Cloud Computing Vs On-Premise Server

Cloud Computing Vs On-Premise Server

Right from the off, there is no right or wrong answer in this comparison. This blog post is just to help you understand the key differences.

Cloud Computing

The so-called new kid on the block although not really that new anymore. Using cloud computing can in some cases come with lots of advantages but fundamentally is a completely different way of delivering and paying for IT.

Cloud computing can enable you to work from anywhere on any device at any time in theory. However, in reality, what we actually want is to be able to work when we need to. Working on tablets and mobiles just does not happen how people imagined. We now find that lots of people are going back to working on laptops and desktops but still using their mobile for email.

That said, more and more applications and workloads are moving to the cloud and many line of business applications are now cloud based.

The way cloud computing is paid for is very different to owning and maintaining a server in house. Often cloud services are charged by consumption (as used) or on a pay per user basis and in both cases, usually on a monthly basis. This becomes a running cost and not a capital cost and needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about your business finances.

The Pros of the Cloud:

1)    No upfront infrastructure costs (in most cases)

2)    Access anywhere anytime

3)    No maintenance or housing costs

4)    Scale up and down as you need


The Cons of the Cloud:

1)    Limited or no control (can cause compliance and security issues)

2)    Can only access with a reliable internet connection

3)    You cannot see it (one of the biggest barriers to adoption)

4)    Clouds still have occasional outages

Summary of cloud computing

The cloud is without a doubt the future. Office 365 has blended cloud and local applications perfectly and gives us the benefits of both. As confidence grows and costs lower, more essential business workloads will move over to the cloud but for now services like storage, email and applications are a comfortable risk and investment.

On-Premise Server

The black box in the corner with its flashing lights and countless wires has been the mainstay and centrepiece of business IT for many years. When looked after properly a server can give a business many years of uninterruptable service without compromise of performance. For many the comfort of knowing the server is in their own offices and that is where their data is stored is enough reason to have an On-premise server.

An On-premise server is a capital cost and will need replacing every 4-5 years to ensure best performance and reliability.  However, like a car if you look after it and keep it maintained it will give you many years of service and can be a great asset and investment.

The truth is many companies that are using cloud services still have a server and this is unlikely to change for a few years yet. There are just some services that a local server provides that the majority of IT managers and providers are not ready or comfortable to move to the cloud just yet.

Pros of an On-Premise Server:

1)    Complete control of your data

2)    Still operates even without an internet connection

3)    You can see it

4)    Business owners know and understand this method of delivering and paying for IT

The Cons of an On-Premise server

1)    Capital expenditure

2)    Maintenance and cooling costs

3)    Needs replacing every 4-5 years

4)    When not maintained and supported can cause downtime

Summary of On-Premise Server

In the majority of cases, an On-Premise Server(s) is still a necessary piece of the IT jigsaw. It provides the security and control that we need today and does not stop us using cloud services alongside it.

There are still many unknowns with regards to a complete cloud solution and while the technology is still evolving a hybrid approach makes the most sense.

Although the cloud has taken huge strides and is without a doubt the future of IT delivery, the wave has not broken just yet and there remains a need and desire to still have a local server that we can see, control and access when we want.

The Result

In 2016 and for the foreseeable both are needed for the majority of businesses. Shall we call it a draw?

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