in a client’s cabinet, the staff at the colocation data center does what it can to help make installations as easy as possible.

The extra services provided by the team at a colocation data center can make a big difference in client satisfaction. CAPS is committed to providing customer service at a level that stands out from the rest.



The cost of colocation services is dependent on many different factors. Labor costs for the skilled technical team that manages the data center can be high. Capital expenses for air conditioners, UPS systems, and generators are significant. Fire suppression systems, security systems, and monitoring tools are also costly. However, for most colocation data centers, the cost of electrical power and real-estate expenses constitute the two largest components of total colocation cost.

Connecticut is burdened with some of the highest electricity costs in the country. It also has very expensive real estate. With costs so high, where can companies go to achieve colocation savings if they require a colocation facility in Fairfield County?  Since electricity rates do not vary much for most data centers in the region, real estate expense is the one variable that can make some Connecticut colocation providers more cost-effective than others.

Office Space in Shelton Costs a Lot Less

Business owners in Connecticut are aware of the big difference in office rent paid from one town to the next. This is especially true in Fairfield County. Data recently reported by commercial real estate leader Cushman Wakefield for the first quarter of 2023 shows that organizations with offices in lower Fairfield County pay twice as much as those in Shelton for comparable space. As the chart below illustrates, the average rent in Shelton for Class A office space is $20.25. This is less than half the rate for comparable space in Greenwich, Stamford, and Westport.

City/TownAverage Asking Rent Per Square Foot

Class A Office Space First Quarter 2023

Cushman Wakefield Marketbeat Report

Greater Danbury$22.10


Location is the primary reason for this disparity. Though it is within a forty-five minute drive from any town in Fairfield County, Shelton is generally not practical for those who regularly commute to New York City. The cities and towns that are within commuting distance of Manhattan have the most expensive residential and commercial real estate. The average rental rates shown above, with only a few exceptions, show a direct correlation between distance from New York City and office lease costs.

Achieving cost savings is a high priority for most organizations. Many companies economize by downsizing their offices. The trend to reduce office space under lease has grown recently. Working from home during the pandemic established that remote work can be done productively. Employees favor continuing at least some level of hybrid work so they can come into the office a few days and work from home the rest of the week.

Colocation in Shelton Saves Money

Colocation provides flexibility as changes are made to office floor plans. Moving information technology infrastructure out of the office to a colocation data center frees up space. If the office is in lower Fairfield County, money can be saved by placing IT systems at a colocation facility with significantly lower real estate costs.

For those companies in the metropolitan New York area, colocation savings can be realized by choosing CAPS. CAPS is the only data center in Shelton. With CAPS you can leverage Shelton’s attractive real estate market to benefit from the lowest office costs in the a

Three years after COVID, organizations have adjusted to a new reality. Many workplaces are now hybrid. Some employees work remotely all the time while others come to the office several times a week but not every day. Moving IT systems out of an office to a third-party data center is known as colocation. Colocation can make it easier to transition to a hybrid workplace by uncoupling IT from the office place.

The signs of a changing working world are everywhere. Office vacancy rates remain high, and many companies are either not renewing their leases or downsizing. A recent Wallet Hub survey found 12.7% of full-time employees work from home all the time with an additional 28.2% adopting a hybrid schedule where they work sometime at their company’s office and the rest of the time at home.

Hybrid Workplaces Are Here to Stay

Experts believe this condition will persist as many employees enjoy the benefits of working from home. They save time and money by not commuting. Some multitask to complete personal tasks during the day while conducting work from home. The imperative to work from home during COVID proved that remote work can be done productively. Though some companies have ordered employees to return full-time, many have accepted a hybrid model. Employees in many industries have come to expect they will be able to work from home at least a few days a week.

Nationwide, the top 5 industries employing remote work are information technology, healthcare, sales, account management, and consulting. These industries are prevalent in Connecticut. Our state is home to many financial service companies that have adopted hybrid work practices too.

Relocating to a new office requires a lot of planning. Leases must be negotiated and signed, improvements may be required at the new office, and furnishings and IT systems must be moved. The timing of a move can be challenging. It may be necessary to vacate the old office before the new office is completed and ready for occupancy.

Colocation Decouples IT From The Rest of the Move

Moving to a new office or downsizing an existing office can disrupt critical information technology functions. Relocating these systems in advance to a colocation data center decouples the IT move from the rest of the move. The organization’s computers can be moved after hours in an orderly manner before the rest of the office relocates. This ensures business continuity and significantly reduces stress on the IT department. Once the systems are moved to a colocation data center, the organization can make future office changes without impacting their information technology systems.

Several new colocation clients have come to our data center in Shelton to facilitate changes they are making to support their hybrid workplaces. One client closed an office in Hartford and relocated employees to the remaining office in Fairfield County while moving servers and associated systems to our data center. Another client, a consulting company in Stamford, closed its offices and had all employees work from home after moving its IT systems to CAPS. Another is about to close its Norwalk office after collocating its IT systems to CAPS. Its employees will either work from home or a few days a week from another office in the state.

The new hybrid workplace saves money and increases worker satisfaction. A growing number of companies in Connecticut are leveraging colocation to provide the flexibility they need to make changes to their offices without compromising business continuity

High Performance Computing (HPC) is in use across Connecticut. Our state is home to a variety of data intensive industries that rely on HPC systems. Though it is possible to host HPC instances in the Public Cloud, there are benefits to locating these powerful systems at colocation data centers.

High Performance Computing, as the name suggests, employs speedy multi-core CPUs or GPUs (graphical processing units) along with fast storage systems and memory to process information quickly. The market for HPC systems is growing as the demands of Artificial Intelligence, Image Processing, and large data base applications surges.

Connecticut is home to industries that are investing in HPC. Higher education leaders such as Yale and the University of Connecticut have ongoing HPC programs in place. In-state life sciences companies including those in the biopharmaceutical, medical imaging, and health research industries are taking advantage of these powerful computer systems. Our state is also home to many insurance and finance companies that require these powerful systems. Aerospace, defense contractors, and high-end manufacturers located in our state also are increasing their use of HPC systems.

Colocation Costs Less Than Public Cloud For HPC

Colocation is a better choice than the Public Cloud for HPC applications for several reasons. First, colocation is often much less expensive. Whereas it is possible to configure instances with GPUs and high-performance memory and storage, the Public Cloud has not been optimized for these types of uses.

A recent article “Colocation vs Cloud: SEO Firm Finds Cloud to be Cost Prohibitive for its Clusters of Powerful High-Density Computers” (Network World 4/4/23) documented the cost disparity.

The article describes how a search engine optimization SaaS company estimated it would cost an additional $400 million over 3 years to operate in the Public Cloud. The cost of procuring HPC infrastructure in the AWS Public Cloud was compared to purchasing 850 HPC Dell servers and hosting them at a colocation facility.

Avoid Public Cloud Latency

Latency is also an important consideration. Most Public Cloud data centers are located hundreds of miles from Connecticut. For example, AWS’s Northern Virginia data center is over 300 miles from most locations in Connecticut. Data sent over the internet typically experiences, on average, an .82 ms delay for every 100 miles traversed. So, the additional roundtrip latency imposed by the Public Cloud could be over 4.8 ms versus a colocation facility in Connecticut. When organizations are investing a lot of money to achieve optimal performance it does not make sense to slow things down, even by a few milliseconds, with the latency burden of the Public Cloud.

Much like a schoolteacher can pick out brighter students just by observing them, it is often possible to identify a HPC system when walking through a data center. High Performance Computer systems generate more heat output since they consume more electricity to run their powerful servers. Also, often they are noisier since their internal fans are running a lot to disperse heat.

Fortunately, CAPS has plenty of available floor space, power, and cooling capacity to handle the growing High Performance Computing needs of Connecticut and the Northeast region. Our data center in Shelton is centrally located to minimize latency. Please contact us to discuss your HPC hosting requirements.

March 31st is World Backup Day. World Backup Day was inaugurated in 2011 to create awareness about the importance of data backup and recovery. We celebrate this day at CAPS every year because offsite data backup is one of the core IT infrastructure services we offer from our data center in Shelton.

Yet, even today, a surprising number of organizations do not regularly backup their data. The World Backup Day website includes a graphic that states 21% of businesses have never executed a data backup. This figure matches results from a 2020 Infrascale survey of 500 executives at small and medium sized businesses. Another survey of 6,600 IT managers in 2022 by Acronis found an even higher percentage of negligent organizations. Per that survey, 10% backup their data every day, 15% do so once or twice a week, and 34% backup monthly. That leaves an astounding 41% that rarely or never backup.

Risky Business

This is risky given the increasing exposure to data loss we are experiencing due to rising instances of cyber breaches. Data can also be lost due to human error, equipment failures, and environmental disasters. Many seem to be relying on the hope they will not need to recover their data.

Though hoping for the best is not an effective way to manage risk, it does seem to be a common practice. In many cases organizations have decided to take a chance rather than dedicate the funds needed for adequate data backup and recovery.

CIOs and CTOs have an ongoing challenge getting funding for various IT projects. Disaster Recovery is one of the hardest things to get funded. Senior management, looking to avoid spending money, frequently underfunds data backup initiatives. They convince themselves the odds of a serious outage are low. “Hope springs eternal in the human breast”. These words, coined by the poet Alexander Pope in 1733, describe the approach taken by many executives today regarding investments in data backup.

World Backup Day focuses on data backup but simply backing up data is not enough to minimize risk. The frequency of data backup is critically important. Per the survey cited earlier, 34% of the organizations only back up their data once a month. That means up to 4 weeks of data can be lost if a breach occurs just before a monthly backup.

Data Recovery Is Most Important

Most important is the ability to recover data so that systems can be restored and brought back online. Some believe making multiple backups in different locations and on different storage mediums is sufficient. However, unless the ability to recover these backups in a timely manner has been tested there can be no assurance the backup plan will work when needed.

So why do we think digitalization could foster more investment in data backup and recovery? Digitalization, as defined by the Gartner Group is “the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.”

Digitalization is one of the top things on the minds of CIOs and CTOs as well as the senior management that dole out the funds for IT investments. Though there are not many examples of successful digitalization projects yet; the number is growing. IT leaders that create a new revenue source for their organization are far more likely to get approval for their funding requests. As they transition from a cost center to a profit center their ability to get financial support increases.

Funding Data Backup

We hope you take time to contemplate data backup and recovery on March 31st. If your senior management have not been supportive of your data backup funding requests in the past we hope you bring a digitalization project to a successful completion in the year ahead. In so doing you will increase the likelihood of funding your data backup and recovery ini

The Public Cloud is widely popular but can be very expensive. Rising costs, complex pricing models, and the inability to predict monthly bills are forcing many organizations to look for ways to save money. A recent article in The Register told the story of a SaaS provider that saved $1.2 million per year by repatriating some of its workloads from AWS to servers hosted at a colocation facility.

Companies may just be realizing that cost savings expected from moving to the Public Cloud are not happening. In fact, costs may be out of control. The key to saving money is to identify workloads that are less costly when placed in a colocation facility or at an on-premises data center versus those that are cost-effective and/or require the special properties of the Public Cloud. It sounds simple but it does take some analysis.

Where Public Cloud Is The Best Choice

Public Cloud is great for some workloads. Websites that experience rapidly changing user demand can take advantage of the elasticity and self-service provisioning capabilities of the Cloud to scale up or down as needed. Though most websites are good candidates for the Public Cloud, there are some exceptions. If your website primarily serves a local geographic area and if latency is a concern, then the Public Cloud may not be the best choice. Placing web servers in a local colocation data center will reduce latency and provide better response times for website visitors who are located nearby.

Software development teams frequently benefit from the flexibility of the Public Cloud. Compute, memory, and storage resources can be added as needed to help the DevOps team keep on schedule. QA can spin up test environments to perform continuous testing. Tests can be run against different IT configurations to predict performance. Once software has been completed, there may no longer be a need for the cloud resources used during development and testing. Savings can be achieved by periodically checking to see which Public Cloud resources are still needed after certain phases of development are completed.

Email servers are also a good choice for the Public Cloud. O365 and Google Workspace leverage the Public Cloud for their email and office application services. Clients like the universal accessibility and convenience of these SaaS offerings. Software updates and patches are automatically provisioned. Data backup is also included, at least for a modest period of time. However, clients requiring email backups beyond 90 days may need to set up an offsite data backup server at a colocation or on-premises facility.

In general, the Public Cloud is the best choice when workloads vary in terms of the compute and storage resources they require. Conversely, colocation can generate cost savings when the IT requirements of a particular workload are more predictable and constant.

Where Colocation Can Save Money

Database servers are usually the best place to look for savings from the Public Cloud. Not only are many databases stable in size, but Public Cloud companies usually charge data transfer (egress) fees every time data is exported from their storage systems to a device that is not in their cloud environment. CAPS has clients that have repatriated databases from the Public Cloud to achieve more than $100,000 a year in savings by hosting their database application at our colocation facility.

Other server types that can be placed cost-effectively at a colocation data center include Domain Name System (DNS) servers and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers. These servers have modest and stable processing and storage requirements. It may be possible to host these types of workloads on older, lower performance servers to minimize the investment required.

It is possible to save money on spiraling Public Cloud expenses. Evaluate the types of workloads you are hosting in the Public Cloud to determine if you still need some of these Public Cloud resources and if repatriating these workloads can provide meaningful savings. Of course, the cost of hosting new workloads in both the Public Cloud and at a colocation data center or on-premises should be considered before deciding where they should reside.