While the cloud is quickly becoming a preferred method of data storage, on-premise storage has been the long-standing choice for many businesses. Both of these data storage methods offer their own advantages and disadvantages; even though on-premise storage is being quickly outpaced by the cloud in most industries, it may still be the right choice for your business. In this post, we take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of on-premise storage.
What Is On-Premise Storage?
When a business uses on-premise storage, this means that they store records of their data on local hardware like computers, servers, and other devices in-house. With this data storage method, businesses own all of their equipment, and they are responsible for the necessary maintenance, upkeep, software licensing, and updates required to keep their business running safely and smoothly.
The Advantages of On-Premise Storage
There are several unique advantages that on-premise storage can offer a business. Let’s take a closer look:
Data breaches are becoming increasingly common in the business world. According to CNET, the number of reported data breaches increased by 68% from 2020 to 2021, and the attacks included victims ranging from large corporations to smaller businesses. While cyberattacks on on-premise solutions do still happen, hackers typically exploit cloud-based software to gain unauthorized access to a company’s information. As such, businesses who keep their data storage on-premise have a strong security advantage.
On-premise storage utilizes an internal network rather than an internet connection to deliver information. For businesses who have frequent internet outages or spotty internet access, on-premise data storage allows employees to access data without depending on the internet.
Lower Internet Costs
On-premise storage can also mean lower internet costs for businesses. Many companies who invest in cloud storage require high-speed internet for employees to access files. Opting for on-premise storage may allow your business to leverage a more affordable internet plan.
The Disadvantages of On-Premise Storage
While these advantages are compelling, on-premise storage also has some shortcomings for businesses that have limited funds to invest in hardware and/or plan to scale. Consider the following:
Technology Investment & Maintenance Costs
The initial buy-in for on-premise storage is high – servers, workstations, and necessary software components can cost thousands. Setting up storage hardware, purchasing software licenses, and paying for upkeep and maintenance are also costly. Most companies will either need to furnish their own IT support team or outsource to a Managed IT Services provider to adequately maintain their on-premise solutions, both of which cost time and money.
Challenges With Scaling
On-premise storage is often suited to smaller businesses with limited scalability like a doctor’s office, law firm, school, etc. If you establish an on-premise storage solution for your business, but your company then experiences rapid growth, you will need to update your infrastructure. This means purchasing new hardware, buying additional software licenses, and hiring an IT team to build out your new solution. This is far more costly than scaling up with a cloud-based solution.
Higher Risk of Data Loss
While on-premise storage may be more efficient at keeping remote hackers out, it is less efficient at protecting against total data loss. If your on-premise storage solution is damaged by a natural disaster, system malfunction, or a cyber attacker who leverages ransomware to hold your data hostage, you run the risk of experiencing total data loss. According to a recent study, 94% of businesses who experience total data loss do not survive, so this disadvantage warrants serious consideration.
While on-premise storage can be expensive and inefficient for businesses who plan to scale, it also offers an unparalleled level of security against cyberattacks and access without requiring an internet connection. If you like the advantages of on-premise data storage but are leaning towards cloud storage for your company, you can consider implementing a hybrid storage model – this option is useful for businesses who need the security of on-premise storage and the versatility of cloud-based solutions. Contact Qnectus today to learn more about which storage model could be right for your business.