Everything a company could ever want is available via the cloud these days. From data storage, to disaster recovery, to hosted software, there is a provider ready to go. Is there a reason to keep onsite servers anymore? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of maintaining your IT onsite versus outsourcing it.
More control but more responsibility
If your servers are located onsite, you do have unprecedented control over hardware, installations, application setting and configurations — you name it. On the other hand, you’ll also have the time and cost associated with managing and maintaining your data center environment. In a cloud environment, you’ll have some say in applications, but the hardware and software installations will be chosen and managed by the cloud provider. What you may give up in control could be more than replaced in convenience and savings.
Owning and maintaining your own server farm is a substantial expense. There is the cost of hardware, and backup hardware to create redundancy, as well as maintenance and monitoring expenses both in software and staffing. There are also costs associated with providing an appropriate environment that encompasses proper power supply and cooling and physical security. The list goes on and on. In a cloud-based environment, you are only paying for what you are using currently. All other costs are handled by the vendor.
The question of security
The biggest concern IT managers have about going cloud-based and letting go of physical servers is the security. It’s easy to question security that’s held and provided by someone else, and it’s true that you’ll have less access and “eyes” on the equipment. However, cloud providers take security very seriously, as their business absolutely rides on it. Most companies would find it hard to compete with the security standards, expert staffing and budget of a large cloud provider.
There may still be a few businesses that require so much data storage and security that it is cost effective and prudent to maintain their own server farms, but not many. Almost every business can benefit from the affordability, scalability and security of cloud-based resources.