Data Repatriation: Is this something your business should be considering?

Whether you work in a business that has data and applications hosted in cloud services or are an industry practitioner responsible for the implementation and management of cloud solutions for your customers, there is a good chance that Data Repatriation is a term you will become familiar with this year. 

Coined just recently, data repatriation refers to an emerging trend amongst large and small organisations alike where serious consideration is being given to move all or some of the applications and data they currently host in cloud services such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure.
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Why move data?

There are many reasons why companies are beginning to look to repatriate their data and applications. One of the main reasons is the long term cost savings that can result from moving data from a public cloud host back to a home country data centre (through colocation or dedicated server hosting services or even creating an on premise data centre). The cost of monthly public cloud services can start to add up over time as you pay monthly for storage volumes, server instances, per-use services, and data transfer costs (egress). These costs can also vary month to month. Alternatives such as colocation offer a more deterministic approach with fixed costs per month. 

Repatriating data can also help businesses to comply with data privacy laws in their home country. Many countries have strict regulations around the storage and processing of personal data, and companies that fail to comply can be hit with heavy fines or legal action. Repatriating data can help companies avoid these risks by keeping their data within the boundaries of their home country. 

In addition to regulatory compliance, data repatriation can also help companies reduce their risk of data breaches. When data is stored in a foreign country, it can be difficult to monitor and protect, especially if the laws and regulations around data privacy are different from those in the country of origin. By repatriating data, companies can regain control over their data and implement stronger security measures to protect it. 

Another advantage of data repatriation is that it can help companies improve their data analysis capabilities. When data is stored in a foreign country, it may be difficult to access and analyse due to language barriers, cultural differences, and other factors. By repatriating data, companies can ensure that their data is in a format that is easy to access and analyse, which can lead to better decision-making and more effective business strategies.

Where could you move data to?

There are a few options for businesses to consider alongside Cloud Storage when deciding where to store their data and host their applications: 


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Colocation is where you rent space for your servers and other hardware to be housed within a data centre. You maintain control over the hardware and pay a monthly fee for accommodation, power, cooling, network, and physical security. With colocation you have more control over which data centre you choose to locate your hardware within and which data centre host you select to work with. Usually there is a fixed monthly cost for a contracted amount of time.

Dedicated Server Hosting

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Dedicated server hosting is where you lease a dedicated server within a data centre. You have exclusive use over the performance delivered by the hardware but don’t have to pay out up front for the equipment, instead paying a monthly lease. In comparison to Colocation, as you do not own the hardware you do not have the degree of control over the hardware and the software that it runs that you get with Colocation. If your business has limited technical expertise then Dedicated Server hosting may be better suited.


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An on-premise server is a physical, on-site server that your business must manage and maintain. An on-premise server will always be more expensive than other alternatives in the short term due to the acquisition and setup costs involved. Your business has full control but also full responsibility over every aspect, including security. If your business does not have the expertise internally to manage and run an internal server then you will need to work with a company to carry out the installation and provide ongoing support and maintenance.

Things to consider when deciding whether data repatriation is the best thing for your business and which alternative to use:

Consistency in required capacity

If your business has consistent server storage requirements then the likelihood is your business could benefit long term by switching to Colocation. If your business’ requirements regularly flex then Cloud Computing could still be the best option for you as alternatives do not offer the ease of flexibility that cloud services can provide. With colocation and on-premise solutions increasing capacity will require a planned change in hardware.

Skill Sets

Many Cloud Storage solutions have been designed with friendly user interfaces that make them accessible for most people. Some of the alternatives to Cloud Hosting are less user friendly if you do not have the technical expertise to manage them. For example, with an on-premise solution everything from set up and security configuration to maintenance is your business’ responsibility. This means that you need to employee the services of someone with this expertise if none of your employees have experience in this field.

Data Sovereignty

Depending on the sector in which you operate and the type of data you are working with, data sovereignty could be crucial for your business. GDPR requires that all data collected on citizens must be either stored in the EU and subject to European privacy laws, or within a country that has similar levels of protection. If you are unsure on the location of your cloud data, you could potentially be breeching GDPR. Data Sovereignty is something consider whether you are choosing a cloud service provider or selecting a data centre in which to locate your hardware.

Investment Capability

Cloud Services and Dedicated Server Hosting both work on a monthly rental fee. Dedicated Server Hosting has an upfront cost involved in acquiring and setting up the hardware required, followed by ongoing monthly fees to house your equipment. On-premise hosting also has upfront costs to purchase the required equipment, and whilst you do not need to pay to house the equipment as it is located within your premises, there are ongoing costs in terms of maintenance, support and running costs. If your business does not have the cash flow to invest an upfront sum then Cloud Services or Dedicated Server Hosting may be better suited to your business.

37 Signals Case Study:

Software-as-a-service project management company ‘37 Signals’ predict a saving of $7 million over 5 years by investing in their own servers and paying to have them hosted (Colocation). Chief Technology Officer David Heinemeier revealed that the company has been paying $3.2 million a year to Amazon Web Services alone. By investing a predicted $600,000 in establishing their own servers, 37 Signals estimate that their annual costs will reduce from $2.3 million to $840,000. 

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Interested in finding out more:

If you would like more information about Colocation, Dedicated Servers or Cloud Storage Solutions, please reach out on 0330 122 0550, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A member of the team would be happy to help you decide which solution would be best suited to your business requirements.