As cloud computing has become more ubiquitous, many companies have considered phasing out on-premises servers in favor of the cloud. There are many factors that a company must consider in order to decide whether a cloud infrastructure is the right fit. Ultimately, some businesses are unable or choose not to migrate servers into the cloud, instead of relying on their tried and true on-prem servers or a hybrid of both approaches. 

If you’ve found yourself in the position of choosing between on-prem and cloud servers, read on to learn about some of the most important pros and cons of each. 

On-Premises Pros: Easy Access and Greater Control Over Your Own Infrastructure Hardware

When you choose on-premises servers, you have more control over your hardware purchases, resources (such as CPU, memory, and disks), backup schedules, security settings, internet service, and plenty more. It is yours to do with as you wish, and your employees will have near-constant access to your hardware. 

Your team will also be able to make changes to your setup more quickly. Assuming you have a stash of extra hardware ready to be implemented, you can quickly access additional resources as your needs change. The systems are at your fingertips and are dedicated to only you. With the standardization of using virtualization, companies are able to scale and maximize their own hardware to allow for growth and flexibility.  When servers are designed with future growth in mind it is easy to scale and grow with your own hardware.

One misconception is that on-premise hardware is considerably more expensive than going to the cloud.  This in many cases is the exact opposite. A primary difference is between capital and an operational expense.  When a capital expense is made there is a perception that it is much more of a financial burden to the business. But when factored over a 5-year replacement cycle typically it is much more inexpensive to have in-house servers.  There are options with leasing companies to allow for an operational expense of on-premise servers.

On-Premises Cons: Higher Initial Investment and Ongoing Operating Costs

In order to have your own infrastructure in-house, you will need to buy and maintain your own hardware with the capability to host your online presence. This can be an expensive investment for a fledgling business, which may be why many new businesses are moving toward cloud computing solutions. 

It’s not just the initial investment that has some companies shying away from in-house servers. An on-prem system needs electricity and potentially some form of cooling – constant elevated heat can reduce the lifetime of your system. Having your own infrastructure in-house also comes with the need to do maintenance. However, if you do choose to keep physical servers in-house, you do have the choice to either hire IT employees or to contract with a Utah managed IT services provider with the knowledge to maintain your systems, it can become a cost saver. 

Cloud Servers Pros: Customizable, Accessible, and Low Maintenance

Cloud servers are appealing to small businesses for several reasons. When looking at a service-based infrastructure, you don’t need to spend lots on an upfront solution. You can pick and choose the storage, disk usage, processing power, and memory your company requires now, and you always have the option to make changes later on. Making changes to on-prem servers can be much more complicated since you will likely need to purchase additional hardware. 

Cloud servers are also extremely accessible. In fact, your services will be accessible from anywhere in the world. Companies with many remote employees, or those with multiple office locations, often benefit from the instant accessibility of cloud services. All you need is an internet connection and you’ll have access to your email, files, and more. 

In contrast to on-site servers, cloud servers are notoriously low maintenance. When you go with a cloud service-based model, the service provider is responsible for upkeep and maintenance. This includes backups, maintaining an emergency power supply, applying security updates, and upgrading hardware. These are all considerations you no longer have to worry about with service-based models.

Cloud Servers Cons: More Restrictive Access to Your Systems

One of the biggest pros of cloud computing for some could be considered a con by others: you need the internet to have access to your files and some software. Unlike your dedicated in-house infrastructure, if the internet goes down with cloud computing you will not be able to access the information you need to complete daily functions.

In addition, when you choose cloud servers, you’re at the mercy of the provider. Any changes you request may not be instantaneous; you’ll have to wait until the provider can fulfill your request. You can make changes to some components of your cloud server arrangement, but it won’t be quite as customizable as your own on-site server. The services you pay for (email, web, etc.) are generally pretty standard, and you may not be offered as many options. 

Where cloud computing can get expensive is in usage. Unlike an in-house server option in many cases, you pay for the compute resources in the cloud.  During the design phase, it is critical to understand your total overall costs when going to the cloud. Initially, just the cost of the cloud services can seem to be inexpensive, but when you add in the usage of those resources the costs can rapidly climb.  Working with professionals with experience will help you make the best judgment call that will be the best for your business.

Utah IT Support for On-Premises and Cloud Servers

It’s no surprise that cloud computing has grown in popularity as much as it has. It promises to offer newfound flexibility, from saving time and money to improving scalability. On the other hand, on-premise software – installed on a company’s own servers and behind its firewall – was the only offering for organizations for a long time and may continue to adequately serve your business needs.

Whatever choice you make for the future of your servers, INTELITECHS can help you monitor, maintain, and migrate your systems. Let’s chat about your company’s IT needs!  We can assist you in making an informed decision on the direction you need to go. Cloud vs. on-premise or as we see most frequently a hybrid environment utilizing the best of both worlds. Contact INTELITECHS.