On-Premise vs. Cloud Storage
Your company’s data storage is an incredibly vital part of your operations. Businesses must ensure all of their information is secure and easily accessible when they need it. By choosing an inadequate storage solution, you could end up dealing with data loss and costly downtime.
Learn more about both options and some helpful considerations for choosing between the two.
What Is On-Premise Storage?
On-premise storage refers to solutions that rely on physical infrastructure to manage your data at your business’s location. This type of storage solution typically requires companies to have an IT team. They may establish a dedicated, in-house team, or they could outsource and work in partnership with an IT management business.
This team is responsible for the following regarding your company’s server:
Important data is shared between devices within the local network. Servers and computers store data locally, which can have many advantages for businesses. Learn more about the pros and cons of on-premise storage solutions.
Pros of On-Premise Storage
While cloud storage solutions are gaining popularity, on-premise options are the best pick for certain kinds of businesses. Consider the following advantages of having your company’s data center on site:
- Enhanced security: One of the greatest benefits of having an on-premise storage solution is its security. Only authorized personnel can see your business’s important data. No one outside of the network can access the servers, giving your information added protection against third parties or bad actors.
- Works without an internet connection: Another key advantage of on-premise storage is accessing critical data with or without an internet connection. You don’t have to halt operations if your business loses its internet access. Your team can continue working productively until you restore the connection.
- Lower monthly costs: After your initial hardware and software investment, you can enjoy lower monthly costs than you would with cloud solutions. Your business may even save money on internet costs because you may not need as high-speed of an internet connection to access your data.
- More control: Your company can benefit from more control over your server hardware with on-premise solutions. Because you own your equipment, you can add new features or make upgrades as needed. With more control, you can customize your storage to accommodate your data needs better.
Cons of On-Premise Storage
Before choosing a storage solution for your business or organization, consider the shortcomings of on-site options:
- Upfront costs: When working with an on-premise storage solution, your business will have to make a greater capital investment. You’ll need to purchase the necessary equipment, including servers and computer hardware. Larger operations may require cooling systems for the gear, and your company will also have to pay for equipment installation.
- Additional IT support needs: On-site storage means your business will need a team of people to support its functioning and perform maintenance. Again, some companies hire an in-house team, and others turn to IT management services from another business. Either option adds to your overall operational costs.
- Manual data backups: Another downside of on-premise solutions is having to manually back up your data. This is a crucial responsibility because data loss can be detrimental to your business’s productivity and operations. To protect and maintain your critical data, you should establish a system for backing up.
- Industry compliance: Highly regulated industries such as healthcare have strict limitations and guidelines for a company’s data. On-premise storage can be challenging to adapt to your compliance needs. You must ensure your operations align with these regulations, or you could face legal consequences for not protecting your infrastructure and private information.
- Maintenance costs: When a business operates with on-premise storage, it’ll likely end up paying more for maintenance needs than it would with a cloud-based solution. Replacing or upgrading your hardware can add up quickly.
- Limited scalability: Physical storage infrastructure can limit your business’s ability to scale. With cloud storage, you can easily change your storage capacity, but you’ll have to invest in new equipment and personnel to scale on-site storage. The costs and time needed may inhibit your scalability and slow your productivity.
What Is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is an internet-based storage solution that doesn’t require physical IT infrastructure to host it. Businesses can turn to an outside provider for storage services that host their data. The provider is responsible for the following hardware duties in their own data center:
With cloud storage, companies don’t need to hire dedicated IT teams to manage and maintain the data. Instead, they rely on their service provider for their ongoing needs. Further, teams can access their data using an internet connection rather than having to be on site for the local computer network, making remote operations possible.
Pros of Cloud Storage
When deciding on your business’s storage solution, it’s important to take into account the pros and cons of each option. The following are some of the key advantages of choosing cloud storage for your company:
- No dedicated IT staff: One of the benefits of working with cloud-based storage solutions is not needing a dedicated team or service provider to manage your IT for you. Instead, you can rely on your provider for your needs, from computer repair to antivirus checks to data backups.
- No upfront hardware costs: When your business opts for cloud storage, it doesn’t have to worry about the upfront hardware investment, and you don’t need to pay for personnel to install it in your data center.
- Easily scalable: A major advantage of cloud-based infrastructure is that your company has a lot of control. You can scale workloads according to your business’s specific metrics and needs. Whether you’re looking to scale up or down, you can enjoy fast and easy deployment.
- Regular data backups: When utilizing cloud storage, your business can benefit from regular, automated backups. You can avoid untimely data loss and enjoy shorter recovery after a system failure than if you were working with on-premise solutions.
- Meeting industry compliance: Businesses in industries with strict compliance regulations can use cloud storage to their advantage. Many service providers have options that fully adhere to compliance for industries ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. You can easily alter your data plan to align with specific guidelines without swapping out your hardware.
- Adjusts to your budget: Along with lower upfront costs, your company can benefit from using cloud storage solutions because you can choose a plan from your provider that works with your specific budget and needs.
- Easy access: Companies with cloud-based solutions have greater flexibility regarding where and when they access their important data. All they need is a secure internet connection that enables teams to work remotely.
Cons of Cloud Storage
Along with the benefits of cloud storage, there are a few disadvantages. Consider some of the cons of working with this type of storage:
- Monthly fees: While your business doesn’t have to deal with large upfront costs when working with cloud storage, you’ll have higher monthly fees than with on-premise solutions. These fees cover your maintenance and security needs.
- Internet-dependent: A cloud storage solution relies on a fast and strong internet connection to operate effectively. If you choose to utilize a cloud-based option, consider implementing a backup internet connection to secure your workload. Though the cloud will maintain an updated backup of your data, a power outage could pause your team’s productivity temporarily.
- Limited control: Because a third party is managing your data when you opt for cloud storage, your business has less control. For example, you may not be able to access your data if your provider is experiencing downtime.
- More diligence required: While the cloud is secure, practicing the right security techniques to avoid issues is essential. For example, you must ensure you and your employees follow steps to keep passwords unique and safe. Failing to do so can put your data at risk.
Choosing Between On-Premise vs. Cloud Storage Solutions
When comparing cloud vs. server storage, there are some key factors to consider to make the right decision for your business. Explore the following to ensure you find the solution that suits your company’s unique needs:
Your company’s budget will play a major role in your decision-making. While you must choose solutions your business can afford, you should also acknowledge that protecting and managing your data is critical to keeping your operations running smoothly.
Before choosing between on-premise and cloud-based options, consider if your business is equipped to pay upfront and monthly costs. In general, cloud storage will be a more cost-effective option.
Security is another important deciding factor businesses must take into account before choosing a storage option. If your company deals with highly sensitive data, you need to prioritize threat protection.
On-premise solutions offer greater security for your business’s files. Those looking for the greatest level of protection should consider building out a physical data center you can control on site. The following factors are necessary to secure your data using on-site equipment and a local network:
- A firewall
- Access control
As you explore your storage options, be sure to consider your accessibility needs. If your business’s operations require remote access for some of your workers, you should invest in a cloud-based solution that can accommodate these needs securely. If you don’t need mobile access and your team works entirely in the office, on-premise storage could be a good option for your company.
Another important deciding factor when choosing between on-premise and cloud-based storage solutions is your maintenance needs.
Cloud providers will likely take on all of your ongoing maintenance requirements. If you decide to work with equipment on-site, you’ll need a team to help out. Consider the following options and what works best with your operations:
- Hiring an in-house IT team
- Working with an IT management partner
- Handing over maintenance responsibilities to a service provider
One of the key differentiating factors your business should consider when comparing on-premise and cloud storage is scalability.
If you value being able to scale up and down as needed, your company will likely want to choose a cloud-based solution because you can easily alter your plan with a few clicks. By choosing on-premise solutions, you forfeit the ability to scale quickly. Instead, you’ll need to spend time and money reworking your equipment to accommodate your scaling needs.
As you choose a storage solution for your company, it’s necessary to consider data backup and disaster recovery. Having a reliable backup system is key to combating the costly downtime associated with data loss.
By automating your data backup with cloud storage, your business can largely avoid data loss and keep operations running smoothly. On-premise solutions may require your IT team to manually back up your information or work with a hybrid solution for ongoing data protection.
You should also consider the applications and legacy systems your business utilizes. Your storage solution needs to seamlessly integrate with these to continue using your current software and tools.
Integration is often simple with cloud-based storage solutions because they’re adaptable and offer flexibility. However, on-premise solutions may be a better option if you use legacy systems that operate on your local server.
Consider your industry and the unique compliance-related mandates you have to abide by regarding data storage. Your on-premise solution must accommodate these needs, and your IT team requires extensive knowledge of these regulations. If you opt for cloud-based storage, you can choose a plan from your provider that streamlines your compliance needs because it’s designed to meet your industry’s specific standards.
Exploring Hybrid Storage Solutions
Hybrid cloud solutions allow businesses to enjoy the benefits of both on-premise data centers and public clouds. Some of the pros of hybrid options include:
- Greater flexibility
- More deployment options
- Enhanced control
- Easy migration
- Maximized efficiency
Whether your company is slowly transitioning to cloud-based solutions or your IT department is understaffed, using a mixture of storage options can help you keep operations running smoothly while you work toward establishing more permanent storage systems.
Contact Kirbtech for Your Cloud or Server Needs
If your business is searching for a data storage solution, turn to Kirbtech. When you work with us, you can enjoy access to our dedicated team of IT experts and personalized IT solutions that work with your company’s operations and unique needs. Whether you’re interested in cloud management or a managed IT service provider, we can help your business meet its goals.
Are you interested in learning more about how our IT support and services can benefit your growing business? Contact Kirbtech for more information today!