On Premise vs Cloud Hosting

The popularity of cloud hosting (not to be confused with web hosting, which is a totally different subject) has increased dramatically. In fact, according to a cloud adoption study by Bitglass, global cloud adoption reached 81% in 2018. Although these days, the cloud is usually more of a go-to option, sometimes it isn’t for everyone. It’s always important to consider your options if you’re deciding between keeping your data on premise or switching over to a cloud service provider.

What’s On Premise Hosting?

On premise hosting, AKA “on-prem” or on-premises hosting, is referred to when a business keeps all of its server hardware, firewalls, operating systems and applications in-house — usually at the company’s physical office. In this situation, the business is responsible for all server maintenance, software licenses, integrations, backups and hardware upgrades. If a company chooses to host on-prem, it’s important to have an IT team on deck to quickly support, maintain and fix the environment to make sure everything stays up and running properly.

15 years ago, these setups were the only viable hosting solution for companies, but that’s not the case anymore. Things started to shift when the speed of advancements in computer software and IT ramped up and new options, such as cloud computing, were introduced.

What’s Cloud Hosting?

Keeping your data in the cloud is basically the opposite of hosting your data on premise. In a cloud environment, a 3rd-party provider hosts everything for you off-site at a secure data center on a shared farm or dedicated server platform. Cloud providers can specialize in different areas of hosting, like hosted QuickBooks or another software.

The cloud hosting provider is responsible for all hardware costs, server and firewall maintenance. Since everything is managed by the provider in this scenario, customers are able to pay for services as needed (rather than invest a large amount of time and money into IT services and hardware) and they have the option to scale their needs according to company growth, usage and more. Also, a 3rd-party provider generally provides customer support services in addition to other perks but things vary from company to company.

Over the last ten years, cloud computing has become a preferred option to on-premise for a number of reasons. A few of which include:

  1. Increased remote accessibility
  2. Server redundancy
  3. Business scalability
  4. Disaster recovery
  5. Enhanced security

Important Differences Between On Premise and Cloud Hosting

Obviously, the big difference between these two types of hosting is on-site vs off-site. However, there are a few important factors to consider, which set them apart.

Price

In an on premise environment, business owners are responsible for the costs associated with their server hardware, maintenance, updates, memory and software. However in the cloud, businesses pay an annual or monthly fee to a 3rd-party hosting provider for the resources they use and don’t have to worry about costs for maintenance, security patch updates, upgrades or support. Therefore, cloud hosting tends to be a better value.

Maintenance

Like we mentioned previously, businesses that host on-prem are responsible for the server and operating system maintenance. This can be a costly and time-consuming headache for employees and business owners. When using a cloud hosting service, the provider absorbs these associated costs while handling maintenance and updates.

Security

According to the Cloud Security Alliance, 73% of companies said data security is the biggest concern holding back cloud adoption. However, security in the cloud can actually be better than hosting on-premises — depending on the cloud provider. Security tools, like firewalls, are usually not interconnected by APIs, resources are static and overall security is driven by an in-house IT team in on-prem settings.

In the cloud, security tools are interconnected and use APIs, can be automated to scale resources accordingly and are handled by engineers. Security in this environment is also a team effort between the provider and users – it’s important for users to take extra precautions when accessing their data by not clicking spammy links, downloading files from unknown sources and adding on an additional layer of login protection, like two factor authentication. Each cloud provider offers different levels and forms of security – for example, Summit Hosting uses 256-bit Encrypted Secure Login, is PCI compliant and SSAE 18 certified.

Accessibility

On premise hosting isn’t always as accessible for employees – users can only use their servers, data and virtual desktops while in the office. A hosted cloud environment allows users to access their data from any location at any time of day. This enables them to work just as they normally would in the office, but remotely, which is huge convenience for our customers

Natural Disaster or External Factor Recovery

There’s more of a chance for hardware to be damaged or data compromised due to external factors or natural disasters, such as flooding or server crashes, while on premise. Data in the cloud is housed in secure data centers with multiple levels of security, electrical power backups and (depending on the provider) redundant servers. Additionally, at Summit Hosting, we perform nightly backups of our customer’s dedicated servers and retain these copies for 15 days.

Should I Keep My Data On Premise or In the Cloud?

So, you may be asking yourself “is cloud hosting or on premise hosting better?” Personally, we fully believe in the cloud – it’s more accessible, cost efficient, time saving and always improving as technology advances – which is why we formed Summit Hosting. At the end of the day, it really depends on your company’s unique needs. If you’d like to learn more about our services for QuickBooks cloud hosting and cloud-hosted Sage or to see if the cloud is the right solution for your business, contact our team today.