Onsite Storage vs. the Slow Migration to the Cloud

By Published On: April 30, 2022

The Cloud has been an ambiguous term we’ve heard for years now but is still met with much confusion and apprehension. Where IS it, people want to know! On your mobile device, your cloud storage may seem to always be ‘full,’ even though you’re not even sure it’s a real place with real files. Hah! Regardless, it IS real and it IS the direction we’re moving in personally and professionally…slowly.

First, let’s review the pros and cons of onsite storage vs. the Cloud for your company. Then, we’ll dive deeper into the trends around cloud migration. We’ll finish off with our recommendations for your company!

Onsite Storage

Pros

Cons

No monthly costs. Once the equipment’s paid for, there are no ongoing payments. Significant up-front costs. The purchase of equipment, software, and licensing is substantial.
It’s secure. With a good IT policy and secure area for your server, your data isn’t nearly as exposed. Going off of that, the data is under direct company control since it’s in-house. It requires physical, secure space. Dependable power and the room temperature must be taken into consideration.
It’s not dependent on the Internet, allowing for high-speed access of data to in-house computers. If your physical site is lost, your data is as well. Thankfully, with our backup system (which includes offsite storage), this risk can be lessened.
It’s more cost-effective in the long run. Compared to a cloud solution, it’s a third or half the price. Uptime should be addressed. Any key piece of equipment needs to be maintained. Warranties must be reviewed to understand the time frames around the installation of replacement parts.
24/7 access doesn’t cost extra. The system is available to in-house and remote users (so long as the Internet is up).  
Your internet bill tends to be lower since it’s only used to browse the web and get an email, not up and download every file.  

Cloud Storage

Pros

Cons

No significant up-front costs. *Latency: There’s a delay between choosing a file to open and the full file is opened. Larger files will take longer to open, and internet speeds can impact how long up or downloads take.
Unlimited storage. The data storage can grow or shrink, as much as you need, instantly. You can also easily scale servers, licensing, processing power, and memory. (The monthly bill will reflect such changes) *Cost: The ongoing monthly costs add up, ultimately being more expensive than a server.
It’s easily accessible from other devices, which enables remote work! Cloud solutions are often under attack by criminals. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of a compromise.
It moves your company away from subpar, dated technology. If the Internet connection is down, you won’t be able to access your files, resulting in downtime.
Utilizing the Cloud puts you ahead of competitors for both client- and employee-facing systems. The speed to access files stored in the Cloud is limited by the actual speed your internet carrier is supplying you.
  “Eliminating all…traditional infrastructure is a very heavy lift,” says Matt Asay with InfoWorld. The initial upload of your data can take several days, or longer. If you ever change services, you then have to repeat the long process to download and re-upload it all.
  Getting to the Cloud provider’s support can be quite a task.
  You need staff that has knowledge of managing this newer technology.

*These are the two most notable, significant disadvantages to a cloud solution.

Depending on the person/company, you may view this as a pro or a con: Many enterprises are “running different services on the cloud provider that best meets their needs for the given application,” says Asay.

Now that you’ve reviewed the pros and cons of each item, you may understand why migration to the Cloud is going slowly. InfoWorld reported at the end of 2021 that 33% of surveyed respondents have no plans to go cloud native at this time, and a combined 37% plan to be cloud-native in the next one to three years, but aren’t yet. That leaves only 30% of survey respondents cloud-native, despite this technology being available for over 15 years (AWS was the first in 2006).

Understanding full well that this migration will continue to take years, we have a prime solution for you. It’s essentially a mix of the two. We suggest putting your mail and backups on the Cloud. Everything else can operate off the server. On-premises mail is no longer secure, and if you keep backups onsite, you’re having to deal with the physicality and maintenance of it all. Additionally, if you follow our guidance for working remotely (VPN and remote desktop access), your staff will still be able to access their work on the server. The three most popular cloud solutions are AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. We use and recommend Azure because they are the most Windows- and hybrid-friendly!

If you don’t want a server that requires a secure, regulated space, we suggest our EasyData membership. It comes with a smaller storage device that will save you thousands of dollars, is still accessible when the Internet is down and can be used to securely share files. The device’s main cons are 1) It isn’t compatible with larger teams (the max is 25 users) and 2) It doesn’t support client-server applications.

If you aren’t interested in any physical storage, we can help manage your 100%-cloud operations with our EasyCloud membership! We will remotely manage your machines, handle content blocking, and back up your Office365 and OneDrive. The main con of this membership is that each machine is managed individually, leading to higher labor bills.

Have any questions about migrating? Contact us today! You can call or text our number at (302) 529-3700 or email us at Support@PartnersPlus.com.

Bill Hogan

Bill Hogan is the Owner and President of Partners Plus. He has 40 years of experience in the technology industry, specifically IT support services. Bill has spoken at seminars all over the country about network management and published his latest book in 2018. Partners Plus was selected by PHL17 as the best Computer and Information Technology Support Company in the greater Philadelphia area in 2018.

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