Deciding if you want an in-house or cloud server can be complicated when deciding which is best for you or your organization.
Cloud servers normally have an advantage when it comes to startup cost or ease of deploying certain technologies on a large scale. Most cloud providers don’t charge you extra for upgrading the hardware to current models, but if you weigh your cost over the course of a few years, things can add up. In most cases, you are responsible for the software and sometimes also the operation.
If you have large amounts of data, don’t need to access files remotely, or have custom applications, it is best to host them locally thru your own in-house server. There will be a higher startup cost because you have to purchase everything, but you can use the hardware for much longer than recommended, which allows you to save money. One way to reduce the startup cost is to finance the hardware purchase.
You should identify how your organization will handle:
- Email or Exchange (email, calendaring, collaboration)
- File share (storing your data)
- Printer service (users can print directly if it’s a small organization)
- Custom Applications (special programs)
- Internet (with cloud you still need Internet at your organization’s office)
- Who will manage all of the above?
- Hardware along with replacements
- Software along with upgrades and configurations needs
Once you know how your organization will handle the above, you can then evaluate which type of server you like, Cloud or In-House. The good thing about both technologies is that they are interchangeable. You can even elect to have a hybrid of both worlds.