In-House Servers Vs. Cloud Computing - What is Better in Business?
Small business cloud services have boomed in popularity in recent years. This is thanks to the fact that cloud services slash IT infrastructure spending. However, there is more to the in-house servers vs. cloud computing debate than just potential cost savings.
In-House Servers Vs. Cloud Computing - In-House Server Pros
Using in-house servers to set up your business IT infrastructure can require significant upfront investment. However, it is important to remember that this will usually be a one-off investment.
Servers and software do require on-going maintenance and upgrading. However, the average cost of a single in-house sever currently stands at around $1,000 to $30,000.
$1,000 to $30,000 can seem like a considerable upfront expense. However, businesses can pay as little as $2,000 for a single in-house server. Many businesses can also pay via finance and spread sever repayments over several months.
Using In-House Servers Can be More Cost Effective
When sever repayments, energy consumption and other costs are taken into consideration, a single in-house server can usually be operated for less than $200 per month. By comparison, cloud services like Microsoft Azure typically charge $233.60 per month for single servers with 7GB of RAM and 1,000 GB of disk space.
Of course, cloud services do often bundle software, into hosting plans. However, in-house severs also provide other benefits.
- Your business infrastructure does not rely on a high-speed Internet connection to operate.
- Data backups and restorations are easier.
- Operating in-house servers can provide a greater level of overall data security.
- Not relying solely on cloud based services can lower your monthly Internet costs.
When operating an in-house server, it is also relatively easy to upgrade things like server disk space.
At present, a 2,000 GB hard drive can be purchased for under $100. By comparison, upscaling from 1,000 GB of storage to 2,000 GB with Microsoft Azure, will see monthly server costs climb to $467.20.
Small Business Cloud Services - What are the Benefits?
The foremost disadvantage of in-house severs, rests IT staffing and ongoing maintenance of critical IT infrastructure.
Even when server procurement and setup costs can be kept low, businesses will still need to employ dedicated IT personnel to manage everyday data security. By comparison, small business cloud services will typically take care of server security and maintenance on your behalf.
As a rule, cloud based IT infrastructure is also easier an faster to deploy. Whereas setting up your own physical IT infrastructure can take weeks, cloud based servers can be ready and operational in just a few hours. Cloud hosting can also be more cost-effective.
- Microsoft Azure servers with 1.75 GB of RAM and 225 GB of disk space can be setup for just $58.40 per month.
- Business never need to worry about maintaining physical hardware and can upgrade server speeds and disk space in seconds.
- Small business cloud services can be quickly configured to allow remote access from anywhere for mobile employees.
- Cloud services often bundle software into subscription plans. This can result in significant savings when it comes to annual software licenses.
What are the Main Drawbacks of Small Business Cloud Services?
Whether cloud hosting or using an in-house server will be more cost-effective in the long-term, depends on the nature (and size) of your business. However, it is important to remember that cloud services do have two major drawbacks.
If your business Internet service is ever disrupted, you will be effectively cut off from your core IT infrastructure. Backing up and restoring data using offline devices can also be costly and time-consuming. This being the case, always think carefully about which solution might be best for your business, especially when handling particularly sensitive consumer data.