Onsite or Cloud Server: What’s Best for Your Business?

Onsite or Cloud Server: What’s Best for Your Business?

Your servers run the technology that fuels your business. That’s why they are the most important (and expensive) pieces of hardware that you house. When it comes time to refresh one (or all) of your servers, you need to make a choice: Do you purchase a new server to host in-house, or do you move your central computing to the cloud?

In-House or Cloud?

Over the past decade, cloud computing has taken off and today businesses are saving a lot of upfront capital by choosing to deploy cloud-based servers. Let’s take a brief look at both options and outline some of the pros and cons of each. 

New In-House Server

Onsite servers have been the traditional way businesses have deployed their technology for quite some time. Most businesses have a dedicated server room with a stack of server blades that all do some type of critical function. The largest benefit of maintaining this strategy is that you still hold complete control over your IT infrastructure. This control allows your IT administrators to set up your central computing environment any which way they choose. Additionally, by choosing to go this route, you don’t necessarily have to have an Internet connection to deploy applications and files. This can be really great for organizations that house sensitive and proprietary data. 

On the other hand, an in-house infrastructure presents a few challenges and can create secondary costs that may keep your business from being able to do as much as you would like. If you choose to house your own technology you need to understand that if your employees need access to the resources on the server you’ll need to come up with a plan to allow remote access, effectively turning it into a private cloud. This will cost your organization, although there are workarounds (like using VPN technology or remote access tools) that can mitigate some of the upfront cost. 

We also should mention (as it is an important consideration) that buying a new server comes with a pretty large upfront cost. Today, there are more financing options available than ever before that mitigate the strain it can put on a company’s budget, but it is still a major consideration when considering which type of server to purchase.

Cloud-Hosted Servers

For a long time only enterprise companies could afford to utilize the massive benefits of cloud servers, but the prices have dropped substantially and now even the smallest of businesses can equip their business with strong central computing in the cloud. This isn’t only because of cost, but for a long time there was a concern about the underlying reliability of having a computing infrastructure that needed an Internet connection for access. Today’s workplace is a lot different, and with more people working remotely, choosing to deploy cloud servers makes a lot of sense.

Cloud servers can be set up in any manner to support a business’ needs and can be equipped with tools that would cost businesses huge sums of money if they were to try and build them in-house. They also can do a lot to save a business money. Not only is the underlying infrastructure maintained and managed by the cloud provider eliminating a lot of management costs associated with running advanced computing infrastructure, but organizations can scale cloud-based solutions to get the specific amount of computing that they need. This keeps them from wasting computing resources. On-site servers are notoriously underutilized.

There are drawbacks to cloud platforms that can be problematic for some business uses. The largest is the lack of control your business assumes over its centralized IT and data storage. Costs, while usually a benefit of the cloud-based approach, can actually be higher for organizations if they need a lot of computing resources or don’t actively track their cloud usage. 

Choosing the right server implementation is one of the most important technology decisions your business has to make. North Central Technologies can help in several ways. We not only can point you in the right direction for your specific needs, we can also use our vendor relationships to procure hardware fast and affordably. Give us a call at 978-798-6805 to learn more.

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