First up, on-premise
With on-premise storage, the server is housed in the company's infrastructure and, as the name suggests, it’s physically located on the premises. In most cases, the server is administered and handled by its own IT team or by a third-party IT partner.
Quick pros and cons of on-premise
On-premise storage has steep upfront costs. You need to invest in hardware (the server), install software, pay software licensing fees, back up your data and pay for IT services and support. Keep in mind that servers have a finite lifespan, they usually last for about six years after which they’re considered obsolete and must be replaced.
On-premise storage gives you more control over your data because fewer people have access to it. But the burden of responsibility lies with you to keep your data safe. You'll need high levels of security expertise, constant monitoring and maintenance of physical assets such as hardware, servers and office space.
Second storage solution – in the cloud
You can use cloud data storage to store your company information on remote servers or hardware owned by a third-party service provider. Businesses will buy usage (storage space, bandwidth and sometimes data access requests) from service providers.
Quick pros and cons of cloud storage
One of the biggest advantages of using a cloud storage provider is the lack of upfront costs. Cloud services allow organisations to buy specific amounts of storage based on their needs. You can also scale up or down in response to any fluctuations. Support and security, maintenance and up-to-date software all fall under the cloud provider's mandate.
Quick comparison: A SherWeb study in the US found that on-premises servers cost $1 476.31 a month while cloud servers cost $313.90 a month. That translates to about R21 000 for on-premise and R4 500 on a cloud server – at an exchange rate of R14.60 to the USD.
Last, but not least – hybrid
Instead of choosing between on-premise and cloud storage, you can combine them into one solution. Hybrid storage offers the best of both worlds by making use of the two storage solutions.
We recommend hybrid storage for business
hybrid data storage, the primary data of an organisation is stored locally, but the back-up copies are stored on the cloud. It may be a more costly choice but keep in mind that this provides a failsafe against unforeseen disasters.
A fire or flood can destroy data stored locally on-premise if it occurs in the company’s server room. Because the organisation keeps its backups in the cloud, it can restore lost data with minimal interruption. It’s for this reason that many businesses prefer hybrid storage for business.
If you have any further questions, our guide will explain why it's so important for businesses to have a fail-safe setup, just in case.
We recommend that you also look at this guide to learn about the ins and outs of Disaster Recovery as a Solution.