Nowadays, a lot of companies choose to migrate to the cloud and digitize their systems and activities. However, many organizations are hesitant to make the leap and find it difficult to decide if they wish to change the way they operate or if they prefer on-premises infrastructure. Every option has its own benefits and drawbacks and in this article, we will compare them taking into consideration five different factors: deployment and maintenance, scalability, reliability, cost and security.
- Deployment and Maintenance: The installation, upgrades and maintenance of on-premises infrastructure, such as hardware and servers, would be more challenging than those on the cloud. In the first case, an IT team would be needed, while in the second, these are handled by the cloud provider. The level of management that cloud software would need depends on the layer of service the company chooses. These layers include Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
- Scalability: For a company possessing on-premises infrastructure to achieve smooth scalability, it should predict how much or how fast it will grow. This is something easier said than done. In the contrary, a company can bring in cloud solutions if and when they need them.
- Reliability: On-premises infrastructure is not always reliable. If a system fails, it could be difficult to fix it and keep the business going. In the case of cloud infrastructure, these issues could be fixed by the provider depending on the layer of service. For example, FaaS and SaaS providers take responsibility for uptime, so the company doesn’t have to worry about it.
- Cost: Both kinds of systems can be costly. The main difference between the two is that the cost of cloud software can vary and is once again determined by the layers of the services and their resources. It is important for a company to constantly monitor which of these resources it really uses. This way, it can stop spending money on them needlessly. This is easier to achieve in the case of cloud software.
- Security: Security is the main reason for an organization to choose on-premises infrastructure instead of cloud systems. This is completely reasonable, as the level of physical control in the first case is significantly higher. However, the cloud provides its own security solutions, such as alerting systems and security best practices. These can sometimes make the security of a company’s systems even stronger than it would be if it possessed physical infrastructure.
As the comparison we made between on-premises and cloud infrastructure showed, each of these two options has its ups and downs. Choosing one of these could be very difficult for a company and this is a decision that should not be made hastily.
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