The Differences Between Cloud and On-Premises Computing

The Challenges of Multi-Cloud Environments

Cloud computing has recently gained popularity due to the grace of flexibility of services and security measures. Before it, on-premise computing was the one reigning the kingdom due to its sheer benefits of data authority and security. The critical difference on the surface between the two is the hosting they provide. In on-premise computing, to host the data, the company uses software installed on company’s server behind its firewall, while with in-cloud computing the data is hosted on a third party server. However, this is only the surface difference—the deeper we dig, the larger the differences become.


On-Premises: On-premise involves personal authority on both computing and the data—they only are responsible for the maintenance and upgrading costs of the server hardware, power consumption, and space. It’s relatively more expensive than cloud computing.

Cloud: On the other hand, cloud users need not pay the charges of keeping and maintaining their server. Companies that opt for the cloud computing model need to pay only for the resources that they consume. As a result, the costs go down drastically.


On-Premises: As the name itself suggests, it’s an on-premises environment, in which resources are deployed in-house on the local server of the company. This company is solely responsible for maintaining, protecting and integrating the data on the server.

Cloud: There are multiple forms of cloud computing, and therefore the deployment also varies from type to type. However, the critical definitive of the cloud is that the deployment of data takes place on a third party server. It has its advantages of responsibility such as the transfer of security and extension space. The company will have all the access to the cloud resources 24×7.


On-Premises: Extra sensitive data is preferred to be kept on-premise due to security compliances. Some data cannot be shared to a third party, for example in banking or governmental websites. In that scenario, the on-premise model serves the purpose better. People have to stick to on-premise because they are either worried or have security compliances to meet.

Cloud: Although cloud data is encrypted and only the provider and the customer have the key to that data, people tend to be skeptical over the security measures of cloud computing. Over the years, the cloud has proved its brilliance and obtained many security certificates, but still, the loss of authority over the data reduces the credibility of their security claims.


On-Premises: As made clear before, in an on-premise model, the company keeps and maintains all their data on their server and enjoys full control of what happens to it; this has direct implications on superior control on their data as compared to cloud computing. But, so might not be entirely accurate because the cloud gives full access to the company’s data.

Cloud: In a cloud computing environment, the ownership of data is not transparent. As opposed to on-premise, cloud computing allows you to store data on a third party server. Such a computing environment is popular among either those whose business is very unpredictable or the ones that do not have privacy concerns.


On-Premises: Many companies have to meet compliance policy of the government which tries to protect its citizen; this may involve data protection, data sharing limits, authorship and so on. For companies that are subject to such regulations, the on-premise model serves them better. The locally governed data is stored and processed under the same roof.

Cloud: Cloud solutions also follow specific compliance policies, but due to the inherent nature of cloud computing (i.e., the third party server), some companies are not allowed to choose cloud. For example, although the data is encrypted on the cloud, the government never chooses the cloud because losing authority over their information is direct annihilation of their compliance measures.

Many factors differentiate cloud and on-premise computing. It’s not that one is better or worse than the other, but instead that they have a different set of customers for them. To overcome these hurdles, a new technology, namely Hybrid Cloud, has emerged which takes care of authority issue related to cloud computing through a hybrid deployment of on-premise, public and private cloud.

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