Cloud Server vs Physical Server: The Top Pros and Cons

Cloud Server vs Physical Server: The Top Pros and Cons

Cloud Server vs. Physical Server: Where Should You Store Customer Data?

Organizations have two main choices in storing customer data: in an on-premises server or in a virtual cloud-based service. Using an on-premises server means your business houses physical servers that contain your customer data. Storing your data in the cloud means hiring an external cloud service provider to support and maintain all your data, including software and hardware, which is managed from the internet. 

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding where to store your customer data. After all, your data is precious and any breach or loss could be disastrous for your business. Read these pros and cons of using a cloud server vs a physical server.

Pros of Cloud Storage

  • Affordability. Say goodbye to up-front costs, subscription fees, onsite hardware or capital expenses. Using cloud storage services eliminates the initial setup fees of running your own server as well as the ongoing maintenance to keep it running at maximum efficiency. 
  • Scalability.  The cloud is ideal for small businesses and growing organizations due to the convenience of scaling up (or down) your storage. In fact, cloud data storage is virtually limitless. You’ll only pay for what you need and there’s little time needed to add additional storage. 
  • Accessibility. The convenience of cloud storage can’t be matched by an in-house server. With the right credentials and a secure internet connection, your employees can access your data from any location or device.
  • Security. Having reliable security measures for your customer data is essential. The cloud can back up your data on a set schedule automatically. It can also be restored quickly in a disaster scenario.

Cons of Cloud Storage

  • Internet Connection. To use the cloud, you’ll need a stable internet connection. If your internet connection goes down, you’ll lose access to your customer data. You also won’t be able to continue with backups if you lose connectivity.
  • Less Control. Since the cloud is hosted by another company, you won’t have as much control over how you organize and customize your data storage. This may not be much of an issue for a smaller company, but it could be a concern for a larger organization that requires a highly customized storage setup.

Pros of On Premise Storage

  • Limited Access. Without a third party cloud provider handling your data, all your critical customer information stays in-house, only accessible by your organization. Some businesses prefer having total control over their data and the responsibility of keeping it secure. However, your business will need to dedicate more resources toward security and monitoring.
  • Doesn’t Require Internet. You don’t need the internet to access information that’s stored on on-premises servers, so even if you lose your connection, you can still access your customer data.
  • Customizable. With in-house servers, your company has full control over your hardware. You can install upgrades yourself, add new features, and customize your storage however you see fit.

Cons of On Premise Storage

  • Physical Space. Depending on how much customer data you’re storing, in-house servers can take up a lot of floor space. This isn’t a factor when using a managed cloud service, since all your data is stored online.
  • Data Loss. Losing data is a business’s worst fear, and housing all your data on-site can be risky. With on-premises storage, a malfunctioning or compromised system can mean significant data loss, impacting not only your productivity but your reputation. 
  • Costly. The initial investment to set up in-house IT infrastructure is substantial, and for a small business, running your own physical servers can be expensive. 
  • Uses More Resources. Being responsible for running your own server requires extra resources to maintain that server, sustaining up-to-date security measures, and resolving technical issues that may arise.
  • Difficulty Scaling. If you’re trying to grow your business, you may need more storage space in the future. This may be more difficult with on-premises storage, as you’ll need to install or build an entirely new system, which can be time-intensive and costly.

Migrating to the cloud can be a great solution for small to medium sized businesses looking for a more cost-effective and scalable way to store customer data.

When you partner with Complete Technology, we’ll connect you with cloud & hosted services that reduce power consumption, free up physical and digital space in your organization, and lower maintenance costs. Call our experts today.


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