Cloud storage vs. on-premises servers

Some time ago, Microsoft gave us the ability to store information in the cloud. You might want to compare this option to the standard way files are stored, which is to local servers. Which election is better for your business? Are both equally safe? Maybe the ideal option is a hybrid solution, that is, a combination of both?

You can find answers to these questions after reading this article.

Start by explaining what on-premises storage is and what cloud storage is all about.

On-premises storage means that your company's server is hosted within your organization's infrastructure— often physically on your business premises. Administrative and maintenance work is carried out by an internal team or IT partner. All information and data is exchanged between computers over the local network.

Your data in cloud storage, on the other hand, is hosted by a third-party service provider such as Microsoft. By working with us and choosing the cloud storage option, it is this cloud provider that buys, installs, and maintains all the hardware, software, and other infrastructure you need in your datacenters. You gain access to them and manage your company's data on any device, such as a computer, or through a mobile app.

Let's compare the two options in several aspects by presenting them in the table:

On-premises servers

Cloud storage

Costs and maintenance

Large capital for the purchase of servers, maintenance, repair, license, installation, maintenance, staff for day-to-day operation and premises for office space. These are also fixed costs for hardware, software, and license updates. You will also incurred additional costs if you need to replace your equipment with a newer one.

The lack of upfront costs is a huge advantage. You only pay for your current monthly subscription costs. Maintenance, software updates, security, and support are the responsibility of the cloud provider— your employees don't have to spend precious time troubleshooting.

Plus, you get security, add-ons, and cloud storage in the package of your choice.

Threat protection and security

You need experts with expertise here. You must ensure that your systems are properly configured and maintained to comply with the regulations for your business profile. To do this, you need the right staff and resources.

The best cloud providers have teams of experts who are certified for compliance across a wide range of key industries. Be sure to ask your cloud provider for compliance certificates and audit results.

Compatibility

You need experts with expertise here. You must ensure that your systems are properly configured and maintained to comply with the regulations for your business profile. To do this, you need the right staff and resources.

The best cloud providers have teams of experts who are certified for compliance across a wide range of key industries. Be sure to ask your cloud provider for compliance certificates and audit results.

Scaling

Scaling for on-premises storage means purchasing additional components, such as RAM or CPU, at a time when your on-premises infrastructure is no longer able to handle changing workloads. This means spending money, work, expertise and valuable time

There's no need to buy additional servers and deploy them to your infrastructure, scale vMs and services with built-in features in just a few clicks.

Easy to scale up, down, horizontally and vertically, also automatic.

This option is more economical.

Reliability

People working on site don't need an Internet connection to access it, but it limits the ability to work remotely, which nowadays makes it much more difficult for the company to operate.

Broadband, backups, and backups generate additional costs to maintain a high level of availability and security.

A fast and stable Internet connection is needed to get cloud services to work properly. This option does not restrict remote workers, applications are supposedly available everywhere.

Data backup

A higher risk of data loss for your business due to the frequent lack of infrastructure redundancy that is characteristic of large public cloud service providers.

It's not uncommon for companies to choose on-premises storage, but with a backup of their data in the cloud.

By default, features are available to avoid data loss:

  • built-in redundancy,
  • failover mode,
  • Backups
  • ongoing monitoring of the status of services

Access to the server

Usually only possible locally, increasingly mobile and remotely. Typically, employees work in one office.

Same access from the office and remotely (from home, travel).

For convenient work, you need access to a fast and stable Internet connection.

Integration of legacy systems and applications

Older business applications that have direct access to the on-premises file server must remain on-premises servers if you do not want to or cannot opt out or migrate to newer versions.

This provider will bear the cost of maintaining, implementing and operating your software instead of you.

Hybrid solution:

It increases the agility of IT activities and maximizes efficiency. This gives you a sense of:

  • Audit: Confidential resources remain in the company
  • Flexibility: Additional resources are available in the cloud when needed
  • Cost-effective: You only pay for extra computing power when you need it
  • Ease: You can migrate gradually by dividing it into stages

This seems to be ideal, but as practice shows, it is mainly temporary, given the ever-increasing percentage of cloud-based resources invested by small and medium-sized enterprises. This shows that, in practice, cloud services have a large, ever-increasing potential.

Cloud services have many advantages, but you can still see supporters of on-premises servers. Which version is perfect for your business? The answer to this question as you can see depends on many factors.

Source: Magazyn w chmurze kontra serwery lokalne: 9 rzeczy, o których należy pamiętać (microsoft.com)

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