When attempting to facilitate remote business operations, one of the most important steps is choosing a file storage option that balances cost, accessibility, scalability, and security. And if you’ve done any research thus far, it’s likely that you’ve discovered two types of business storage infrastructures: on-premise servers and cloud-based services. While both options provide businesses with the technology needed to access files remotely, each environment has its own set of strengths and weaknesses that businesses need to address prior to selecting an infrastructure. So, before we explore cloud technologies in a separate video, let’s first take a look at why on-premise servers may or may not be the best option for your business.
Benefits of an On-Premise Server
When you begin to think about a more traditional means of storing and accessing business data from afar, on-premise servers are likely to be the first solution that comes to mind. When taking this approach, organizations typically purchase servers, install them at a central office location, and create their own data center to share information with team members, both near and far. But what you might not know are some of the benefits that can come from taking this approach.
Cost of an On-Premise Server
First up, we have to speak on the costs associated with an on-premise server. Unlike cloud services where a monthly usage fee occurs, on-premise servers only require the upfront costs of the hardware purchase, software licensing, and labor. And although annual maintenance fees will likely be a necessity, the recurring costs are generally lower than cloud services.
Nevertheless, while purchasing an on-premise server can be cheaper in the long run, the upfront costs and maintenance fees are definitely something to consider. Additionally, because the business will be housing the server on-site, space will be needed within the office to house the technology.
How to Access an On-Premise Server
Next, let’s touch on accessibility. On-premise servers are highly customizable; giving organizations the freedom to build an infrastructure that meets niche operational needs. For example, let’s say you have a variety of applications that can’t run in a cloud environment. Or perhaps you need to run multiple operating systems from a single server at once. On-premise servers can be built to solve these exact issues and more.
But the remote accessibility of on-premise servers doesn’t come without a cost. First and foremost, a VPN connection is required to access on-premise servers while outside of the office. Depending on how the VPN was installed, this has the potential to produce slow connection speeds and can pose a security risk if it was not set up properly.
Also, it’s important to note that two individuals cannot access and edit a file at the same time when that file is stored on an on-premise server.
Finally, because the maintenance of an on-premise server rests on the shoulders of the owner, 100% uptime of the server cannot be guaranteed; making it crucial to plan and relay information on scheduled downtimes.
Are On-Premise Servers Secure?
In terms of security, because the business owns the technology, on-premise servers are something to consider for organizations in industries with extreme privacy or compliance concerns, such as healthcare, finance, or government.
That said, because the business has complete ownership of its data, it’s the responsibility of that organization to protect said data. In turn, regular server backups must be conducted to mitigate the chance of data loss during a fire, electrical storm, or other environmental event.
On the plus side, because on-premise servers are kept on site and not in a distant server warehouse, trained technical staff can be deployed quickly for both emergencies and scheduled maintenance.
Nevertheless, maintaining on-premise servers doesn’t come without its issues. Although on-premise servers allow organizations to build the perfect infrastructure for its needs, scaling that hardware to keep up with business growth can be time consuming and costly. As a result, optimizing performance updates can sometimes be slow and may require significant hardware or software changes within the server.
Is an On-Premise Server Right for Your Business?
As you can tell, on-premise servers tend to sacrifice scalability and speed in lieu of lower long-term costs, advanced customization, and extreme data privacy. And although on-premise servers may not be the best for newer businesses that expect to quickly grow, there’s no denying that this technology does serve a purpose in helping larger organizations create complex networks for remote operations. As promised, in our next video, we’ll take a look at modern cloud-based storage and see how it stacks up against the unique issues on-premise servers seek to resolve. In the meantime, should you have any questions about remote file enablement, feel free to email Rocket IT at email@example.com or give us a call at 770.441.2520.