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What is On-Premises vs Cloud?

What is On-Premises vs Cloud?

Businesses need a system or setup to store, access, and manage the data. On-premise and cloud computing services serve this purpose of any organization. However, the choice of any of them depends on business needs, budget, and scalability demands. The organization hosts on-premises resources, while the cloud is a third-party-based system that works online. Therefore, this article will give you a clear idea about the cloud-based vs. on-premises system so businesses choose the suitable one.

What Is On-Premise?

We can describe the on-premise meaning as a computing model where software applications and data are hosted locally on an organization’s hardware. It contrasts with cloud computing, which public cloud platforms or remote data centers host. Businesses are responsible for purchasing, installing, and maintaining all necessary hardware and software components in this setup. Moreover, businesses mostly prefer on-prem as it does not require third-party access.

The organization fully controls its data, security protocol, and infrastructure through the on-premise setup. This needs significant capital investment upfront to build an adequate infrastructure with suitable servers. Additionally, on-premise services are still more appropriate for businesses due to customization options. So, if the company needs custom hardware and business-specific procedures, then on-premise is the best option for a purpose-built option.

What Does Cloud Mean?

Cloud refers to the on-demand computing service over the internet to manage and process the data. Instead of lying on local storage devices, cloud computing allows you to access computer resources effectively over the internet. With this, companies do not need to purchase additional licenses or establishments. Furthermore, it offers scalability and flexibility advantages to the companies compared to traditional on-premise solutions.

Companies can opt for cloud computing to make it possible to use vast data storage, high bandwidth, and remote databases. Cloud-based computing can be either available publicly or privately. Public cloud service is open to anybody who has access to the internet. At the same time, a private cloud is a data center that provides services for small groups or individuals with limited access.

Cloud vs. On-Premise: Pros and Cons

The above discussion section gives you an idea of on-premise and cloud computing services. People choose from both options based on their requirements and resources. Now, let’s go through the pros and cons of the cloud vs. on-premise so you can choose the one that suits you.

1. Cloud

Cloud systems offer an intelligent way to save money and manage data efficiently. In this way, it reduces the need to make a significant investment in hardware.


  • This provides the flexibility to scale computing resources up or down according to demand.
  • Cloud services are accessible from anywhere by anyone with an internet connection.
  • You don’t need to maintain this system as their provider handles the software updates.


  • Cloud service has security and privacy concerns as data is available over the internet.
  • It depends on internet connectivity, so a poor connection can pause operation.
  • Users of cloud services have limited access and customization options, limiting their ability to tailor infrastructure.

2. On-Premise

On-premise operates within the organization’s network infrastructure rather than relying on third-party servers. Other than that, backup, privacy, and updates are managed by the company’s IT manager.


  • On-premise gives businesses complete control over the hardware, software, and data.
  • It provides data security to its users and ensures that sensitive data is protected.
  • This offers predictable performance and low-latency access to applications and data.


  • You need a lot of money to set up an on-premise system, which makes it an expensive option.
  • The on-premise infrastructure may become outdated and need regular upgrades.
  • On-premise has scalability challenges, as accommodating sudden increases in demand can be time-consuming.

On-Premise vs. Public Cloud: Making an Informed Decision

We have now provided you with a better idea of on-premise vs. cloud from the pros and cons of both. The cloud makes it easy to scale up and down, as it has better scalability potential. You don’t even need as much manpower to maintain it as on-premise requires. Moreover, the cloud offers a backup solution to recover the lost data efficiently.

On the other hand, on-premise has limited scalability, and it is tough to recover the lost data in it. It also needs an extra team for maintenance compared to the public cloud. To make your mind even more explicit about their key differences, here’s a contrasting table for your better understanding of on-premise software vs. cloud.

MetricsOn-PremisePublic Cloud
Location of ResourcesResources of on-premise are hosted locallyPublic cloud resources are hosted and managed by third-party
Initial InvestmentHigher initial investment for infrastructure setupLower initial investment, pay-as-you-go model
Disaster RecoveryBusinesses are responsible for implementing disaster recovery solutionCloud providers provide a built-in disaster recovery solution
Ownership and ControlThe organization has full ownership and controlYou share ownership with the cloud service provider
Maintenance and UpkeepIt is the organization’s responsibility to maintain and update the system.Providers of cloud service handle maintenance and security of infrastructure
Flexibility and AgilityThis system has limited flexibility in adapting to changing demandsIt offers great flexibility to adapt to changing organizational needs
AccessibilityOutside the organization’s network, there is limited accessibilityThis is accessible from anywhere within an internet connection

How to Choose Between On-Premise vs. Cloud?

Businesses confront crucial choices about their IT infrastructures due to technological advancements. The decision between on-premise and cloud computing solutions is vital, and each offers unique benefits and hurdles. Moreover, organizations should methodically evaluate key elements to make informed decisions that align with their strategic objectives. Let’s explore key factors to choose between them for efficient and future-ready IT environments.

1. Determine Your Budget

When considering the cloud versus on-premises options, it’s important to carefully assess the costs. You should take into account both the initial expenses and ongoing maintenance. Opting solely for an on-premises approach might not be the most cost-effective choice. Furthermore, this leads to a view of the cloud as an extension of their data center without the need for significant equipment investments.

2. Identify your Business Needs

It is a crucial step to recognize what your business truly needs for a successful and personalized IT plan. On-premise solutions might be a good fit if your business deals with sensitive information and needs tight security measures. On the other hand, cloud services are great if you prioritize scalability and flexibility. Also, businesses with changing workloads or those wanting a cost-effective pay-as-you-go setup find cloud solutions helpful.

3. Evaluate Scalability for Future Growth

Businesses must assess their resource demands and the need for scalable solutions during peak periods. If you choose the cloud approach, it enables swift scaling of resources to manage high workloads effectively. So, this flexibility is advantageous as businesses can easily adjust resource levels as needed with a dynamic solution that aligns with changing demands.

4. Define Security Requirements

It’s essential to check if the provider has the necessary and updated security certifications if you choose cloud services. Before entrusting your data to them, carefully examine the security measures in all the locations they manage. Plus, monitoring is easy when your systems are within your company and connected to the local networks. Other than that, organizations can view approved credentials since they are responsible for their security.

5. Assess Internal and External Expertise

Deciding between on-premise and cloud services depends on checking how skilled your internal and external teams are. For on-premises, see if your in-house IT team is good at tasks like taking care of hardware, updating software, and keeping things secure. External help, like cloud services with support, is useful for complex projects or when you need specific knowledge.

ZEGOCLOUD’s On-Premise Deployment Solution

All in all, we have informed you about almost every crucial aspect of on-premise vs cloud services. It’s your call to make up your mind and choose any of them as per your organization’s requirements and budget.

However, if you are concerned about having strong technical support and better maintenance for a well-growing company, ZEGOCLOUD is there to serve you the best. With its advanced security and data protection APIs & SDK, it solves privacy issues for customer data. Thus, you can contact our team anytime to avail yourself of the best on-premise solution.

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