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Cloud vs. In-house Servers: Which is the Best Option for Your Business?

By: Total Computer Solutions

Young businessman sitting in office chair in front of a wall with cloud thought sketched on a chalkboard above his head

Maybe you are starting a new business and deliberating on whether you should buy an in-house server or embrace the cloud from the start. Or perhaps your server is old and outdated, and you are wondering whether to replace it or move to the cloud. It may be that your enterprise has outgrown your server and you are torn between buying a big server and migrating to the cloud. Regardless of why you are deciding between an in-house server and the cloud, it's a tough decision to make. This article helps you make this decision by presenting the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

In-house servers

A couple of years ago, the cloud was meant for big business, and small and medium-sized enterprises used in-house servers –located in the workplace to host applications, file sharing, and other office essentials. In-house servers are still a viable option for small businesses and startups.

Advantages

  • Total control: in-house servers give businesses complete control and access over the physical server.
  • Upgradable: you can upgrade your server to meet your businesses needs without paying monthly hosting fees.
  • Security: rather than relying on cloud providers to protect your data, you devise security measures that meet your security needs.

Disadvantages

  • Upfront investment: you require a substantial amount of money to purchase servers and other equipment. You also need to hire an IT professional to manage the server. Do not forget the cost associated with hardware upgrades and renewing software licenses.
  • Space considerations: for a server to operate effectively, it requires a secure location, power, and cooling system.

Cloud Servers

There is a growing trend towards businesses of all sizes and industries moving to the cloud. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the cloud.

Advantages

  • Scalability: you can add more storage and memory to your solution to meet your changing business needs. Also, in the cloud platform, you pay for what you use.
  • Virtual working: with the cloud, employees can access data remotely from anywhere anytime as long as they have internet connectivity.
  • Security: although you have to rely on cloud providers like Google and Amazon to protect your data, they have the expertise and experience to do so, and hence, your data is safe.
  • Low capital expense: you do not need to spend much money on equipment and other hardware. Also, you do not incur the costs of hiring on-staff IT professionals to manage your server. A new business can be up and running without breaking the bank.

Disadvantages

  • Requires a reliable internet connection to operate optimally. When your internet connectivity is down, you cannot access your server.
  • Although the cloud has a reputation for being secure, companies that handle sensitive client data like medical records and financial data are reluctant to use the cloud.

Buying a server or moving to the cloud

Given the breakdown above, an onsite server allows you physical control over your server and keeps critical data in-house. You can upgrade your server to meet your business needs. However, the initial cost of setting up the server and other hardware are can be expensive when coupled with maintenance and upgrading expenses. You may also pay for IT support when need be.

On the other side, when you move to the cloud, your upfront costs are negligible, and you enjoy scalability. If you have several virtual workers, a cloud solution can be valuable. You must have a reliable and robust internet connection and be ready to pay monthly fees, which could equal or cost more than an in-house server. Also, although there are numerous cloud security options, you must give up your control over data security.

Should you go for a cloud server or use your in-house server?

As with many business solutions, there is no direct answer. The option you choose depends on your business needs and budget. The cloud has many advantages, especially with remote access, and dedicated service providers who keep everything running on your behalf. However, depending on your needs, it might not be your best choice.

You should consider factors like internet bandwidth, power stability, and type of business software before choosing a server solution. If you have limited office space, unreliable power supply, remote workload, aging server hardware, and enough internet bandwidth, then it is time to migrate to the cloud. Contact Total Computer Solutions for help assessing your fit for a move to the cloud.New call-to-action