So you’re purchasing a new server? Read this before you do!
When choosing between servers in the cloud and local on-site servers, what is the best solution for your business? Which solution is cheaper and would be most effective? These are common issues for leaders of small and medium businesses, and they reoccur year after year. To help you make the right decision, we’ve studied both options.
Until recently, local servers were your only option for hosting applications, corporate e-mail service, and sharing your files. All of these services can now be hosted in the cloud, which may be suitable for many organizations. With an on-site server, you have total control over its configuration. However, maintaining a local server generates some additional expenses, such as physical space, electricity, air conditioning, and UPS “battery backups”. Initially you spend more by buying necessary equipment and software in anticipation of the evolution of the company, and then some additional maintenance is to be expected. Because servers have a life expectancy of about 5 years, this process will be repeated in the future.
Cloud-based servers have their advantages and disadvantages. The cloud is appropriate for organizations accustomed to teleworking and highly variable workloads. One advantage is that you can easily adjust the resources of a cloud-based server to meet your business needs. One obstacle is connectivity to your servers. You need a reliable Internet connection to access the cloud, and you will probably also need to increase Internet bandwidth speed and, ideally, have two different Internet providers in case one breaks down.
Other concerns that may come to mind are the sensitivity and security of data being hosted (financial and health records, for example); however, while computer security should never be taken lightly, you can rely on the existence of well-secured cloud servers.
Cost of cloud services
It depends on the situation, but transitioning to the cloud may be less expensive than purchasing physical servers to be installed in your office. By opting for virtual machines in the cloud, you only pay for what you use and for real-time use. After a proper analysis by professionals, most companies opt for a hybrid model, blending cloud and local servers as needed.
One may think that cloud-based servers don’t pose any problems, since everything is backed up by the host, but I strongly advise you ask questions to avoid being had. The first question to ask is, “How long might I be without service?” and then, “What price am I willing to pay for a rapid return to service?”
In the eventuality that one of your servers encounters a problem, there are usually 2 options available for restoring service. The first is an extra server that is ready to take its place, a fast but more expensive choice. The second is a backup configured for disaster recovery, which is somewhat slower, but cheaper. As a result, service interruption time is reduced and the cost of disaster recovery is low. Your disaster recovery strategy should save you time and money, whether on-site infrastructures or the cloud are utilized.
Cloud services are taxed less heavily. Because buying new servers and physical infrastructure equipment is considered to be a capital expenditure (CAPEX), the cost is depreciated over the years. On the other hand, subscribing too cloud services is an operational expenditure (OPEX), and therefore deductible the same year, which can represent a large tax savings for any organization.
As previously mentioned, cloud server resources may be adjusted according to business needs. This type of flexibility allows you to increase or reduce memory and number of processors, and offers unlimited storage space. When using an on-site server, your capacity for resource adjustment depends entirely on the hardware in place.