If you’re looking to upgrade your network environment, you’ve likely encountered a wide range of possibilities. However, before you can make an optimal decision for your business, you need a clear understanding of your options. Becoming familiar with terminology is generally the best place to start before exploring which direction to take. In this post, we’ll demystify some of the most common cloud terms and explain how they can affect your business operations.

Hosted Services

When you hear someone mention a hosted service, they’re simply talking about a solution that relies on a vendor’s off-site network resources. These resources generally include network servers, data storage, networking, backups, updates, and maintenance, so your team can take a hands-off approach to overseeing your network.

The most common form of a hosted service is a public cloud solution. Your network resources are hosted at an off-site data center alongside others sharing the same server or servers. At the same time, your data and applications remain private and secure from other users on the network. However, your team has limited control over how your system is managed, secured, and allocated.

If you want your own dedicated server, you can work with a cloud vendor to secure an individual off-site server. This will ensure your operations are the only applications running on a particular server. This setup is referred to as a hosted private cloud and allows more flexibility and customization than a public cloud solution.


When you use a hosted cloud solution, you’re essentially renting network infrastructure, resources, and management on your vendor’s servers. Your business gets everything required to run a comprehensive network environment without the hassles of on-site infrastructure. That way, all of your network needs are covered for one fixed monthly fee.

Colocation, on the other hand, means your organization purchases your own servers, equipment, software, and infrastructure, but you rent rack space to host your equipment at a data center. Your team has complete control over leveraging equipment, configuring hardware, and allocating resources, but also has the additional responsibilities of installation, maintenance, backups, and licensing. 

In short, colocation offers the control and customization of an on-site network while enjoying the flexibility of a data center. Depending on your vendor, you may even be able to outsource services like 24/7 monitoring and support with a bundled colocation package. Just be aware that colocation generally requires a robust internal IT team to oversee day-to-day network functions.

Cloud Services

Many providers use the words “cloud services” and “hosted service” interchangeably. However, this commingling can introduce some confusion. While both deliver the infrastructure, maintenance, management, and support for a comprehensive network solution, most cloud service providers pair their hosted solutions with a more robust Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform.

A prime example of a cloud solution that goes above and beyond a hosted service is Microsoft Office 365. With Office 365, your organization not only gains access to public cloud resources; your team also enjoys the added benefits of a holistic office productivity platform with tools like Microsoft Word and Outlook integrated with the larger platform. Fundamentally, cloud services go above and beyond what’s possible with a hosted environment by providing broader managed IT services.

Long Island IT Support

Are you ready to take your business operations to the next level by migrating your network to a hosted or cloud environment? To maximize your cloud capabilities, you need a team of IT experts leveraging a solution for your needs and goals. When you partner with Hi-Tek Data, our team works to accomplish just that, so your organization has access to the technology you need to succeed today while preparing for tomorrow.

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