The argument between cloud hosted and self-hosted software solutions can be a tricky one. There are many pros and cons on either side, but your company’s goal is to arrive at a decision that best suits the needs of the organization.
At first glance, using a hosted solution seems like the right choice. You can save plenty of resources by not having to host the software yourself. It is also cost effective, and requires very little upfront investment. However, what organizations do not think about is how their decision will affect their plans in the future. Consider these different aspects.
One of the toughest issues for modern companies is dealing with potential security problems. While the technology behind cloud-hosted environments has improved significantly, when you are able to self-host there is more of a peace of mind, as all of the data is within your own control.
Self-hosting can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month, depending on your specific needs. These fees are typically incurred whether or not all of the resources are used. Cloud hosting, on the other hand, charges you only for the amount of resources that you use. The best services usually do not have a cap, so you can scale as needed. However, either option can end up costing more than the other, it all comes down to needs.
Cloud makes it incredibly easy to scale your businesses. You can quickly add or remove resources. While cloud-hosting does have disk read/write limitations when compared to self-hosting, they are extremely minimal.
The ability to scale resources on a self-hosting system is correlated to the hardware you have. If you need to go past that, then you need to purchase additional hardware, which can quickly add up in costs. Companies that have a relatively constant workload may be better off with self-hosting, as the physical server will handle the load better. But it is important to keep in mind the ease of scaling when making your decision.
Reliability depends a lot on the resources being used and their ability to run your specific workload. The great thing about cloud servers is that if they go down, then you can easily re-spawn a new instance and continue working. Little work time is loss, and you can get back to business faster in case of a blackout. Since data is stored and retrieved from a wide array of machines on the cloud, you might actually not even experience a complete shutdown, and just some performance issues.
When your self-hosting goes down you cannot work until it is fixed.
With a dedicated hosting route, you always have the option to move into the cloud once it is time to scale out. Writing complex software that can scale is very difficult. Dedicated hosting gives you a bit more freedom to do anything you please with the software and hardware you have. If you need to scale fast, then you can always move to the cloud at any time.
When it comes to hosting, the major differences come down to security and accessibility. Some organizations argue that cost also matters, but when it comes to your data a few dollars more should not be an important factor.
If you are managing high-sensitive data and are worried about security, then find a very reliable cloud hosting service or go with a dedicated server. Self-hosting might cost more in the long run, but you cannot put a price on security.
For all other institutions, cloud hosting makes more sense. Your data is accessible from anywhere, at any time, and your business can be running around the clock. The cloud can also keep up with your company’s growth and scale when needed.