Last time we discussed the benefits and drawbacks of going Server only versus “cloud only”, as it relates to an organization’s technology infrastructure.  We briefly touched on a hybrid approach, as well.  This time lets dig a bit deeper into a hybrid approach along with considerations for a colocation facility.  As we mentioned previously, the direction an organization ultimately decides on, or the choices they make, will vary depending on the type of organization they are, along with their unique needs and how much of an issue “downtime” really is to that organization. 

How much of a “big deal” is it?  One of the first questions to ask yourself is “how big of a deal is it if our network goes down?”  Will it affect your ongoing ability to function, or “will it be a big inconvenience, but not the end of the world?”  Some organizations can struggle through a few hours of power being down, maybe a full business day or even two, if necessary.  For them, hopefully, with a bit of scrambling, and the right IT DR plan in place, they can be back up and running with restored power, a new server, or whatever the cause may be, in a reasonable amount of time with minimal impact.

However, what if an event similar to the February 2021 “Snowpocalypse”, you were down for several days, or at minimum, subjected to rolling blackouts for a week or more?   What if the extra server you thought you had in storage is missing, and the one you need is suddenly backordered due to supply chain issues? Or alternatively, what if the server you need is available, but can’t get to you for a week or more due to logistical issues such as the same weather, transportation strikes, road closures, etc. Now things start to transition from less of an inconvenience and quickly escalate into much more of a deeper, longterm problem. The aforementioned scenarios are only taking into account organizations with non-critical services and doesn’t take into account the organizations that really cannot afford to experience any downtime at all like local government, emergency services, and more!

Hybrid to the rescue!  A hybrid scenario offers the best of both worlds.  You have the convenience of on-site technology with your own servers that your organization can manage and grow as-needed, but also have the security of a backup on the Cloud accessible from anywhere – just in case.  The server plus a Cloud back up can be a good insurance plan for some organizations, but an even better solution is for your hybrid plan is to take advantage of a co-location facility.

A Cloud backup will allow you to keep your data safe, irrespective of the circumstances you’re currently experiencing at HQ. But due keep in mind, how often, along with how thoroughly you backup your data, will always be critically important.  Worst case scenario, you can always access critical data needs from your Cloud system’s last backup and move forward from there, with the intent of minimal downtime or data loss.  However, when your hybrid approach incorporates a co-location into the scenario, the downtime is essentially negligible.

Hybrid good. Colocation better. With a co-location your information is backed up real-time and mirrored at a completely different site that generally has multiple power and internet redundancies built into their infrastructure. Keep in mind, each colocation offers a different number of resources specific to each company.  Essentially, at a co-location facility, if one part of their power grid goes out (and it generally doesn’t, because it’s typically built along the same infrastructure as Hospitals, etc), there are generators and other interim power solutions to rely on.  Should the internet go down on a service provider’s network, another service provider will automatically takeover, as co-locations offer multiple internet lines and service providers.

UniVista has several blogs on Cloud computing, colocations and their importance as part of your ongoing business continuity planning.  We encourage you to view some of the here: https://univista.com/posts/the-ping-cloud-computing/   https://univista.com/posts/the-great-debate/


If you have any questions on how best to implement some of these benefits and solutions, and don’t know where to start, please don’t hesitate to contact one of UniVista’s Account Management representatives.



It’s time to revisit what UniVista refers to as The Great Debate; is it more advantageous to invest in, manage and maintain your own servers or is your organization better off relying solely on the Cloud?  Well, the definitive answer is… “It Depends.”

How?  Simply put, it all depends on your organization’s specific situation, needs, and budget. Both scenarios have their benefits and drawbacks, so let’s revisit some key considerations.

  • Investing and acquiring your own servers requires greater up-front costs.  Cloud-based systems allow for monthly subscriptions and an ability to spread the expense out over time.  Alternatively, the Cloud cost spread out over years could possibly outweigh the up-front cost of investing in your customer-owned infrastructure.
  • Having and managing your own servers can mean you could have a finite amount of space. If you outgrow your existing server, additional storage or possibly a larger server will need to be acquired and set up. Cloud-based systems can allow for quicker and simpler ease of expansion by increasing space via your subscription but could lead to much higher monthly costs to facilitate.
  • In the event of a server system failure, your IT organization would be required to rectify the problem, whether that’s simply replacing the server or installing updated or required software. You will also have to factor in the expense and downtime necessary to facilitate the installation and setup. On a Cloud system redundancy is possibly built in if the provider has multiple data centers across the country.
  • How reliable and fast is your internet connection? If you’re in a major metropolitan area then the odds are your internet connection is pretty good, so a Cloud-based solution is possibly a viable option.  If location is not an issue or your office has more of a traditional in-office versus remote policy, then managed servers may be a better option for your organization.
  • While the new norm is still a hybrid approach to work in-office vs. work-from-home, a Cloud-based solution may be a convenient option as users can access data from virtually anywhere, provided they have the appropriate credentials. With a server-based solution, users can still access the data but may need to go through additional steps to gain access.


What happens in the event of a disaster?  What if your internet goes down?  What if your power goes out?  These are all important considerations. Cloud vs Server is another aspect of your organization’s Business Continuity Plan. If your internet fails, then you would not have Cloud access but possibly would still have access to your on-site servers.

Ideally, any organization would have a secondary internet solution that would kick in when their primary internet solution fails. For those employees who work from home or off-site regularly, if their internet goes down then they will have neither access to the Cloud nor an organization-based Server, so there is a need for accommodations made for this scenario, as well.   If the organization’s on-site power goes out, then there may be no access to your servers (Note: always have some sort of battery-backed power source to safely shut things down in the event of a power outage).  However, essential employees such as managers or business owners can utilize off-site options to access a Cloud-based solution.  

Is there a single 100% fail-safe solution? No.  Some form of redundancy needs to be designed and factored in to keep things running when disaster strikes.  It comes down to deciding what the cost to benefit of one solution vs. the other is.  In some cases, there is always the third option of utilizing both an on-site server-based system along with a Cloud-based backup solution.  If you would like to learn more about Cloud-based and server-based solutions, read our previous blog “To Cloud or not to Cloud”: https://univista.com/posts/the-ping-cloud-computing/.  If you have any questions regarding your current infrastructure or establishing a new or updated Business Continuity Plan incorporating a server vs Cloud vs both scenarios, please don’t hesitate to contact your UniVista Account Rep.