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June 29, 2015

Cloud Hosting Versus On-Premise

Have you ever wondered if you should be hosting your data or storing it on-premises? When evaluating both options, many factors come up. For some, on-premise has its benefits, mainly to keep internal control of your data. On-premise can also be beneficial for companies who require large files shares (50GB+) or who have bandwidth-prohibitive operations. However, cloud hosting most often than not wins the race and its benefits are far-reaching.

Space

If you hold your data on-premise, you need the physical space to store all your servers. This can be cumbersome, and those servers can take up a lot of room. In addition, you also have to consider having the appropriate cooling and electrical equipment to ensure that your servers run smoothly. When you host your data, you don’t have to worry about the physical space needed for your data. Your hosted provider will worry about that.

Maintenance

When you go with a hosted provider, they have a team of qualified IT professionals who are specifically trained to maintain and manage your hosted services. If you store your data on-premises, you will have to ensure that you have a dedicated IT department, either in-house or outsourced, who can maintain and manage your servers.

Costs

When you go hosted, you no longer have the burden of having to purchase and maintain expensive hardware and software. You avoid the initial huge expense for your local install and instead make monthly payments. You also save money on other expenses you may not have even given a second thought, such as your electricity bills. Finally, when accounting for your on-premise replacement/upgrading costs, your savings start becoming very clear. Your hosting provider is able to incur those expenses and pass them along to his customers at a much-reduced rate thanks to economies of scale. In addition, paying for hosted services is a fixed and predictable cost with no surprises along the way. Lastly, hosted provides pay-as-you-go pricing, which means you won’t be paying for any unused capacity.

Mobility

When you go hosted, you’re free to access your data from anywhere. You can view and modify your files from your home office, your car, on the plane, or a client’s office! Having your data hosted means your business has the capacity to be more mobile-friendly, adding another benefit you wouldn’t enjoy with on-premises storing. Although mobility is possible with on-site servers, it is more costly (initially and monthly) and there is additional maintenance to be done. 

Disaster Recovery

If disaster strikes – your server space floods, your servers crash, a fire breaks out – are you prepared? Will you be able to re-access your data? How long will it take? If you go with a hosted provider, your data is less at risk. They are already equipped with the necessary tools and resources to deal with any disaster that may occur. More so, cloud providers have on average much better uptime thanks to technologies that are out of reach for smaller in-house data centers. If you lose power or internet or your office space is unavailable, your employees can work elsewhere, meaning your business continues as usual. The amount of money that can be saved through reduced downtime is not to be ignored!

Growth

If your company grows, and along with it your data, you will need to ensure that you are properly equipped. A hosted provider offers increased scalability and speed because it saves you the trouble of investing time and money in buying hardware and software.

Security

Your data is more secure against cyber threats and other security risks when you go with a hosted provider. To put into context, consider this example. What would you do with your precious family heirlooms? Most people would bring them to the bank to store in a safety deposit box. The logic behind this is that if the bank gets robbed, the chances of your safety deposit box being robbed among hundreds of others is much smaller than if you had stored your heirlooms at home. The same logic applies to your business data. Put simply, your data is easier to access on-site than in a hosted server.

Hosted services are not without their own drawbacks, but when comparing the benefits of hosted vs. on-site premises, hosted services are the likelier choice.

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