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Thanks to in-depth technology infusion, the modern business environment has become increasingly data-centered. This evolving trend has in turn necessitated the need to think about data security in a broader sense.
Having said that, you cannot talk about data security without mentioning data security solutions. Data security has become a huge concern owing to rampant cyberattacks whose complexity is rapidly revolutionizing. To tackle these complexities, various data security solutions have emerged including cloud computing.
Opting for cloud computing solutions such as SaaS presents a potent avenue to secure valuable company data. Even so, where does that leave the conventional on-premise computing infrastructure?
This is a debate that has rocked many businesses seeking trustworthy data solutions. Fortunately, Kennected has taken an in-depth look into one of the decisive factors to consider when weighing between cloud computing solutions and on-premise data handling solutions.
By comprehensively reviewing the storing data aspect of both solutions with a focus on data security, we look at the main differences defining them as well as the pros and cons of implementing either option.
What is Cloud Storage?
Simply put, cloud storage involves storing your crucial company data off-site on remote cloud servers owned and operated by third-party cloud storage providers like Microsoft. Hosting your sensitive data on these cloud servers means storing it in data centers that could be located anywhere in the world.
Cloud storage providers purchase, install, and maintain all your storage hardware, software, and accompanying infrastructure in their data centers. You can then access the cloud storage services through a web browser, mobile app, or computer over the internet. This access gives you an opportunity to manage your account and track your data as needed.
Eliminates the daunting hardware burden of computing, storage, and networking
Seamless scalability with zero wasted capacity
Pay-as-you-go pricing model only for the resources used
Lack of reliability control
Cloud efficiency depends on internet connectivity and speed
What is On-premises Storage?
On-premises data storage leverages in-house software and hardware to host your server. Typically, your on-premises servers will be found in a single on-site location where you and your teams can easily access, manage, and share sensitive data.
Your IT team is responsible for procuring, administering, controlling, and maintaining the on-premises servers. They dictate how data and other business information moves among computers within your local network. With full control over the servers, your IT team can customize the storage system to align with your changing business needs.
Total infrastructure control
Lower long-term costs
Manageable in-house security controls
Adjustable on-premises performance
Requires constant in-house maintenance for seamless operation
Limited scalability options
Costly to upgrade with fluctuating demand
More security threats as the system gets more complex
Difficult to find the ideal skill set to manage the system
What are the Major Differences Between On-premise and Cloud Storage?
While the key underlying difference between on-premise and cloud storage stems from where the data resides, there are other critical aspects that can help you clarify the distinctions in a more elaborate sense.
Below we analyze each of these aspects from both vantage points to help you find the best fit for your data storage needs.
The first difference between the two data storage solutions lies in their cost. Generally, cloud storage solutions incur lower upfront costs compared to on-premises solutions. Purchasing adequate storage space for your sensitive data from a cloud storage firm takes the form of pay-as-you-go monthly subscriptions.
Once you make your payment, the responsibility of data security, system maintenance, software updates, and cloud storage support passes to the data storage provider. Your subscription comes packaged with sizeable storage space, watertight security, as well as seamless file sharing.
On the other hand, successfully deploying on-premises data storage infrastructure can cost a fortune upfront. The huge fees are a function of hardware acquisitions, software licensing, infrastructure installation, data backup and support, as well as other additional IT services you may need.
In addition to the initial investment, you will also require external or in-house IT personnel to provide ongoing security, support, and maintenance once the system is up and running. Moreover, on-premises data storage comes with additional energy costs, hosting costs, and office space requirements. You may also have to incur a lot more on reliable internet connection to keep up with the demands of your on-premises servers.
· Data security
No matter where your data center is housed, the issue of data storage security must come into play. So, how do cloud storage solutions differ from on-premises data storage in terms of security?
At the core, cloud storage solutions provide more security layers to your sensitive data relative to on-premises data storage solutions. With the advancement of technology, cloud security just keeps getting better and more stringent. In fact, experts assert the prospect of significantly reduced security incidents in cloud storage data centers compared to traditional data centers.
Most cloud storage companies provide a multi-layered security approach in their data storage packages to effectively mitigate any potential risks. From comprehensive network protection, ongoing validation, and continuous threat monitoring, to heavily guarded data centers, storing data in cloud servers offers more peace of mind in terms of data solutions.
On the contrary, while on-premises data storage affords you more control over the server’s access, you have to single-handedly build a solid security system to safeguard your storage space. Not only can that be extremely costly and time-consuming but also demands high-profile security expertise.
Additionally, to keep the security intact at all times, you need to constantly monitor and maintain the servers, hardware, network, as well as the physical space housing your data centers. You may also be required to invest in additional security tools to set up an impenetrable firewall and powerful encryption, as well as institute a secure access control system to keep cyberattacks at bay.
Besides offering an excellent user experience, your server access should also be fast and reliable enough. So, which one does a better job between the two?
A prerequisite of shifting your workload to cloud storage is a reliable internet connection. Without stable connectivity, expect a poor user experience and prohibitive access to your files. In other words, poor connectivity results in delayed business operations and consequently, dwindling productivity when relying on cloud storage. Therefore, if your workload entirely depends on cloud storage, you may need to set up a backup internet connection to reap the full benefits of this data storage solution.
In contrast, stable connectivity is not mandatory for on-premises data storage. That means your on-site employees can easily access files even without an internet connection. However, this option may lock out remote workers if your business has some. Furthermore, you may need to incur some expenses on powerful backup tools for your servers’ storage and power.
At some point in the course of your business operations, you will have to scale things up. As that happens, your data storage is not exempted. Therefore, you must think about which side you want to be on when the time to scale up finally comes knocking.
With cloud storage, scaling your workload is easy through compliance with certain pre-determined metrics. Thanks to intuitive built-in features in cloud storage, you can not only scale up but also down, in, and out accordingly. What’s more, some cloud storage services even include an auto-scale feature to take the hassle off your shoulders. Ultimately, the cost of cloud storage scalability becomes a lot lower compared to on-premises scalability.
On the flip side, scaling your on-premises infrastructure comes at a hefty cost. That means you will have to procure extra resources to support your on-premises servers including both hardware and software components. More so, you will also have to level up your computing power and memory. All these extras demand more time, labor, and expertise. If your scalability is only for the short-term, this may not be a viable option.
· Data recovery
Data recovery forms the backbone of business continuity. Should an adverse disaster strike your business, how well are you prepared to recover from it? Is your data backup solid enough?
If you are not sure about the integrity of your data backup, check out what data backup options cloud storage solutions and on-premises storage solutions offer.
Thanks to the myriad built-in cloud storage features geared at mitigating data loss, it takes a much shorter time and process to recover your sensitive data from cloud servers compared to on-premises servers. These features may range from full backups to incremental backups to keep track of the slightest changes to your data set.
With on-premises data storage, the risk of data loss is higher whether through accidental deletion or corruption because you are solely relying on an internal server. To mitigate this risk, many businesses combine the benefits of both cloud storage and on-premises storage in what is popularly known as a hybrid cloud storage solution. This means keeping some of your data on-premise while maintaining an off-site backup.
So, How Do You Choose Between the Two?
Your choice of cloud storage or on-premises data storage comes down to your unique business needs and the resources at your disposal. You must critically analyze the key decisive factors involved in defining the value of each solution.
In other words, stack them against each other and keenly evaluate their cost, performance, security, and scalability. Then, proceed to answer the following questions:
How much control are you after?
What are the short-term and long-term cost implications?
Where is your trust?
What team skills and strengths can you effectively leverage?
With that in mind, remember also that cloud computing is gaining irresistible mileage by the day. Adapting your business accordingly will define how you stack up against the competition.
If you are a little skeptical, however, you might want to incorporate both data storage solutions into your business for more wholesome business efficiency.
What’s more, combining hybrid data storage solutions with solid, tech-driven lead generation techniques will help you to consistently maximize your bottom line.