When it comes to IT infrastructures, there are benefits to both physical and virtual approaches. It all comes down to business need. But how do the two systems compare, and how can cloud bring advantages compared to on-premise IT?
There are a few benefits to cloud that a physical on-premise IT infrastructure simply won’t bring. Flexibility is one such benefit. If you host your data and applications on-site at your office then your employees will need to be in the office in order to work. Ok, perhaps VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections could enable some remote working to take place, but with nowhere near the same level of flexibility of cloud. With cloud, your teams can work securely, from anywhere with an internet connection.
This brings us to business continuity. If your server is on-prem, with no off-site virtualisation in place, and your office becomes unavailable, then you have a problem. This can happen for a number of reasons. It could be something as simple as the early morning key holder losing the keys, or a power cut, but it could also be something as dramatic as a fire, flood or break-in. Each however, gives the same result. Your staff can’t get into the office to work. If your IT infrastructure is based in the cloud, staff can simply stay at home, and it’s business as usual. Because your servers are still available, off-site, in their cloud set-up.
Then there’s scalability. If you run out of space on your on-prem server/s, you’re going to have to buy another one. That’s an upfront cost you might not have budgeted for. With cloud, you simply scale up and down as demand dictates, paying only for what you use. Cloud essentially converts CapEx IT costs into OpEx running costs. You’re basically renting server space from your cloud provider.
Maintenance is another benefit of cloud. Upgrades, patches etc. are all managed by your provider. So not only is that one less thing for you to worry about, it’s one less thing for you to pay for.
And finally, security. A lot of people naturally assume that the cloud poses a bigger secuirty risk than a physical on-premise set-up. There’s this natural anxiety that because you can’t see where your data is held, it’s at risk. In reality though, it’s at far greater risk in your office. Cloud data centres spend millions of pounds on security and resilience measures to ensure that customer data remains available 24/7/365. Outages are extremely rare. Can you afford to spend millions of pounds on your office security? Take a look here to see some of the security processes and technologies in place at Teledata’s data centre in Manchester. Most businesses can’t afford to implement this sort of security at their offices.
If you would like to chat more about the benefits of cloud and how cloud hosting might work for your business, you can get in touch with our cloud team here, or call 0161 498 1200.