I’m gonna let here some paragraphs of a nice article from serverdensity.com geeks blog, explaining their choices/ideias cloud vs rented vs colocation with their point of view is also the same that I have about getting our own servers instead of use clouds or rented servers –
Before the paragraphs from serverdensity i’m gonna let some maths that i’v made 3 weeks ago… rackspace vs our own servers (dell).
rackspace clouds with 2Gb RAM / 80Gb disk – web and sql vs colocation dell 2Gb RAM / 500Gb disk and rackspace clouds with 8Gb RAM / 320Gb disk – web and sql vs colocation dell 8Gb RAM / 500Gb disk
What about the cloud?
Cloud infrastructure like EC2 or Rackspace Cloud is perfect for a number of use cases. It’s great for startups who want cheap (in the short term) servers and don’t know their workload patterns. It’s also great for elastic workloads and scaling quickly. However, our use case is completely different – we have a consistent level of traffic all day, every day and it only grows. It doesn’t fluctuate because servers are constantly sending us data all the time. This means it’s very easy to predict our workload and the flexibility the cloud offers isn’t necessary.
What about dedicated?
We currently have a mixture of dedicated servers (for our databases, which need high memory and guaranteed disk i/o performance) and VMs (for web servers and other processing tasks such as alerting which is usually CPU bound). These are managed by us but rented from Softlayer so we don’t need to deal with networking, failed hardware, etc. However, if you calculate the cost out more than a month you can actually buy the full cost of the server after around 6 months, and given lifetime of servers is usually more than that there is a significant cost saving.
So why choose colocation?
If you have a consistent workload then you can always buy significantly higher spec hardware at a much lower cost than renting it monthly. It counts as an asset and so there are also tax benefits. You get much more control over your infrastructure.