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On-premises or cloud? A review of all the advantages and disadvantages

Do you want to maximize the potential of your business? Then ensure your IT environment can easily adapt to the changing needs and demands of your business. A flexible and scalable IT environment can rapidly scale resources while maintaining efficiency and performance levels. This is crucial for many companies, as workload requirements are not consistent 24/7. The advent of the cloud provides us with this flexibility and scalability allowing us to easily migrate applications and data and ensure their availability wherever you want (offline and online).

The different IT environments: on-premises, private/public cloud, hybrid cloud

On-premises

What?

You are responsible for procuring, maintaining, managing and securing all hardware and software in your IT environment. Your infrastructure and resources are entirely located in your own on-site data center.

 

Advantages:

You maintain complete control over both your IT infrastructure and your company’s confidential data. Opting for an on-premises application also allows you to maintain control over necessary upgrades and adjustments. In this scenario, you are not depending on other external parties and can determine your own downtime, which is particularly beneficial in production environments.

 

Disadvantages:

Limited flexibility, scalability, and high costs. Your IT environment’s capabilities are limited by the hardware and software you possess, locking you into your existing setup. It is essential to consider your company’s potential growth, as you might end up procuring and allocating resources that are not optimally utilized. In addition, you bear the full costs of both your IT infrastructure and your IT personnel. Furthermore, you must invest more frequently to remain operational and up-to-date. All of these factors contribute to making an on-premises environment a costly affair.

Private cloud

What?

In this case, you manage either all or part of your IT environment, which is hosted in an external cloud provider’s data center. This entails the provision of all servers, software, databases, and storage by the external cloud provider. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of the cloud without having to use a shared infrastructure. It is a separate cloud environment set up for and used only by your business.

 

Advantages:

You can fully tailor the cloud to suit your specific needs and requirements. You maintain complete control over your data’s quality, security, and integrity. High-speed operations and connections are achievable, as all resources are at your disposal.

 

Disadvantage:

You are responsible for both the hardware and software maintenance, as well as keeping the entire infrastructure up to date. Which can be costly. While you can customize everything for your business, the investment must come from your end. However, an alternative is choosing a managed private cloud. In this case, a third party manages your private cloud entirely. While you still need to provide the hardware, cloud operations and maintenance tasks are outsourced, resulting in significant cost savings.

Public cloud

What?

In a public cloud setup, you use the cloud resources (servers, network & storage) from a third-party provider. You share the resources with other organizations and companies and you can manage your account through a web browser.

 

Advantages:

The public cloud can be cost-effective if managed efficiently (e.g., activating resources only when needed).  The external provider takes care of the necessary infrastructure and its maintenance. You do not own the hardware yourself; instead, you pay a monthly fee to utilize the provided services. This allows for nearly unlimited scalability.

 

Disadvantages:

The provider might impose conditions beyond your control as a user. Additionally, you have limited authority over the location and security of your data. Another disadvantage is high latency. This can occur due to shared resource usage, potentially reducing productivity. This is because multiple parties are utilizing the same resources simultaneously. Furthermore, the public cloud tends to come with a higher price tag compared to directly purchasing similar hardware or products. Nonetheless the key advantage lies in operating within an OPEX cost model, meaning you no longer have to make these investments yourself.

Hybrid cloud

What?

The hybrid cloud, also known as “the best of all worlds,” combines an on-premises or private cloud environment connected to a public cloud. With a hybrid cloud, you have the flexibility to decide which data and applications to store in the cloud and which remain in-house. This setup allows for complementary rather than competing, usage. Hybrid Clouds offers the essential flexibility to meet your current company needs while accommodating future changes.

Advantages:

  • Scalability: You can effortlessly adjust resources based on your business requirements, eliminating the need for substantial hardware or software investments.

  • Flexibility: You have the freedom to determine data and application locations and resources.

  • Security: Distributing data and applications across appropriate platforms is preferable. Hybrid cloud enables you to store applications used daily in the public cloud and sensitive business data either on-premises or in a private cloud.

  • Cloud bursting for peak times: The public cloud can be activated during peak usage periods when the private cloud experiences high loads. This avoids unnecessary hardware investments while accommodating additional workloads as needed.

  • Cost-effective: You only pay for the cloud services and resources you need. Eliminating the need for infrastructure investments to ensure scalability and flexibility.

  • Backup and recovery: A hybrid cloud environment includes on-premises and cloud-based backups, guaranteeing reliability. Fast data recovery is facilitated through advanced deduplication and data compression mechanisms.

Disadvantages:

  • Complexity: Setting up a hybrid cloud is complex because companies often involving IT solutions from multiple vendors. The help of an experienced IT partner is therefore advisable.

  • Cost management: Implementing a hybrid cloud might require some budget, but fortunately, you can gain financial returns from migrating to a hybrid cloud due to efficient resource utilization. Resources are activated as needed, preventing 24/7 idle usage.

  • Integration of multiple systems: Consistent communication and compatibility among all involved systems require constant attention. To cope with the complexity of such integration, it is also best to call on the expertise of an external IT company.

If you have any questions regarding your IT infrastructure, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experts will be happy to help you!

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