Opinion, Technical 15th October 2018

To Cloud Server or not to Cloud Server, that is the question

Rebecca Shaw

Choosing an in-house server versus using a cloud-based one is a tough decision and one that will impact your business on a daily basis. Perhaps you’re considering moving to the Cloud because your server is dated and no longer supporting your business like it should. Or maybe you’re starting a new business and wondering if you should adopt Cloud technology from the start.

At AfterDark, we know it’s lot to think about and we’re here to help. As a start, consider the following information when weighing your options:

In-house server

Pros

  • Complete physical control over your backup.
  • Keep critical data in-house. No third party has access to your information.
  • No need to rely on an Internet connection for access to data.
  • Can be more cost-effective for small to mid-sized companies.
  • You can build a solution that’s completely tailored to the needs of your business.
  • You can upgrade your server to meet the needs of your company as it grows or changes and you won’t pay monthly hosting fees.

Cons

  • Requires a capital investment into equipment and infrastructure.
  • Needs space in your office for a rack or server room.
  • More susceptible to data loss during disaster situations.
  • How often you take the data offsite will reflect how much data you’ll lose in an emergency.
  • No uptime or recovery time guarantees.
  • Requires dedicated IT support.

Cloud Servers

Pros

  • No need for onsite hardware or capital expenses. Well-suited to companies that may outgrow storage too quickly.
  • Easily scalable to the demands of your business. Solutions are often on-demand, so you only pay for what you need.
  • Backup and restore can be initiated from anywhere making it highly accessible.
  • Data can be backed up in the cloud as regularly as 15-minute intervals, minimising data losses in disaster situations.
  • Can be more financially viable for businesses that have high % of virtual workers or demanding IT costs.

Cons

  • The costs of the data recovery could outweigh the benefits for companies that are not as dependent on uptime and instant recovery. Plus monthly hosting fees need to be considered.
  • Every business will have a limit to data storage due to availability and cost.
  • Requires dependable Internet connection to be able to connect to your server.
  • Full data recovery could prove very time-consuming and impactful on systems.
  • If your company handles especially sensitive information like customer’s health records or financial data, you might be hesitant to use the Cloud.

There’s a lot to consider but as a start, we typically recommend considering how important uptime is to your business. If you’re an online business and reliant on web-based transactions, a cloud-based solution may be more attractive to guarantee a certain level of uptime. Other businesses not as dependent on uptime may be more suited to an in-house set up to save on ongoing fees.

As with many business solutions, the answer will depend on your business’ specific needs and budget. By understanding the unique needs of your business, we can assist you in finding the best solution to suit your IT requirements.

We offer obligation-free assessments of your current IT practices and provide recommendations tailored to your business. Give us a call on 1300 553 101 and we’ll be there to help.

About Rebecca Shaw

Rebecca is a passionate marketing professional with roots firmly in the ICT sector. She is a true believer in the power of marketing to deliver transformation and connection.