Deciding on on-premise storage vs. cloud storage for your business can feel like an overwhelming decision. The only way to decide is by weighing up the different factors.
A business’ information is of immense value, and it is up to an organization to keep it well-protected and well-managed. Nowadays, there are two main options that businesses must choose from when establishing storage protocols: On-premises, or in the Cloud. We discussed this dilemma with TechQuarters, a managed IT services company based in London, about when it is more appropriate to use on-premise storage, and when it is more appropriate to use cloud storage. According to them, there is no hard and fast rule these days – though the world is becoming increasingly reliant on the cloud, on-premise solutions still have their benefits in many situations.
On-premise & Cloud storage: What are they?
Let’s look into the differences between on-premise and cloud storage, starting with defining what each of them is. Most people will be aware of the transition from on-premise solutions to cloud solutions, but how does either solution work? As an IT support provider London businesses have been working with since 2010, TechQuarters was able to explain this in easy terms:
Both solutions involve servers. But, when it comes to on-premise storage, as the name suggests, the servers that are responsible for storing information are hosted in the infrastructure of the organization using them – typically they will be located in a company’s office somewhere. The servers are procured, set up, controlled, and administered by the company’s own IT team (or their IT support provider). With on-premise storage, information is shared with computers through a local network (typically Ethernet).
Contrary to how some people understand it, the cloud does use servers; it’s just that the servers are not located on the site of the people using the cloud for their storage needs. Instead, cloud storage runs on servers located off-site – typically this means a service provider’s data centers (in the case of a public cloud storage service). The servers, along with all hardware and software required to run a cloud are procured, set up, configured, and maintained by the cloud service provider.
On-premise vs. Cloud Storage – What to Consider…
The majority of the debate surrounding the cloud seems to be about encouraging businesses to do away with their on-premise solutions and migrate to the cloud. While, for many businesses, this is a perfectly viable solution, it is still very important to weigh up both options, and consider the various factors. So, what are the main considerations with on-premise storage, versus cloud storage?
In general, cloud storage is considered to be more cost-effective for several reasons. Firstly, it has a comparatively minute investment cost – whereas on-premise storage requires considerably short-term investment for hardware procurement, installation, software licensing, backups, etc.
The impression that many people have with on-premise storage is that it is more secure, because it is on the company’s site, and there are no third parties involved with its management. However, security evolves annually, and last year’s cutting-edge security can quickly fall out of date – keeping up with the latest security standards can be costly. With a public cloud provider, the cost of keeping security up-to-date is typically already factored into the price, so customers do not need to pay more to guarantee the security of their data.
For many organizations, compliance is the number one question around the storage solutions they choose. For instance, TechQuarters have been providing IT support for Accountants for many years, and data governance has always been a priority for them. Public cloud providers have in-house compliance experts that ensure that their infrastructure is certified for usage by industries, such as finance, who are compliant with strict data regulations.