The use of large volumes of data as a source for making strategic business decisions is encouraging entrepreneurs and C-level professionals to consider greater investments in their technological infrastructure. However, when they begin this process, the question arises: investing in a dedicated server or in a cloud database?
So that you don’t have the same dilemma and make the right choice, we’ve prepared this special article. Throughout the text, we will show the difference between the two IT structure models and indicate which is the best strategy for the business. Good reading!
What is an on-premises dedicated server?
We start with the more traditional model of data infrastructure within companies, which has been part of this business reality since information technology became accessible.
Dedicated servers can even be offered in a cloud model, but, generally, we are talking about the data center that is acquired and installed on-premises for the internal and exclusive use of the business. In this case, acquisition, installation, maintenance, monitoring, and use are in charge of IT within the organization’s physical space.
These servers are responsible for storing information and making data and systems available to workstations through a network structure.
As they are part of the company’s assets, they require a large investment for their acquisition. This updating over time depends on management planning in conjunction with IT, which analyzes market needs, as well as current productivity performance, warranties, and hardware lifespan, and decides how and when to make new investments.
What is a cloud database?
A cloud database works based on the same equipment and tools required by the dedicated server. The difference with this model is that these responsibilities are not your business. All resources are maintained by the provider, which offers remote and secure access via the internet to service subscribers. That is, Cloud Computing works on the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model and payment is made according to the use of the resource.
At its productivity end (the work terminals of the company’s employees), the use of tools and access to data is practically the same. What changes is exactly the location of the servers and the management structure behind each of the modalities.
What’s the best strategy?
So far, we’ve defined the difference between dedicated and cloud servers: while in the first the company bears all the costs and responsibilities of running the infrastructure, in the second this becomes a service offered by a technological partnership.
But to answer the central question of this conversation, we need to look deeper into what this difference means in practice. For this, we separate the main points of impact on your business. Check out!
The first aspect to be highlighted in this comparison is the physical space needed to allocate the two options within the company. After all, when the focus is on optimization and cost reduction, any savings in resources means financial savings.
In that sense, there is a clear advantage to the cloud database. Physical servers not only occupy physical space under the responsibility of the company, whether in the office, in their own or third-party data centers but also require considerable energy, cooling, and connectivity costs to operate 24 hours a day. In Cloud Computing, it is the supplier company that is responsible for this part, alleviating the burden of maintaining a local data center.
Information security on servers and business systems will always depend on the capabilities of the tools and expertise of technology professionals. The difference is in how you include these benefits in your business.
If the infrastructure is proprietary and on-premises, the company also needs to invest in the people and solutions dedicated to threat monitoring and data protection.
Already in cloud computing, the chances of some hardware or software having their security impaired greatly decrease. This is because providers have several protocols in place to maintain data security.
Your greatest care here is to find quality partners. Responsibility for keeping up with cybercrime and creating a safety net lies with the vendor. Your IT becomes more focused on the practical and strategic use of technology.
Scalability and elasticity
Since we are talking about physical space, why not also talk about the space for your business data? Data-based management has required the storage of ever-increasing information — and this has everything to do with the ability of your servers to adapt to demand.
Faced with this issue, dedicated servers are less flexible. The available space is not always compatible with what is needed and any adjustment can take some time and require a lot of effort from the IT team.
Cloud Computing offers a scalable and versatile model. In addition to being able to grow exponentially for large demands, it can also shrink to reduce costs without having idle resources in the company.
Both dedicated servers and those offered in the cloud can have a system available for simple, secure, and remote access. The difference is how this is possible.
With self-owned servers, it’s your IT that needs to deploy and maintain a secure connection for data and tools. In the Cloud, this is an essential service offered together with the technological solution. In an increasingly Data-Driven market, that is, data-oriented, the easier the access to information, the better.
Exclusivity and customization
The issue of exclusivity depends heavily on deployment models, vendors, and the capacity of the internal team. At this point, dedicated servers always have an advantage in the sense of being built just for your business — although they come with a financial and operational burden.
Cloud databases can be contracted in two main models: public and private cloud. In the case of the private cloud, the infrastructure is still remote and as a service, but designed exclusively for each client. It is a more expensive model, but interesting thinking about exclusivity.
Even in the public cloud, where a provider shares data center resources with several customers, there is a complete logical separation between each bank. Depending on the plan, it is possible to have a level of customization almost as significant as on dedicated servers.
Cost and maintenance
When it comes to costs, Cloud Computing has gained a huge advantage over time. Technological evolution and the popularization of the model mean that good providers offer state-of-the-art infrastructure in very affordable payment plans.
Thus, the investment is diluted in operating costs according to use (OPEX), while the dedicated server usually requires a large contribution to acquire an asset (CAPEX).
As the entire process of managing, maintaining, and updating the servers is handled by the cloud service, you eliminate these expenses from your business routine. There’s also more predictability, as you don’t have to deal with infrastructure-related outages and outages.
The truth is that, when we analyze all these points, we still have to take into account the scenario of each company that invests in technology. Different particularities and objectives can lead to different answers.
But, in general terms, the option of investing in cloud databases is increasingly attractive. With flexibility, scalability, cost reduction, and availability, this becomes a more appropriate model for the digital market of the future.
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