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 is 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 is 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 like Summit Hosting offers off-site secure data hosting solutions; typically, the cloud hosting provider hosts everything for you off-premise at a secure data center on a shared farm or dedicated server platform. Cloud providers can specialize in different areas of hosting, like QuickBooks Sage SAP Business One or other software.
The cloud hosting provider is responsible for all hardware costs, and 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 the 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 10 years, cloud computing has become a preferred option over on-premise for a number of reasons. A few of the points as to why cloud hosting is better to 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-premise vs off-premise cloud. However, there are a few important factors, such as cloud hosting cost savings, to consider which set on-premise vs off-premise apart.
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 cloud 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, especially from a hosting cost savings perspective.
As we mentioned previously, businesses that host on-prem are responsible for 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.
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 Multi-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.
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 a 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.
Cloud vs Hosting
Although cost savings, improved remote accessibility, data recovery, security, and maintenance are a few great perks of cloud hosting, there are additional benefits to hosting software, such as Quickbooks, Sage and SAP Business One in the cloud vs hosting on your local desktop computer.
In a cloud hosting setting, you can get the most out of your software by easily and quickly integrating the cloud-compatible 3rd-party applications you need. These applications allow your users to access additional, helpful features to help streamline your processes - from credit card processing to reporting. In an on-premise hosting environment, it may not be as seamless of a process to add on these apps to the software on your traditional desktop.
When you specifically use a hosting provider that only offers dedicated server hosting (not shared hosting), you'll be able to add the exact resources you need to your server (like storage) and you'll never have to worry about sharing resources (such as memory or bandwidth) with any other company. In a dedicated server cloud hosting setting, your business is able to fully customize your dedicated server according to your specific needs so you can reach your goals.
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: 1-888-244-6559.