More than half of the world’s total population uses mobile devices ranging from smartphones to tablets and computers. Cloud computing was designed to suit the global trend and is now the new normal. Thus, you must have heard the term cloud computing being used at one point or the other, but you may not understand what it is.
In layman’s terms, cloud computing refers to the act of storing and accessing stored data and programs over the internet. We will spend time throwing more light on cloud computing as well as its pros and cons.
A Beginners Guide: What is Cloud Computing?
In times past, data was stored on physical drives like hardware or the computer’s internal storage. That method is in-house server hosting. On the other hand, Cloud computing utilizes virtual storage resources such as Google Drive, cloud and OneDrive to store and retrieve data securely.
Cloud computing has numerous benefits to offer business owners, one of them is the unrestricted access you enjoy. Unlike more traditional hosting forms, with cloud computing, you can access your data, software, programs and applications from any location.
However, there are other server options apart from cloud computing. Let us take a moment to explore them, shall we?
Cloud Server Vs In-House Server
Before choosing which server option to pick, you must understand what each is all about. Relax and find the details of what cloud computing and in-house computing refer to.
What is an In-House Server?
In-house servers or traditional web hosting was in times past the proverbial answered prayers to the web hosting problem. You can already deduce by the name alone that the servers are all located in a single building. The server location could be your office, studio, just about any brick and mortar space.
All the applications, programs, emails, etc. (everything your business will need) are hosted on the servers. They were perfect then because they provided users with total control over the servers and restricted third-party access. However, with technological advancements came a new era.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a web hosting option that is quite similar to VPS hosting. However, unlike VPS hosting, it hosts your site on multiple servers, thus improving your flexibility, scalability and redundancy. The servers used to host your website are often in entirely different geographic locations but can be accessed via the internet; thus, you can access your server data on the go.
Cloud Hosting or In-House Hosting: Which Should I Pick?
Choosing a web hosting platform for your website is a crucial decision that drives your business’s success. You can liken it to determining whether you want to lease or rent an office space; each decision comes with its benefits. Choosing between cloud servers or in-house servers is a crucial decision, and we are here to ensure you make the best one for you. Here are the pros and cons of in-house and cloud hosting servers.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Servers
We will quickly go over the pros and cons of using cloud servers, highlighting the most critical factors.
Cloud computing allows you to add more resources easily and swiftly.The cool part is that you can upscale these server resources with a few clicks instead of waiting donkey years as with traditional hosting.
The upscaling can be temporary rather than permanent. For example, if you notice a consistent surge in site traffic around a season or time, you can scale up server resources around that time. In the end, you can return to your regular cloud server package quickly and at no extra cost.
❖ Flexibility and Ease of Access
Another selling point of cloud servers is that you can access the data stored from anywhere and at any time provided that there is an internet connection. That means that your employees are not confined to a particular work environment; they can work remotely without the challenge of VPNs.
The issue of security is a touchy one for most users. While some feel safer handling the security measures for their server, others are more comfortable entrusting the task to a competent third party. What matters is that most cloud service providers have the necessary expertise in securing server data. Like Google and Amazon, reputable cloud server companies understand that their reputation is at stake where security is concerned.
Cloud server providers significantly reduce the upfront cost of your server set up. While you will still need to invest in software licenses, you won’t have to bother with hardware purchases. That means that you can get your small or medium-sized enterprise up and running in no time at all and with extra cash to spare. Don’t forget that you also get to pay for only the resources you have used. You can pay on an hourly, daily or weekly basis; it is your choice. Excellent stuff, right? We know!
❖ Automatic Backup
One of the biggest fears of any business owner is losing all the data stored. Thankfully, cloud servers handle this problem effectively by carrying out regular backups. The backups can be as often as every 15 minutes. Thus, ensuring that you never lose your valuable data again, and you can focus on other vital areas of your business that need your attention.
❖ Better Server Uptime
Cloud servers offer you way better server uptime because the entire system is designed to work with multiple servers. So when one server is down, your site is immediately whisked away to one that is up and running. That way, you don’t get to suffer the repercussions that come with server downtime.
With high server uptime, your site is always online and visible to customers (potential and existing). That way, you have low bounce rates and higher conversion chances.
Cons of Cloud Server
Time Consuming Recovery of Site Data
While data backup is done efficiently and with no hassles, recovering large amounts of data can be a time-consuming affair. Even having a strong internet connection does not speed up the data recovery process.
❖ Need for Internet
Without the internet, you cannot access your cloud servers. All the data, files, software, etc., stored on the server become inaccessible till the internet connection is restored.
❖ Server Outage
The truth is that every cloud server experiences outages, even the big ones like Amazon and Google. No matter how short-lived, these outages pose a severe threat to your site and business at large. This is because once the server is down, your site is automatically taken offline and cannot be found on search engines.
Pros and Cons of In-House Hosting
Although hosting your servers in-house may sound like an old-fashioned style of running your data server, it still has its benefits. Let’s explore the pros and cons of in-house servers so that you can decide if it is a viable option for you.
Pros of In-House Server Hosting
❖ Total Access and Control
If you are one of those business owners that cannot stand giving up control of your servers, you might want to try in-house servers. You have physical access to your servers and can control who gains access to them and what degree. If your type of business demands that you physically access your server, you should also consider in-house servers.
❖ High Performance
Users with in-house servers enjoy faster processing of workloads. That is because in-house computing places a great demand on your servers’ storage resources. That way, requests are processed efficiently and in a timely fashion.
❖ Security and Compliance
In-house computing allows you to keep vital data and files in the physical location you have chosen. You are effectively keeping server data and information away from the prying eyes of third-party. You are also entirely in charge of setting up the server’s security measures as you see fit. This feature is of great importance to businesses that manage sensitive data and information.
❖ No Dependency on Internet Connection
Unlike cloud computing, in-house computing does not require you to have a strong internet connection to access your server data, files, software and information. That means that even with no internet, you can carry on work; no loss of productivity.
❖ Backup and Updates
As we have stated already, in-house computing provides you with total access to your server. That way, you can determine when to back up your data. You can also monitor software updates to ensure your server is up to date.
Cons of In-House Server Computing
Everything in life has its pros and cons. We have explored the benefits of in-house computing, let us now look at the cons.
❖ Increased Risk of Data Loss
Even with the server backups, the sad truth is that you stand a higher risk of losing your site data. In most cases, your data will not survive the worst-case scenario, say, for example, a fire or a natural disaster like a tsunami.
❖ Takes Up More Space
Since you are storing your servers physically in a designated location, you will need an area with enough space. That is because these physical servers take a lot of space, heat and power. To that end, it is not an eco-friendly option.
❖ High Cost
With in-house computing, there is a lot of hardware you will need to start hosting. These server hardware don’t come cheap and contribute to the upfront cost of the server. Besides hardware cost, you also have dedicated employee fees to consider, software license renewal and general server renewal cost to factor into your budget.
❖ Higher Downtimes
Because your in-house servers do not have any uptime guarantee, they are more susceptible to downtimes. Downtimes can ruin your user experience, increase your bounce rate and impact your revenue negatively.
❖ Data Accessibility
Unlike Cloud computing, where you can access your server anywhere on the go, in-house computing restricts you. You must be in the same physical location as your servers to access them and do any work.
❖ Less efficient scalability
Cloud servers allow you to scale up your server resources almost immediately. In-house hosting, on the other hand, does not. You must first plan the upgraded carefully, paying particular attention to your current hardware’s physical space and compatibility with the one you propose to upgrade.
Differences between In-House Server and Cloud Server
Takes too long to scaleup resources
Resources can be scaled up quickly
Does not permit remote access
Can be accessed from anywhere at anytime
Does not require internet access
Requires internet access
More expensive due to the required hardware
Less expensive because there is no need to spend on hardware
Less secure; you tend to lose backed up data in events of fire or natural disaster
More secure because the data is backed up on multiple virtual servers.
No guaranteed server uptime
Up to 99.99% server uptime guarantee
We have furnished you with a list of the pros and cons of in-house and cloud hosting. If at the end, you feel that both in-house and cloud server do not do enough to meet your business needs, you can try a combination of both.
Cloud Hybrid Server
If you are not sold on both in-house and cloud servers, then a cloud hybrid server is another option. Cloud hybrid servers are a great mix of cloud and in-house servers. It offers you the best of both worlds, i.e. easy scalability, extra processing power, data security.
Many factors influence your decision on whether or not to choose in-house servers or cloud servers. These factors are storage space, ease of access, level of control, security and cost of setting up and maintaining the chosen server option. You can also check out cloud hybrid servers; they are a fine blend of cloud and in-house servers.
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