Depending on your business needs, you may be considering whether it makes sense for your organization to have cloud servers or in-house servers. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is important to understand what the right choice is for your organization. The two options have very different cost structures which is something to take into account when making a decision. To help you determine the best choice for your business, we have compiled some pros and cons for each option to guide you in your decision-making process.
One of the most important benefits for many people choosing cloud-based servers is that you don’t have to invest in purchasing and maintaining the hardware. In addition to the low start-up costs, cloud servers are also infinitely scalable to the changing needs your business. The fee structure for many cloud servers is based on a pay-as-you-go model, so you are only paying for the service and storage that you are using. This provides your organization with flexibility when it comes to cost. Finally, cloud servers provide you with the benefit of back-up redundancy. This means that your information will be safe in the case of any data failures or losses, as well as equipment issues. The downside to a cloud-based server is that your bandwidth may be limited and/or expensive. If you are constantly moving around and transferring large files, it may be costly and take a bit longer than physical servers. Depending on your network speeds and size of the files being moved, you may notice slower performance. Finally, some organizations feel that they must be in complete control of their data. However, cloud servers provide state-of-the-art security and users are given the same access to their data that would be available with in-house servers.
The primary benefit of a dedicated in-house server is that you have full control over your system allowing you to setup system that meets your exact network’s needs. Initially, when you setup the server you will have a large amount of space to operate and additional space is fairly inexpensive. Bandwidth is traditionally cheaper and you may experience faster performance overall. Your system provides you with the room to grow while your business is growing rather steadily. Although you may have set the server to your specific needs, there is little room for growth and expansion once it is at capacity. Any additional expansion requires investment in new equipment, which will increase your operating costs. You are also assuming the risk of hardware failures and unless you have an alternative back-up there is the possibility for loss of data. Dedicated servers traditionally have higher up-front costs because you’re paying for the maximum server capabilities possible. Overall, cloud servers provide organizations with lower IT costs, greater flexibility and scalability as compared to in-house servers.
Written by Lloyd Ainey, Managing Partner