Cloud vs. On-Premise Deployment: Which Is Better for Your Business?

Last updated
February 1, 2022

Nabeel Keblawi

Choosing cloud or on-premise deployment should be made strategically. Let’s explore the key factors to consider before choosing the best solution.

Table of Contents

    on-premise vs cloud deployment

    Choosing between cloud deployment and on-premise deployment is a big decision that should be made strategically with a lot of forethought. If you are about to make this decision, but are concerned about security or privacy, and therefore want to be in more control of your data, this article is for you. 

    First, as an overview, we’ll define what on-premise deployment is, how it’s different from cloud deployment, and then we will dive into the pros and cons of each. This article will help you understand these differences so you can make an informed decision for your business.

    What is Cloud Computing?

    Cloud computing is the provision of computing resources and services from the internet (“the cloud”) on an on-demand basis as opposed to using one’s own server infrastructure and hardware. Cloud computing makes it possible to use vast data storage, powerful servers, high bandwidth networking, remote databases, and software over the internet at exponentially lower costs.

    Cloud deployment, on the other hand, is when you use third-party servers to host your data, which would then be accessed remotely. There are differences between these two in terms of costs and benefits that you should know about before making a decision to invest in either. 

    What Does On-Premise Mean?

    On-premise deployment is when data is stored on your own servers, and you install and manage the software. An on-premise software infrastructure means that all the software is stored on your hardware on your company’s premises. This requires your company’s IT department to  maintain the infrastructure on their own. 

    This means that on-prem computing is the converse of cloud computing, where one keeps all databases, software, and networking within all hardware and infrastructure “on-premises”. This requires significant capital investment upfront into building sufficient infrastructure with the appropriate server hardware to house all the software, databases, and routers. To further scale up usage and bandwidth, additional infrastructure would also be required.

    Cloud vs. On-Premise: Pros and Cons

    With on-premises deployment, you have more control over security, performance, how your data is used and who has access. You can also customize security settings and update software as needed without having to wait for someone else to do it for you.

    However, when using cloud services, it's easier to scale up or down as needed. The main difference between the two types of deployments is that with cloud, there are no upfront costs associated with setting up servers and hardware as with on-prem deployment.

    Pros Cons
    Cloud Deployment
  1. Eliminates upfront capital costs of on-premise hardware and servers
  2. Scalable and flexible according to budget and/or usage
  3. Eases burden on IT staff
  4. Easier to perform regular backups
  5. Limited access to infrastructure or servers
  6. Relies on network connectivity
  7. Costs can suddenly balloon with increased usage or bandwidth
  8. On-Premise Deployment
  9. Lower network bandwidth costs
  10. Greater security and privacy
  11. More control over server hardware
  12. Requires larger capital investment to purchase servers and hardware
  13. Responsibility for compliance falls squarely on you
  14. Requires extra IT support and resources
  15. May limit scalability
  16. How to Choose Between On-Premise vs. Cloud

    It is true that more and more developers and IT managers are becoming interested in cloud deployment thanks to the rapid digital transformation in recent years. However, in some cases, the decision may not be as clear-cut as it might seem. Depending on your unique situation and needs, one might be more beneficial to you than the other.

    To make a decision that fits your business, the following factors need to be considered:

    • Deployment
    • Control
    • Security
    • Scalability
    • Compliance
    • Cost

    The above factors will help you choose the right approach for your project. To help with your decision-making process, we break down the differences between cloud and on-prem deployment for each factor.

    Differences Between Cloud and On-Premise Computing

    The following is a cloud vs on premise comparison chart of the key differences between each:

    Factors Cloud Computing On-Premise Computing
    Deployment Your data is stored on a third party server or data center, such as AWS. You can store and run code in a cloud environment rather than on your own servers. Your data and software are stored in-house. Your hardware is managed by your own team on company premises.
    Control You may quickly and easily access your data, but some cloud services or applications may not be reliable if there is any downtime on the cloud. You are subject to the cloud’s terms and conditions. You have full control over your data, security, and privacy. Your IT team is fully responsible for uptime and troubleshooting downtime.
    Security You cannot be assured of data security and privacy. When using the cloud, you may sacrifice a little security and control in exchange for more convenience. When your data is stored on premises, you can be assured of 100% full control over the security and privacy of your data.
    Scalability Scalability is a major benefit of cloud deployment. You can increase or decrease your on-demand usage as needed, enabling you to increase usage as you grow. Scaling with on-premise deployment requires additional hardware or software upgrades to keep up with usage or demand. An in-house team of IT experts are to facilitate upgrades.
    Compliance Companies using cloud deployment need to make sure they're working with providers who are compliant with regulations. They must ensure security and privacy of all sensitive data involving customers, employees, and other stakeholders. A big draw for on-prem deployment is regulatory compliance. Whether you are subject to HIPAA or any other regulations concerning security and privacy, on-prem data storage makes compliance much easier and more straightforward.
    Cost Using cloud gives you the flexibility to scale up or down depending on your data usage. Cloud deployment frees you from worrying about server hardware, infrastructure, and maintenance costs. Building on-prem infrastructure requires more upfront capital. There are also costs for hardware maintenance, power consumption, software updates, and IT staff to keep things running smoothly.

    CometChat's Deployment Options

    CometChat provides two options for deployment, in which we describe each:

    1. Cloud Option

    CometChat has multiple cloud deployment options including the following:

    Dedicated Cloud: CometChat runs on our cloud servers and is completely managed by our team. The deployment is shared by no other customers. This option is best for projects requiring high availability, high bandwidth, and high data storage needs. 

    Shared Cloud: CometChat runs on our cloud servers and is completely managed by our team. The deployment is shared by multiple customers. This option is ideal for testing new projects that you have not yet scaled usage for.

    On Your Own Cloud: CometChat runs on your own cloud servers and is completely managed by your team, including end-users and developers. The deployment is shared by no other customers. This option is best if you already have your own cloud servers (e.g. AWS or Google Cloud) with sufficient unused data storage and bandwidth to accommodate your CometChat project.

    2. On-Premise Option

    CometChat runs on your on-premise servers and is completely managed by your team, including end-users and developers. The deployment is not shared by any other customers. This is best pursued in cases where you have sufficient infrastructure and storage on-premises to accommodate a new CometChat project. This option is also ideal if you have regulatory compliance requirements for such projects.

    Case example: Why Pi Data Center chose CometChat’s on-premise deployment

    In a time when everyone is getting excited about cloud deployment, one company went the other way due to privacy concerns. 

    The problem with cloud providers is that they can change their terms on you at any time, as is the case with WhatsApp. When Facebook acquired WhatsApp, they decided — to almost everyone’s chagrin — that user privacy wasn’t a priority by allowing WhatsApp to access each user’s contacts and location data.

    Maintaining security and privacy of customer information is one major reason Pi Data Centers decided to go with on-premise deployment for their new chat messaging app. Pi Data Centers is a digital transformation technology leader in India with an automated SCADA-enabled data center facility. They also provide top-shelf cloud services to small, medium, and large enterprises all over the world.

    Being aware that most customers don’t want to share their own data with cloud providers due to what happened with WhatsApp, Shireesha Chintalapati, Product Manager for Pi Data Centers, said the main factors they used to evaluate different solutions are end-to-end encryption and customer data privacy. 

    "We don’t want customer information to be shared on multiple platforms. It was a requirement that everything be self-hosted and located within our own servers," Chintalapati explained.

    Ultimately, Pi Data Centers chose CometChat’s on-premise deployment solution for their new app to be launched in April 2021. 

    CometChat’s On-Premise Deployment Solution

    For those who are looking for their own solutions that involve users and their personal information, CometChat’s on-premise solution is easy to deploy and has strong technical support behind it. 

    "We can say that Cometchat is the best chat and calling solution available. It can be deployed on any cloud platform in a short time, and their support is top-notch," said Kakkera Praveen, the Senior Cloud Engineer at Pi Data Centers.

    Both Docker Swarm and Kubernetes are supported and the setup process is straightforward once you procure the necessary hardware. The CometChat UI kit allows you to set up your app within minutes.

    If you want to:

    • Self-host
    • Maintain privacy of customer data
    • Have more control over data and security
    • Deliver better customer service through maximum uptime

    Learn more about our on-premise solution by contacting our team. We’ll schedule a chat with our product or engineering team to provide more information on our on-premise and cloud solutions.

    About the Author

    Nabeel Keblawi, a deaf entrepreneur, runs a Content Marketing and SEO agency that helps B2B SaaS companies grow organically in their industries around the world. His previous work experience involved software development, renewable energy, and cloud computing. In his personal life, Nabeel loves to go hiking with his family, and dust off his skis to hit the slopes given the chance. He is also an avid reader of fictional history.

    What to Read Next