Cloud hosting has exploded since its inception a decade ago and will grow even more rapidly further.
It’s unsurprising that everyone from long-established companies to web development startups is wondering whether to embrace it entirely or invest in on-premise hosting instead. This article summarizes the pros and cons for each and will help you make an informed choice.
Table of Contents
- What is On-Premise Hosting?
- What is Cloud Hosting?
What is On-Premise Hosting?
On-premise means that all the resources a development team needs to do their job are available locally. That includes all the computers, servers, and other IT infrastructure and the software necessary for doing business.
Security and control are on-premise hosting’s greatest advantages. Even though cloud-based hosting is generally secure, companies may think leaving security up to a third party is unwise. Developing a new product in a local, closed-off environment ensures no one except the team can access it before it goes public.
Having all hardware and software resources on-site also increases performance. The company chooses which components to buy and can upgrade them as needed. Physical proximity also eliminates lag. This boosts productivity since team members can make real-time changes to code without waiting for the cloud to acknowledge them.
Local hosting relies on a closed network. Internet outages may be inconvenient overall, but they don’t impact access to files and resources.
Are there disadvantages?
Running costs are a major consideration. The most obvious ones include hardware upgrades and replacements, new and renewed software licenses, and electricity. A business that exclusively relies on such hosting pays higher maintenance costs and may need a larger IT department to manage everything.
Buying and setting up new hardware and software takes time and effort, especially at a second location. There’s also the matter of secure network access if all endpoints aren’t in one place.
Conversely, scaling down may leave a business with unneeded hardware that is hard to eliminate or recoup a loss. On-premise hosting maintenance requires greater responsibility. The person(s) in charge need to ensure hardware and software are up to date, file backups are in place, etc.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is a third-party service that hosts clients’ data on its own servers. It’s convenient since the cloud provider handles all the hardware needs and associated running costs. Depending on their level of involvement, clients don’t need to worry about OS or security updates either.
Cloud hosting works on a subscription basis. Clients choose how many resources they need and how many users to get a rate. There are no up-front costs, and everything is already in place so that development can start immediately.
The provider shoulders all maintenance and runtime costs. Not worrying about those allows web developers to focus on creating value. It also adds financial security since companies must budget less for unforeseen expenses.
Cloud host service rates may change over time. It’s easier to account for them than sudden hardware failure, though.
The cloud also caters better to the flow of productivity. For example, a team may need access to more or more powerful resources in the initial stages of development. It’s easy to pick an appropriate initial plan and expand or scale down as needs change.
There are three cloud hosting tiers based on the autonomy leveling retains. For web development, PaaS or platform-as-a-service makes the most sense. In this model, the host provides needed hardware and software. Developers may then use this environment to share data or create and test their sites and web apps.
The most trusted cloud hosting providers take data security, encryption, and backups seriously. They deploy updates automatically and maintain their infrastructure without needing user input. Accessing data and sharing files securely from anywhere helps with collaboration and makes remote work easier.
Does cloud hosting have drawbacks?
Loss of control and perceived risk are key factors to consider before using cloud hosting. A host has access to all files on the platform. It must assure clients that the existing security measures are good enough to prevent criminals from stealing those files.
Even with redundancies in place, cloud hosting can experience problems and downtime.
Moreover, it’s impossible to use such services without internet access. If a company’s internet connection goes down, development in progress cannot continue until the internet is on again.
Another critical factor is to increase employee awareness about data theft via weak login credentials. While cloud operations make it easier for employees to access work data anywhere, compromised passwords create a security risk. Well-trained staff will use strong passwords and contribute to secure file sharing for business.
Each hosting method has strong positives and a few notable drawbacks. Ideally, you’d want to invest in a hybrid solution to reap both benefits.
As the cloud stores more data, providers increasingly focus on safeguarding it. Small and agile web development companies need lower up-front costs and flexibility to realize their growth potential. With its other advantages, cloud storage seems like a promising solution for them.
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