According to RightScale 2019 State Of The Cloud Report, public cloud usage continues to grow rapidly, hybrid cloud adoption has increased by 7% since last year, while private cloud growth is almost flat compared to 2018. Moreover, 81% of businesses use multi-cloud systems.
Still, many businesses are still not sure whether to invest in the on-premises infrastructure or migrate their operations to the cloud. To choose a better option for your business, you first need to understand the major pros and cons of both solutions, as well as key differences between them.
On-premises software is installed and run locally, on your organization’s computers. This means that your applications and data are stored on your organization’s servers or private cloud. Knowing that your company’s sensitive data is placed on in-house servers and that you can fully control its security and access will probably make you feel safer.
On the other hand, investing in on-premises infrastructures comes with additional complexities and the costs that are exponentially higher than migrating to the cloud. You will need to invest in powerful in-house servers, software licenses, integration tools, as well as hire experienced IT staff to maintain the security of your systems and mitigate any potential risks.
The major difference between on-premise and cloud infrastructures is that, with the latter one, your data is stored offsite. There are no additional costs – you’re paying only for the resources you use. You won’t need to invest in additional hardware servers, software, and maintenance – a third-party cloud provider will do that for you. Most importantly, you can change cloud storage plans easily, as your business goals, workload, and customer requirements change.
Apart from its cost-effectiveness, another great benefit of cloud computing lies in the fact that it provides almost instant provisioning. Namely, in cloud infrastructures, everything has already been configured, meaning that you can integrate new tools with your existing business environments and use them immediately. This will increase the overall workplace productivity and enable a better flow of data.
The Major Differences between On-Premise and Cloud Infrastructures
From these definitions, we can already conclude that there are several fundamental differences between these two models. Let’s take a closer look at them.
With on-premises software, your data is stored within your in-house servers and you’re the one who maintains these systems regularly. On the other hand, by moving your data to the cloud, you’re ensuring that the third-party provider will handle the data storage and security.
Investing in on-premise software comes with a myriad of additional costs, including servers, greater power consumption, and more space needed. With cloud computing, you don’t have to worry about f these factors – you’re paying only for what you’re using and you can scale your plans up and down over time.
- Control and security
By storing and running your data in-house, you will maintain the full control of your information. On the other hand, that you’re the one responsible to what’s happening to your data and, in avoid becoming an easy target, you will need to invest in the top-notch data security and IT staff.
If you decide to move your data to the cloud, you should remember that your data security is in the provider’s hands, as well. Therefore, if a provider experiences any data security breakages or their servers are down, your data will also be exposed and you won’t be able to access it. The good thing is that most cloud providers use encryption, making it almost impossible for hackers to use your data.
- Compliance issues
When investing in on-premises environments, you need to consider relevant regulations. Probably the most popular of them is HIPAA, standing for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that ensures the safety of private health information.
You need to know what regulations you’re subject to and always ensure the maximum data security. When choosing a third-party cloud provider, you need to do thorough research and choose a reliable option. Your organizations’ sensitive data, especially your partners, employees, and customers’ information need to stay safe no matter what.
The Hybrid Cloud
From the examples given above, it’s obvious that both on-premises and cloud infrastructures provide certain benefits we cannot afford to ignore. To get the best of both worlds, many enterprises decide to allocate their resources in the hybrid cloud.
Hybrid cloud infrastructures combine the features of private clouds and public clouds. One of the greatest pros of the hybrid environment is its flexibility. You can use the public cloud for employees’ communications, while a more secure, private cloud is an ideal option for storing your organization’s vital information.
Hybrid cloud environments are also a great way to avoid cloud bursting. Namely, if you use 100% of your private cloud resource capacities, you can move a portion of your data and traffic to the public cloud environment and, in this way, make sure your activities are handled efficiently.
Another great way to minimize the complexities of multi-cloud environments is to set up the hyper-converged enterprise cloud. Namely, hyper-converged infrastructures let you centralize your multi-cloud infrastructure and replace loads of servers and networks with a simplified cloud environment. Given that hyper-convergence can be applied to both private and hybrid clouds built on HCI, it’s not surprising that 70% of enterprises are planning to integrate HCI with their existing cloud environments.
Over to You
There is no rule that will tell you which option is better for your business. There are numerous factors you need to take into consideration, including the size of your business, its demands, your resources, your customers, as well as your growth plans. Only this way will you be able to know what exactly you need and make the right decision. Hope this article will serve as a solid starting point for your research.
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