Cloud Computing, On-Premise, And Hybrid Cloud: What You Need to Know

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When choosing service technology, you have three options: cloud computing, hybrid, and on-premise. However, deciding between the three options is complex and more complicated when you consider the number of vendors and providers to choose from. Understanding the three solutions helps you select the most appropriate for your business. 

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is an application-based software infrastructure that relies on the internet, the cloud. It delivers on-demand computing services on a pay-as-you-go basis. 

Instead of buying computing infrastructure or a data center, cloud computing allows you to rent access to computing services. These can include software, servers, storage, database, analytics, networking, and intelligence from a cloud service provider. 

Using cloud computing eliminates the costly upfront fees for having your infrastructure and the complexity of owning and maintaining that infrastructure. On the other hand, the cloud service provider benefits by renting the same service to different clients. 

Cloud Computing Services

Services hosted over the internet are categorized into three models. While it’s common for organizations to use all three, there’s confusion about what each entails:

  • Software as a service (SaaS) involves delivering software as a service. It’s the most common category of cloud computing among many people and businesses. If you subscribe to this service, the underlying software and hardware are irrelevant to you. You will access your service via a web browser or an app.  
  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) refers to the fundamental computer building blocks you can rent, such as storage, physical or virtual servers, and networking. This cloud computing service is most suitable if you wish to build applications from the ground up and have control of all elements without hiring the technical skills to handle the services at this level.  
  • Platform as a service (PaaS) includes the tools and software you need to develop your applications. They may consist of operating systems, database management, middleware, as well as development tools. 

Types of Cloud Computing

The cloud service provider can offer the above services to anyone on the internet on the public cloud. Alternatively, they offer the services on the private cloud, a proprietary data center that provides hosted services to a limited number of people. In this case, the provider offers the clients specific access and permission settings on the private cloud.

Public Cloud Computing

The service provider provides computing resources to users via a public network in the public cloud. The resources range from SaaS applications to complete enterprise-grade infrastructures to virtual machines and computing hardware. The services may be freely accessible or available at a fee. You can access them on a pay-as-you-use or subscription-based basis.

In this case, the service provider owns, manages, and assumes responsibility for the infrastructure, data center, as well as hardware that the users’ workload runs on. In addition, the provider has the responsibility of providing high-bandwidth network connectivity to ensure high performance and rapid access to resources. 

With this type of cloud computing, you only pay what you use, making it highly efficient and with minimal waste. In addition, public cloud computing is elastic and readily scalable. This makes it easy to adjust to match the changing workload demands. Public cloud computing offers the following benefits:

  • Uses a vast network of servers that ensure against failure
  • Cost-effective as you don’t need to purchase any hardware or software
  • The service provider caters to all maintenance needs
  • It gives you access to all on-demand resources 

Private Cloud

The service provider provides computer resources and infrastructure to a dedicated customer in a private cloud. This type of cloud computing offers all the benefits of public cloud computing and improved security, access control, as well as customization of on-premise infrastructure. 

Private cloud is hosted on-premise on your data center, on an independent cloud provider’s infrastructure, or rented infrastructure housed in an offsite data center. It is preferable if you are looking for an easier way to meet regulatory requirements. Private cloud computing offers the following benefits:

  • Ability to customize your cloud environment to meet specific business needs
  • High level of control and privacy since there’s no sharing of resources
  • Highly scalable, unlike on-premise infrastructure 

Benefits of Cloud Computing 

Cloud computing represents a significant change in how organizations have viewed IT resources. It offers the following benefits to organizations:

  • Cost-Effective – It eliminates the capital expense of purchasing computer hardware software and setting up data centers. 
  • High Speed – Most cloud computing services are available on-demand and self-service. So you are likely to access them within minutes and with just a few mouse clicks. Therefore, you get to enjoy a lot of flexibility and minimal pressure n planning. 
  • High Performance – Reliable cloud computing services run on a global network of secure data centers running on the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. These reduce network latency for applications and improve economies of scale, unlike single corporate data centers.
  • Increased Productivity – Cloud computing eliminates various tasks associated with on-site data centers. These can include physical hardware setup and maintenance and other time-consuming IT administrative tasks.
  • Improved Reliability – Cloud computing allows data mirroring at multiple redundant sites available on the service provider’s network. It, therefore, makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity easier and more affordable.
  • Improved Security – Cloud providers have a broad set of policies, technology, and control that strengthens the overall safety of cloud computing. With the measures in place, you can rest assured that your data, apps, and infrastructure are secure from potential threats. 
Group of IT and business professionals discussing business software solutions - choosing between the use of cloud computing or on-premise software.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has its share of cons, which include:

  • Vendor Lock-In – One of the greatest disadvantages of cloud computing is that you may face vendor lock-in when migrating from one cloud provider to another. The problem primarily arises when providers use different platforms for their service delivery. 
  • Minimal Control – Since the service provider owns and controls cloud infrastructure, you have less control from a hardware perspective.  

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud combines either public or private cloud computing with on-premise services. This type of cloud computing gives you full advantage of on-premise technology investment while addressing low latency issues. For example, Azure Stack by Microsoft allows you to replicate your entire Azure environment on-premise. 

With hybrid cloud, your business enjoys the flexibility to choose the optimal service for each application and move a workload from cloud to on-premise, depending on your circumstances. Additionally, a hybrid cloud allows you to meet your technical and business objectives more efficiently and cost-effectively than you would with on-premise or cloud alone.

Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Platform

A hybrid cloud setup offers numerous benefits ranging from flexibility, increased deployment options, improved security, getting increased value from your existing infrastructure. For instance, if your workload fluctuates, you can seamlessly scale up your on-premise infrastructure to the public cloud, handling any overflow without giving third-party datacenters access to all your data.

By adopting hybrid cloud setups, you gain the flexibility and innovation provided by the public cloud. You can run specific workloads on the cloud while retaining sensitive data in your on-premise data center. You only need to pay for the resources you temporarily need. So hybrid cloud eliminates the need to invest in massive infrastructure to handle short-term spikes in demand, such as when you need to free up resources for more sensitive data or applications. In a nutshell, hybrid cloud offers the following benefits:

  • Cost-Friendly – It allows you to scale up to public cloud on-demand instead of purchasing, programming, as well as maintaining additional resources that remain idle over long periods. 
  • Better Control – It gives you the freedom to maintain a private infrastructure for more sensitive data and assets.
  • Increased Flexibility – It gives you the freedom to access resources in the public cloud when you need them.
  • Easy to Transition – The hybrid cloud allows you to migrate to the cloud gradually by phasing in workloads over time.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud

Using hybrid cloud may pose the following drawbacks:

  • Infrastructure Compatibility – With dual levels of infrastructure, it’s possible that your on-premise control and the public cloud controls are running on separate stacks. 
  • Implementation – Setting up a hybrid cloud requires strong network capabilities, storage, and servers. All of these need high-level accuracy to prevent any possible issues that may arise after that. 

On-Premise Software

On-premise software and hardware infrastructural setup run within the confines of your organization. Therefore, you have total control of the infrastructural design and deployment as the data is in your private network, only accessible to authorized teams in your organization. This type of service delivery utilizes your native computing resources and a licensed copy of the software from an independent software vendor. 

Benefits of Using On-Premise Software

Security concerns on SaaS services are significant reasons many companies choose on-premise software over cloud computing. In this case, the argument is that cloud services allow sharing data with third-party vendors, opening up potential data breaches. This is critical to the existence of your business. 

On the other hand, you may opt for on-premise software over cloud computing if you need customized solutions to match your business needs. Software as a service (SaaS) provides general solutions that are common to many businesses. However, it may be challenging to meet these needs. Therefore, on-premise solutions act as a great solution if you want maximum control over your system, increased security, as well as data privacy. 

That said, on-premise software offers the following advantages:

  • Better Control and Data Privacy – With on-premise solutions, you have access to your infrastructure and systems at all times. In addition, you have the freedom to build and operate your infrastructure and security network the way you want, with only the relevant people having the knowledge and access to the network. 
  • Ability to customize – You can tailor your on-premise solutions to meet your company’s specific processes, technical, and legal requirements. 
  • Uninterrupted Use and High Performance – it can operate without an internet connection. Additionally, it allows access by multiple users at full performance, hence more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective in the long run. 

Disadvantages of On-Premise Solutions

  • High Installation Costs – On-premise software requires high initial installation costs and additional costs for equipment, supplies, software maintenance, and updates.
  • Time-Consuming – Unlike cloud computing, where you can start using the services almost immediately after subscribing, on-premise solutions may require you to wait longer for system installation and start-up. 

Final Thoughts

When looking for the best software deployment solution for your business, there’s no wrong or correct answer between on-premise and cloud solutions. The most important thing is to consider the aspects of your organization and its needs. From there, you can adopt a design that satisfies your organization’s needs most efficiently and cost-effectively.  

Contact us for more information.

The NetTech Content Team

NetTech Consultants is a Jacksonville based managed IT services provider that serves SMBs and organizations in Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida. NetTech publishes content discussing information technology and cybersecurity concepts and trends in a business context.

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