When businesses need to decide on the best data and information storage solutions, the two most popular options include in-house or dedicated servers, and cloud servers. While both perform similar basic functions of storing, sharing and protecting information and data, differences include user experience, implementation time and cost.
Examine some of the pros and cons of cloud vs in-house to determine which option is right for your business:
What are the pros and cons of in-house servers for businesses?
Businesses that rely on uptime due to online transactions may opt for cloud servers and in-house servers would be a better choice for those businesses not dependent on uptime. In addition to considering the pros and cons of in-house servers, it is important to have a business continuity plan should the server fail. Although in-house servers can require substantial initial capital investment for software and equipment, and a dedicated IT manager to maintain it, historically, small and medium businesses have preferred them over cloud servers because they have total control over their data.
The pros of in-house servers
- Physical control over backups. For some businesses, the idea of giving up physical control of a server is not an option. Some business environments demand immediate access to the physical server and hosting it in-house is the best option for them
- No 3rd party access and keeping critical data and information in-house. Businesses dealing with certain types of sensitive data (medical, government, financial) are required by regulatory and compliance laws to use in-house servers and may not use the cloud
- No Internet connection needed to access the data
- Many workloads are processed faster and more efficiently in-house, especially High-Performance Computing demands high computing power and storage requirements of a server
The cons of in-house servers
- Considerable capital investment is required for infrastructure and hardware. An up-front investment can be crippling for smaller companies although leasing servers may help counterbalance some of the costs
- A dedicated IT manager, support staff are needed and space are needed for an in-house server. Servers that run your business need a secure location, power, and cooling in order to run effectively and efficiently
- More susceptible to data loss during disaster situations depending on how frequently data is stored securely offsite.
- No recovery time or uptime is guaranteed
- Security may be problematic in comparison to cloud servers with cybersecurity experts readily at hand
What are the pros and cons of cloud servers for businesses?
A cloud server will be beneficial for a business with numerous virtual and remote employees. The scalability of cloud servers gives businesses the flexibility to meet changing demands, without substantial investment. A budget is needed for monthly hosting fees, but data and information will be more secure.
The pros of cloud servers
- No capital expenses or onsite hardware. You’ll still need to purchase software licenses, but your investment in hardware is reduced by moving to the cloud allowing you to get up and running quickly without a large cash outlay
- Scalability is a benefit since the cloud allows businesses to easily and quickly add more storage, more memory, and more computing power. Solution providers charge you for only what you need and storage can be easily added when needed
- Several devices including computers, tablets, or smartphones can be used for easy and efficient backup initiated from anywhere. Storing data or running applications from the cloud makes it easy for employees to connect and work from anywhere without the complexities of VPNs. The cloud also makes it easy to backup all of these devices, no matter where their location
- Backups at regular intervals can minimise data losses
- Data and information are more secure since cloud service providers have the expertise to ensure data is safe.
The cons of cloud servers
- The costs could outweigh the benefits if your business is not dependent on uptime and instant data recovery
- Services outages will mean downtime. If the Internet goes down at your business or at the cloud provider, data or information will not be accessible and may cause major disruption
- If full data recovery is required, it can be time-consuming and greatly impact your business. The cloud makes it easy to backup data, but restoring large amounts of data will take a lot of time even over a fast Internet connection.
- Moving large files back and forth over the Internet can be a lot more time consuming than doing the thing over a fast and local connection.
Whether deciding on a cloud provider or building an in-house data centre, several variables need to be considered. The deployment of hybrid servers that provide benefits found in both in-house and cloud services may provide an alternative option.
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