When your business needs to decide which server is best for your business, there is a lot of information to consider. The two most popular options include in-house servers (sometimes called dedicated servers) and cloud servers. While they perform similar basic functions to store, share and protect information and data, there are key differences in user experience, implementation time and cost.
If your business has outgrown its in-house server and you want to replace or upgrade, now may be a good time to consider moving to a cloud server OR If your business is expanding to different locations or countries, adopting cloud technology from the start may be a better option than an in-house server.
What are the pros and cons of in-house servers for businesses?
When you’re considering the pros and cons of in-house servers for your business, it’s important to also have a business continuity plan in place if the server fails. Businesses that aren’t dependent on uptime are often more suited to in-house servers than businesses that rely on online transactions.
Historically small and medium businesses have chosen in-house servers over cloud servers for file sharing and to host applications including email and software. Now the cloud is a more viable option for small and medium businesses, there are still some who prefer in-house servers because they have more control over it. It’s important to note however, that in-house servers can require substantial initial capital investment for software and equipment. In-house servers can also be developed to meet the changing needs of your business. It’s important to note that your business will need to have a dedicated IT manager to maintain it and ensure it is secure at all times which can be expensive.
The pros of in-house servers include:
Having physical control over your back up
Being able to keep critical data and information in-house with no third-party access available
No requirement for an internet connection to access the data
Can be more cost effective for some small and medium businesses
The cons of in-house servers include:
Sizeable capital investment required for infrastructure and hardware
Dedicated IT support required with a dedicated space needed to house the server
Increased susceptibility to data loss during disaster situations. This will be dependent on how often data is stored securely offsite.
No recovery time or uptime guarantees
What are the pros and cons of cloud servers for businesses?
Cloud servers for small and medium businesses offer advantages over in-house servers but also have some drawbacks. If your business has numerous virtual and remote employees and you don’t want to manage an in house server, a cloud server will be beneficial. Cloud servers are easily scalable and give businesses the flexibility to meet changing demands, without a hefty investment. You’ll need to budget for monthly hosting fees, but won’t need to be concerned about the security of your data and information.
The pros of cloud servers include:
No requirement capital expenses or onsite hardware. This usually suits organisations that outgrow data storage quickly.
Storage can be easily added when needed with most cloud solution providers charging you only what you need.
Easy and efficient to backup and restore from anywhere, using any device including computers, tablets, or smartphones.
Data losses can be minimised by having data backed up to the cloud as regularly as 15-minute intervals.
The cons of cloud servers include:
If your business isn’t dependent on uptime and instant data recovery, the costs could outweigh the benefits.
There is a limit to how much data can be stored in the cloud, which depends on cost and storage availability.
You will have no access to any data or information if the internet goes down at your business or at the cloud provider’s side.
If full data recovery is required, it can be time-consuming and impact heavily on your business.
Could hybrid cloud be the best option for your business?
A hybrid cloud is a combination of in-house and cloud based server solutions, which gives businesses the best of both worlds. With the ability to have multiple configurations a hybrid cloud can be:
Dedicated servers integrated with public cloud storage
Private cloud servers integrated with public cloud servers
Businesses who use a hybrid cloud can quickly extend their processing power. For instance, larger analytical and processor intensive tasks can be sent to the public cloud while the in house server can be used for critical tasks. This appeals to organisations that value keeping sensitive data and information private but need extra processing power via the cloud.
For businesses that have short-term peak loads for processing, using a hybrid cloud can be more cost effective than upgrading their servers because they only pay for the cloud resources they use. Upgrading servers for a few peak periods a year can be expensive and if they’re under utilised, be a waste of resources.
Where to get the best server solution for your small to medium business
When you’re trying to decide between in house servers, cloud servers and hybrid servers for your business, it’s important to choose a solution that fits your business needs now and in the future.
Since 2002, Arrow has helped thousands of Australian businesses with data storage and information processing solutions. Our team of IT specialists and networking professionals work closely with public cloud providers. We can engineer your hybrid cloud to seamlessly integrate with Microsoft Azure, AWS and Datto.
Arrow’s highly trained and experienced team of IT specialists are here to help you. Contact us today.