Cloud vs On-Premise: Which is Best for You?

Cloud computing and data migrations are expanding at mind-boggling rates. According to Precedence Research, the global cloud computing market will surpass $1 trillion by 2028. Hard-hitting software companies are all throwing their hats in the ring. In terms of cloud services, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was recently named number one in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant, followed by Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). 

Still, some companies choose to stick with their on-premises data management systems. There are pros and cons to both cloud storage and on-premise deployment. We’ll discuss a few of these to determine which is best for your data management requirements.

What’s On-Premise?

When one imagines an on-premise scenario, a room full of large servers with blinking lights may come to mind. On-premise data management is just that: Data is stored within physical servers in a specified brick-and-mortar location. This type of management solution requires substantial upfront capital investment for the actual hardware on top of ongoing monthly costs due to hands-on, physical maintenance by an IT staff. 

With the on-premise model, management is “in-house,” meaning there is no third-party involvement. Many companies that deal with highly classified, regulated, or sensitive information may be required to employ an on-premises model allowing them to control the data, hardware systems, and software. 

What’s Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage introduces a third party to manage and store data. Because all information is virtually stored and accessed on web browsers, there is no physical hardware to maintain. Cloud computing is a pay-as-you-go subscription service, often making it a more economical choice for small businesses. Cloud services are also more operationally affordable — they free up your IT staff to focus on their other daily tasks. Global companies may find virtualization appealing because it allows them to connect easily with partners, other businesses, and customers.

Pros and Cons of Cloud Storage and On-Premises Servers

We’ve created this chart to provide you with the pros and cons of both options at a glance.

On-Premise Cloud
Cost Requires a large capital upfront investment, monthly maintenance, upkeep costs like power requirements and regular hands-on IT support. Costs are generally believed to be higher with on-premise models. Cloud platforms offer a pay-as-you-go subscription, which allows both scalability and more affordable costs. However, it’s important to regularly monitor the cost as they can quickly get out of hand. One report states that only 3 out of 10 organizations know where their cloud costs are going.
Security Because data is housed in an organization’s own servers, it offers a high level of security. However, multiple security measures are required to maintain the data’s security. The risk of data loss through theft, fire or other malfunctions is also a factor. Reputable cloud system vendors have multiple disaster and redundancy protocols for data security. Security is priority number one for cloud services, and security measures are continuing to be developed for better data protection methods. Unlike on-premise models, there is no physical equipment that may be damaged or compromised.
Installation Along with their physical hardware, installation can take much more planning and time. Data cloud migration can be set up quickly — within hours in some cases.
Regulatory Compliance In-house data management often makes it easier to be in compliance — all data is in one place. To be compliant in certain industries (such as healthcare and education), companies need to ensure that their cloud service provider is meeting regulatory mandates within their specific industry.
Connectivity There is no reliance on external factors (e.g., the internet) to access servers. Internet reliability and high speeds are an absolute must for cloud computing.

Which is Right for You?

The choice to virtualize your data or keep it on-premises is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have any further questions about which one is right for you, contact your Microsoft Gold Partner — Trusted Tech Team.

Trusted Tech Team is an accredited Microsoft CSP Direct Bill Partner, carrying multiple Solutions Partner designations and the now-legacy Microsoft Gold Partner competency. Based in Irvine, California, we report trends affecting IT pros everywhere.

If your organization uses Microsoft 365 or Azure, you may be eligible to receive a complimentary savings report from a Trusted Tech Team Licensing Engineer. Click here to schedule a consultation with our team now to learn how much you can save today.

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