Using a data center for some of your IT infrastructure and internal or external IT services can give you a competitive advantage by increasing sustainability and lowering the costs.
The cloud is great for your on-demand and elasticity needs, but there are certain workloads that are better managed in a data center collocation environment.
There are three main data center hosting services:
With collocation hosting, you buy or lease your own servers and house them at the professional data center.
You provide the hardware, the software (operating systems, applications) and IT staff. The service provider provides you with a physical space to host the IT equipment, power, network connectivity and bandwidth.
Dedicated Server Hosting
With dedicated server hosting, in addition to physical space, power and network, the data center provider rents you the servers.
They often can provide the operating system licenses as well.
Your IT staff takes care of the operating system and applications, but you don't have to worry about the server hardware - the data center provider is responsible for it.
Managed IT Services
With managed IT services, you rent the servers from the data center provider, and they manage them for you.
What exactly they manage is your choice. They usually manage all infrastructure level services - the operating system, security, system updates, monitoring and troubleshooting - up to the applications themselves.
If you don't have - and don't want to have - the technical resources and staff to manage the IT infrastructure, this is a great option.