It can be difficult to know which kind of server is right for your business. Do you need a physical server on site, or is an internet-based server a better solution?
Matthew Parsons of Surf Tech IT has 14 years of experience in IT services and is well equipped to talk us through the key benefits of cloud (internet-based) computing vs on-premise servers.
What is the cloud?
The cloud is a collection of servers hosted in a data centre, offering a variety of services and usually fully managed and maintained.
Cloud services are flexible and make it easy for you to expand as and when needed. This means that as your business grows and you require more storage space, increased infrastructure or more software users, you can make changes quickly and easily.
How do on-premise servers differ from cloud-based services?
An on-premise server requires physical space in your office building and can be inflexible as it is more costly to expand. One solution to this is a hybrid set-up, where a physical on-site server is used in addition to cloud-based services.
The benefits of cloud services
Cloud services are subscription based, meaning you’ll have a monthly recurring cost. This makes it easier to budget and avoids the pain of a high initial outlay, but it does mean you don’t own your own servers.
Cloud-based services will save you money on your business electricity bill, when compared with an on-premise server. You’ll also have uptime guaranteed and your servers will be highly secure, meaning your data is safe.
Flexibility and remote working
Cloud-based services make it quick and easy to set up remote access for your colleagues or employees. With more and more people working from home or on the road, this can be a key consideration when looking at server options.
Cost implications of an on-site server
With an on-site server there’s a one-off, upfront cost and you then own the hardware, which is then a business asset. However, there will be ongoing support and electricity costs, and you will be responsible for the security of your server.
One benefit of an on-site server is that you won’t be dependent on the internet so if there are connectivity problems, you’ll still have access to your data.
Which option is best for you?
In truth, no one solution is perfect and it may be that a hybrid option is right for your business. It’s important to look at your specific needs – e.g. do you need a scalable solution – before making a decision, and ideally talk it through with an IT professional such at Matthew.
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