On-premise software vs Cloud server: what to choose?

Posted on February 1 2021

Reading time: 7 minutes

A company must consider many aspects before choosing between a local server, also referred to as an on-premise server, or adopting a SaaS-type cloud computing solution.

Before making that type of decision for your business, it is best to analyze the pros and cons of each option.

Of course, the two solutions have their strengths and weaknesses.

First, it is important to clearly understand the distinction between cloud-based software and on-premise software:

Cloud software : SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud solution available via an Internet connection. Users can access their entire database simply by connecting to the Internet.

They can work from home, in a café, from their tablet or even their mobile devices, as long as they have an Internet connection.

It is a model that does not require any licensing or installation equipment.

On-premise meaning (or local server):

An On-premise server is a solution that requires the purchase of a software license and installation hardware. That type of software must therefore be renewed once the license expires.

The software is directly implemented on the premises of the acquiring company and can be deployed in three ways:

  • Option 1: Internal deployment with no external access, unless there is a functional VPN.
  • Option 2: Deployment in a secure DMZ area, which makes the software available externally while ensuring a level of protection, in case the server should be attacked.
  • Option 3: The server is in-house, but available through the firewall simply with a NAT rule. In the event of a security breach, the entire internal network can be accessed. This option is not recommended at all.

This type of server also requires update periods that must be carried out by the provider or by company members.

Cloud vs on premise comparison:

There are many comparison criteria to look at in order to select the type of server that best suits your business. We will therefore present the most decisive ones to help you make an informed decision.

The criteria we will analyze are the following :

  1. Data security
  2. The costs
  3. Accessibility
  4. Data Sharing
  5. Data loss in case of failure
  6. Installation duration
  7. Maintenance period

1. Data security

On-premise solution :

The organization that acquires a server within the business remains responsible for managing data security.

Systems must be installed to monitor information protection, but also to ensure the resumption of operations in the event of a disaster recovery plan.

Cloud solution :

The security of the company’s information depends on the server provider. Data is stored in highly secure external data centers.

data is secure 24/24 all around the world

2. The Costs

On-premise solution :

The costs of an on-premise solution are much higher than for a cloud solution.

These costs include installation, equipment, and maintenance costs. We also have to anticipate the cost of employee training, which isn’t cheap.

Cloud Solution :

The cost of a cloud solution is much lower. This type of service usually works by monthly subscription.

Companies also do not need to spend on equipment purchases or license renewals.

The updates are done by the vendors, so businesses don’t need to prepare a budget for maintenance periods.

3. Accessibility

On-Premise Solution :

Since the server is installed on the premises of the acquiring company, its accessibility is limited there, but external deployment options are possible

Teleworking remains a possible option, but several measures must be taken to ensure the security of the information.

Also, accessibility is often limited to the material provided by the company, which may force it to invest in mobile equipment (laptops, smartphones, etc.).

Cloud solution:

Accessibility is one of the strengths of the cloud solution. This type of server only requires an Internet connection.

Employees can therefore work from home, or anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. They have access to their data from any device when they want to.

woman working from cloud vs premise comparison

4. Data Sharing

On-premise solution :

With a local server, one would be led to believe that data sharing is easy.

However, it is possible that the transfer of information between the users of the company is not functional within the company, and that the intervention of a specialist is necessary.

It is also more difficult to work with multiple users on the same document at the same time.

Cloud solution :

Configuring the cloud server makes sharing data between colleagues very fast and simple. You can easily share your documents with a member of your team, in addition to working on several documents at the same time.

You can see the changes made by one of your colleagues in real-time, as the savings are automatically made.

5. Data loss in case of failure

On-premise solution :

If your data backup system is not up to date, you may lose information in the event of a breakdown or shutdown.

This can cause big problems: losing important customer data, in addition to causing a big waste of time to restore your system.

Cloud solution :

With a cloud solution, your data is automatically saved. You do not always have to save your documents, everything is done directly on the server.

This ensures that you can quickly return to work after a computer failure or shutdown.

If an interruption lasts a long time, you can even go home and continue your activities without falling behind.

6. Installation duration

On-premise solution :

The installation of a local server can take a few weeks. You must first schedule the installation date, which may result in delays depending on the supplier’s availability.

You also have to plan the installation and configuration times of the system on your schedule.

Cloud solution :

A cloud solution requires no physical equipment or installation, its implementation is very quick.

If we take the example of our inventory solution, the implementation is very fast and our users are operational in less than a week!

You will be ready to operate with an efficient system very quickly.

7. Maintenance period

On-premise solution :

Maintenance periods are often company pet peeves. With a local server, you need to call providers to send you a technician in case of a problem.

Your business depends on the system and this often generates more costs.

Cloud solution :

For a cloud solution, it is the provider that handles maintenance periods automatically.

You do not have to be visited by a technician who does not know your server and who might make a mistake when trying to fix your problem.

You also save a lot of money.

What type of server should you choose?

The answer to this question is simple. You need to choose the server model that best suits your business’s needs.

With the on-premise server, your data is secure where the server was installed, so you have full control over the servers and your information.

On the other hand, it is a more expensive solution, which often requires the use of external technicians and which does not guarantee the total backup of your data in case of a major failure.

With the cloud solution, simplicity comes first.

You have access to your data at any time of the day, both in the office and in the comfort of your home. It is a much cheaper solution and requires less management.

You are also not at risk of losing your information in the event of a disaster. Some cloud solutions provide “offline” versions, which allow you to work locally while waiting for an Internet connection to share information.

Modernize your infrastructure with a cloud solution. Choose efficiency and speed by implementing our Hector inventory management solution in your business today.