Data center managed services have grown increasingly popular in recent years to meet the demands of IT departments. Further, it helps businesses with smaller budgets and minimal staff to access colocation services without having to replace aging infrastructure.

An alternative to managed services that can be accessed by enterprises is cloud-based services. But which one is better for your business?


The answer to the question is relative to the needs of the organization. However, both options offer benefits that are comparable (like cutting costs), but the needs that each satisfies are different.

What’s Unique about Data Center Managed Services?

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) allow clients to outsource their day-to-day operations to enhance efficiency. For example, lockbox solutions are a typical offering by data centers that offer managed services.

This means that there will be specific servers and components that are assigned to the business, and the service provider will act as the IT department. They will handle the following services that may have been traditionally handled internally:

However, the business or the buyer will manage the applications running on the systems. Usually, service-level agreements dictate the terms between the buyer and the data center.

The main point to note here is that data center managed services will physically store your data on hardware located within the premises. Further, businesses will have complete control over the hardware within the data center.

However, since the service provider handles all the maintenance, companies can focus on improving their business efficiency.

Cloud-Based Services, What’s the Difference?

When it comes to cloud-based services, data will be stored on the Internet. Further, companies will also run their operations on virtual machines. That’s a big difference!

If there aren’t any regulatory restrictions (like HIPAA or PCI DSS) and the business doesn’t already have an existing data management infrastructure in-house, this can be an excellent solution. Further, they won’t have any CAPEX costs, and OPEX costs will be significantly reduced.

Sometimes a cloud service provider can demonstrate compliance with high levels of security, provide appropriate certificates, and mandated procedures to pass an audit. However, businesses need to remember that in the end, the burden of compliance will fall on them (and not on any service provider).

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that both managed service providers and cloud services offer businesses alternatives to traditional in-house IT data center approaches. Each offers its own unique benefits, so businesses will have to consider the pros and cons before making a decision.

The key points that will swerve the decision one way or another will come down to the following:

  • Compliance
  • Privacy
  • Control

As these three key points can have serious consequences, this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. If there is uncertainty, it’s always best to go with a data center managed services provider.

Have you had any experience with either data center managed services or cloud-based services? Share your thoughts in the Comments box below.

Submit a comment