The widespread adoption of cloud has led many decision makers to weigh the pros and cons of cloud vs on premise vs hybrid solutions for their business.
As businesses grow, they often face a critical decision about their IT infrastructure: should they keep their computing resources on premise or move them to the cloud? This decision can have a significant impact on a company’s operations and bottom line, and it is especially important for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) that may not have the same resources as larger enterprises. Before making a decision, it’s important to compare the pros and cons of cloud vs on premise computing for SMBs to find the option that is best for your business.
On Premise: Pros and Cons
An on premise data center, also referred to as “on prem” or “on premises”, is one in which a company’s hardware and software is maintained on-site at the location of the business. This includes servers, storage devices, and other infrastructure components that are used to host and run applications and data.
Pros of On Premise:
- Complete Control – One of the main advantages of on-prem computing is that you have complete control over your hardware and software. You can configure and customize your infrastructure to meet your specific needs, and you can ensure that your data is secure and compliant with any regulations that apply to your business.
- No Monthly Fees – With on-prem computing, you don’t have to pay monthly fees for cloud services. Once you’ve purchased your hardware and software, you own them outright, and you can use them for as long as they remain functional.
Cons of On Premise:
- Upfront Costs – The biggest drawback of on prem computing is the upfront costs. SMBs must invest in expensive hardware and software, and they must hire IT staff to set up and maintain their infrastructure. These costs can be prohibitive for smaller businesses, and they can eat into profits and cash flow.
- Limited Scalability – On prem computing is also limited in terms of scalability. If your business grows and you need more computing resources, you may have to purchase additional hardware and software, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
Cloud: Pros and Cons
A cloud data center is one that a third-party owns, manages, and makes available for companies to use the resources of. This includes services such as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS). Businesses can access cloud infrastructure and services over either a private or public (i.e., internet) network connection. Cloud services are designed to give businesses the flexibility to add tools as needed to keep up with growth and increase efficiency, access, and cash flow.
On premise to cloud migration refers to the process of transferring digital assets (data, applications, servers, software, workloads, etc.) from on-site facilities to cloud-based infrastructure that is owned by a cloud service provider (CSP) such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud.
Pros of Cloud Migration:
- Low Upfront Costs – One of the biggest advantages of moving to the cloud is the low upfront costs. SMBs can use cloud services on a pay-as-you-go basis, which means they only pay for the computing resources they actually use. This makes cloud computing an affordable option for businesses that don’t have a lot of capital to invest in their IT infrastructure.
- Scalability – Cloud computing is also highly scalable. If your business grows and you need more computing resources, you can easily scale up your cloud services to meet your needs. This can be done quickly and without the need for additional hardware or software.
Cons of Cloud Migration:
- Security Concerns – One of the main concerns with cloud computing is security. SMBs must trust their cloud provider to keep their data safe and secure, and they must ensure that their provider is compliant with any regulations that apply to their business.
- Lack of Control – Cloud computing also means giving up some control over your IT infrastructure. You can’t customize your hardware and software as easily as you can with an on premise data center, and you must rely on your provider to maintain and update your infrastructure.
Which is better for SMBs?
Ultimately, the decision between cloud vs on premise data centers comes down to your specific business needs and priorities. If you value control and customization, and you have the resources to invest in your own IT infrastructure, on premise computing may be the better choice for you. However, if you need affordable and scalable computing resources, and you’re willing to trust a third-party provider with your data, moving to the cloud can be the best solution to keep your business flexible and scalable.
While many businesses weigh the pros and cons of cloud vs on premise data centers, there is another solution that offers the best of both worlds. A hybrid cloud solution features elements of different types of IT deployment models, ranging from on premise to private and public cloud. Businesses can utilize the public cloud for non-sensitive data and applications to promote scalability and cost-effectiveness. At the same time, they can retain critical data and applications within a private cloud or on premise infrastructure for enhanced security and compliance.
Hybrid Cloud and On Prem: The Best of Both Worlds
Hybrid cloud and on premise solutions combine the benefits of both cloud and on premise data centers. They allow businesses to keep some of their computing resources on-site while leveraging the scalability and flexibility of cloud computing.
Here are some of the key benefits of a hybrid cloud and on-premises solution for businesses:
1. Flexibility: A hybrid cloud and on prem solution provides businesses with the flexibility to choose where to store their data and applications based on their specific needs. It allows businesses to take advantage of the scalability and agility of cloud computing while retaining control over their critical data and applications that may require on-premises storage due to regulatory or compliance requirements.
2. Cost-effectiveness: Hybrid cloud and on prem solutions can be cost-effective for businesses as they allow them to use on prem resources for more sensitive data and applications, while using cloud computing for non-sensitive workloads. This can result in significant cost savings for businesses by reducing the need for expensive on prem hardware and software while still taking advantage of cloud computing.
3. Increased Security: By keeping sensitive data and applications on prem, businesses can maintain better control over their security, which is critical for businesses dealing with sensitive data such as financial information, healthcare data, and personally identifiable information (PII). Additionally, hybrid cloud and on prem solutions offer businesses the ability to use cloud-based security services such as intrusion detection and prevention systems, firewalls, and threat intelligence to enhance their overall security posture.
4. Improved Disaster Recovery: Hybrid cloud and on prem solutions offer businesses the ability to use cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) solutions to protect their critical data and applications. By leveraging the cloud for disaster recovery, businesses can recover their data and applications more quickly, reducing downtime and the associated costs of lost productivity.
5. Increased Scalability: Hybrid cloud and on prem solutions can provide businesses with the ability to scale their infrastructure up or down as needed. By using the cloud for less sensitive workloads, businesses can take advantage of the scalability and flexibility of cloud computing without sacrificing control over their critical data and applications.
Overall, a hybrid cloud and on premise solution can provide businesses with the best of both worlds, allowing them to take advantage of the scalability and flexibility of cloud computing while maintaining control over their critical data and applications. Businesses should carefully evaluate their needs and requirements when choosing a hybrid cloud and on-premises solution to ensure they choose the best option for their specific situation.