When it comes to servers, you have two main options; cloud server or in-house server. Don’t worry, we know it’s not as straight forward as it sounds, there’s a lot of considerations to make before choosing the right one. Not to mention, a server which fails or doesn’t fit your business can actually have cataclysmic consequences.
Obviously, we don’t want to panic you – but picking the right server is super important, and there’s way more than just upfront cost to consider. Factors like uptime, security, space and data recovery should play much more important roles in making your final decision.
The following highlights the pros and cons of both cloud and in house servers, hopefully guiding you through this often tricky decision.
What is a cloud server?
First of all, let’s just clarify what a cloud server is. A cloud server is a virtual server, in comparison to a physical server. By being built and hosted virtually, through the internet, you can access a cloud server (thus, all it’s data and documents) from anywhere, remotely.
Cloud technology is actually a lot more common than you might be aware. We use it every day; online banking, playing music and social media all use cloud technology. In fact, cloud technology does solve the many problems that we have, especially for businesses, with just the simple fact that you can access your programmes, software and applications from anywhere. But is it the server for you?
Pros of a cloud server
- You have the flexibility to work from wherever you want, whenever you want as long as you have an internet connection. You also have an increased flexibility in how much capacity you server has – suiting businesses with fluctuating demands.
- Cloud server gives you the added peace of mind that, no matter what happens, you will never lose your data or work. As well as being able to remotely wipe any information from a laptop or computer just in case, say, it gets stolen or lost. Not to mention the firewalls, backups, data isolation and customer identity control.
- Your uptime, with a cloud server, will never fall short. Because the whole system is built on interconnected servers, you never have to worry about a system failure or your website having downtime issues. When a website crashes, you’ll lose visitors – therefore this is a super important factor for businesses that rely on uptime.
- With a cloud server, you never have to worry about updating or maintaining your server – it’s all done for you, away from you. Not only does this give you more time to focus on your business, it means your server is always up to standard.
- It’s eco-friendly – great for businesses that are following in the footsteps of Amazon, Facebook and Google, and going green. A reduced amount of carbon emissions and an increased level of smugness that you’ve made the sustainable choice, what more could you want?
Cons of a cloud server
- The biggest con is cost, which sometimes might outweigh how many benefits you actually get from a cloud server. Cloud servers are, in general, more expensive than an in house option, which for businesses that aren’t as dependent on uptime or recovery, might make them sway away.
- Tying in with cost, you have to pay for the amount of storage that you have. Although this might be great in terms of flexibility, it might not be as wonderful for those that need extra storage for their business, but can’t justify the cost that comes with it.
- Cloud servers rely on the internet, which could prove to be an issue. What if the internet goes down on your side or your cloud server provider’s side? You won’t have access to your work or information, heavily impacting your business.
- A little bit personal, but you have to decide whether or not you trust somebody else with your data. With companies with highly sensitive data, with strict regulations, a cloud server might not be a possibility for you. Maybe it is just too risky.
What is an in house server?
As the same suggests, an in-house server is located in a building (usually the office, studio etc). They host all the applications, file sharing, data, email and everything else your office will need. Although in-house servers were just the solution, before cloud servers, they still have benefits that could make them the best fit for your business. Here they are.
Pros of an in house server
- You have complete control over an in-house server, meaning you can tailor it to fit the needs of your business perfectly. You have physical control of a backup, of updates and of, well everything.
- All your critical, sensitive data is in your building – no third party has access to your information. This is the selling point for businesses that have highly sensitive data or strict regulations.
- You don’t have to rely on an internet connection to access your data. Even if your internet crashes, for whatever reason, your server still remains intact, meaning there’s no loss or productivity.
- Can be a lot more cost effective as there are no monthly hosting fees, or storage upgrade costs. An initial investment will have to be made, but after that, there are no scheduled costs.
Cons of an in house server
- The biggest worry is that an in-house server won’t survive in worst-case scenarios. How much data you recover from disaster situations all depend on how often you backed up your data manually.
- With an in-house server, there’s absolutely no uptime or recovery guarantees. This makes your business more susceptible to downtime.
- The cost of an in-house server might not actually be as low as you think. You will have to pay for IT professionals, maintenance, upgrades and renewing software licensing which all adds up, plus when these aren’t done automatically, you have to spend time. We all know, time is money.
- An in-house server requires actual physical space in your office, building or workspace.
Organisations need to consider which server will work best for them, an investment in the right technology for your business will ultimately affect your long-term profits.
We hope you find this information helpful and it guides you in your decision making process, but if you are still not sure then contact our support and our team would love to help you select the best solution for you.