You’re at the point where it’s time to refresh your on-site datacenter. It’s 2018, and public cloud offerings are teeming with various services, but are they the best decision for your organization? A wrong decision for your core technology infrastructure can lead to costly overages regarding both time and money. Let’s review the pros and cons of In-House Servers vs Cloud Servers.

The Pros & Cons of In-house Servers

In-house servers have distinct advantages and disadvantages when compared to cloud servers. Lets review these to get a better idea about what type of server would be the best choice for your organization.

  • The Pros
    • Physical: With in-house servers, you control the servers themselves, backups, backup schedules, patches and updates, etc.
    • Security: Your data remains under lock and key. The only security limitations of on-site data centers are due to the security choices you make. You don’t have to worry about a server you have no control of being hacked and having your data being exposed.
    • Access: Data access is available whether or not an internet connection exists. With cloud servers, if the internet goes down on the cloud server side, you may have issues accessing data or connecting to it.
    • Customization: You are able build a custom solution that fits the needs of your business instead of settling for one of the available packages offered by cloud server providers.
    • Scalability: You can upgrade your server to meet the needs of your company while it grows or changes.
    • Costs & Fees: No hidden costs or fees associated with variable workloads.

  • The Cons
    • In-house servers require an up-front capital investment for infrastructure creation and server hardware. Depending on the needs or size of the company, this can be quite expensive.
    • In-house servers need physical space within the office, so if your current office is already cramped, it may be difficult to make room for the hardware.
    • Dedicated IT personnel are needed. These machines are complex, so only people with the proper IT training and knowledge should be operating or troubleshooting them.
    • They are more prone to losing data in disaster scenarios. Cloud servers are backed up very often and stored in various places. If something disastrous happens to an in-house server, data will need to be restored from the last backup point.

The Pros & Cons of Cloud Servers

Cloud servers also have distinct advantages and disadvantages in comparison to other server types. Time to review the pros and cons of cloud servers to see what our optimal server choice is.

  • The Pros
    • Flexibility: Add or subtract compute and storage space as needed by just a click of a button or a quick phone call. For example, if your company goes to a leaner business model which needs much less digital storage, you won’t be stuck with a lot of unused space on an expensive server that no longer meets your needs.
    • Consumption-based Pricing Model: Instead of a huge capital investment, you only pay for what you consume.
    • Data Integrity: Data is always being backed up, so cloud servers are less prone to hardware failures and data loss.

  • The Cons
    • Third Party Dependency: Unable to access data if there is a problem with the internet connection or the cloud provider’s service or internet connection.
    • Mobility: Costs to move data out of a public cloud or to another public cloud are notoriously high.
    • Recovery: Full data recovery can be very time-consuming.
    • Performance Costs: High performance workloads can also be costly.
    • Expertise: Public cloud infrastructures still require a dedicated IT staff.

The needs of your business will help you decide whether in-house servers or cloud servers are a better fit. It’s seldom a clear choice to make, but the good news is that there’s a third option! Stay tuned for Part 2 of Get Your Head Out of the Cloud to learn more about this third option and why it might be the best one yet.