Over the years software has become the backbone of modern I.T in the enterprise and has evolved greatly as business needs have adapted and the increasing power of computers has given rise to new opportunities to extend software further than ever.
This article will dive into the two predominant types of software deployments used by organizations and examine the benefits as well as shortcomings to help you decide which is most appropriate for you.
Some of the points that will be covered include:
- Robustness and performance
On-Premise software: Advantages
On-premise software is any type of an application which can be self-hosted on your own internal server infrastructure.
The first advantage of an on-premise the solution is control since you own the physical server, you can make changes as you see fit and are not necessarily locked into subscriptions or platform-specific features that would apply on a cloud server like AWS or Azure.
Such a configuration allows for greater configuration of hardware, software and the ability to fine-tune the performance of your specific environment.
In addition, on-premise of bespoke software development allows for the secure storage of data which may be required for legal compliance in certain industries or sectors like education or in government departments.
Hosting your own software means you can be 100% sure that the data is not been shared by 3rd parties or used inappropriately.
Lastly, on-premise software can be amended over time as you can work with software developers such as AGR Technology or numerous other companies to make tweaks to your software over time without relying on cloud eco-systems whilst a cloud solution won’t necessarily allow you to make such changes.
On-Premise software: Disadvantages
The major disadvantage of an on-premise the solution is the large upfront cost required to set up, install and maintain the infrastructure which can amount to thousands of dollars.
Some of these costs could include Operating system licenses like Windows Server, server hardware, hard drives or SSD’s and the ongoing costs of I.T to maintain the server.
Another disadvantage of this approach is the amount of maintenance and responsibility that is involved. When you host everything, yourself, you will need to ensure uptime is kept high and all security patches are installed as well as backup everything in the event of a disaster making it a potentially complex and time-consuming exercise.
Lastly, when it comes to performance and scalability on-premise systems require far more effort and cost in order to upgrade parts or provision new resources as they are needed.
If your application has a massive influx of users or load then your costs and maintenance can very easily skyrocket and your application will crash until a solution is found.
Cloud-based software: Advantages
Software hosted on cloud infrastructure essentially sidesteps this issue by taking your software and hosting on a server typically located in a high-performance data centre such as Microsoft Azure, AWS (Amazon) or Digital Ocean which offers server space for lease.
This allows you to run your software without having to worry about the upfront infrastructure investment and maintenance involved.
The next benefit of cloud-based software is the opportunity to easily scale as needed and cut back on resources if necessary.
Many cloud providers will allow you to easily provision more servers by adjusting your billing as you need to allow you to scale without your business software crashing or requiring downtime as new hardware is installed.
In addition, if you require fewer resources you can also downgrade resources such as RAM or storage all without having to physically manage the complexities of doing this on your own servers.
Next, up cloud software can work out cheaper as many providers offer billing based on your usage while a self-hosted the solution will still cost you when it is idle. Cloud software can, however, be costly if you are not careful and watch your resources which can easily create a large monthly bill for your business.
Cloud-based software: Disadvantages
One of the major drawbacks of cloud-based software is that you are often locked into the platform and software eco-system setup by the host which will dictate how the application is written.
Migrating away from a cloud platform can be very expensive as the software will need to be re-written from scratch or significantly altered to continue functioning.
Another disadvantage is that you don’t own the servers, so if there is downtime or issues, they are mostly out of your control.
Lastly hosting your software in the cloud can in some cases open up attack vectors as attackers tend to target services used by lots of people who can put you at risk if the application is public facing and doesn’t need to be.
We hope you enjoyed this article and were able to greater understand the benefits of both styles of software and can make a choice that is most appropriate to your business and your specific software requirements.