Pros and Cons of Cloud vs In-house Servers

Cloud servers & in-house servers have similar functions, but vary in user experience, time & cost.

When deciding on which server is the best according to business needs, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Both cloud servers and in-house servers perform similar functions, but differ in terms of user experience, time, and cost. This article will explore further on in-house servers vs. cloud computing by discussing the pros and cons of both.

In-house servers

Many small and medium businesses have always picked using in-house servers over cloud servers for their file sharing, hosting applications and software, emailing, and so on. Now that cloud computing is becoming a more popular and viable option for small and medium businesses, there are still some that opt to continue using in-house servers. Below are the list pros and cons of in-house servers:


1) Having physical control over your backup

One of the biggest advantages of in-house servers is the full physical control of the system and the backups, and the ability to modify it according to needs.

2) Able to keep critical data and information in house

With in-house servers, there is less risk of leaks and exposure of sensitive and critical organisational data.

3) No requirement for an Internet connection

Data can be accessed without an internet connection, which can be beneficial in cases of power outages or if communication lines go down.

4) Cost-effective

For some small businesses, in-house servers can often be more cost-effective than cloud servers due to high usage.


1) Capital investment required

To acquire an in-house server, a large capital is required for its software, hardware, infrastructure, and maintenance.

2) Hardware maintenance needed

If an organisation does not have a dedicated IT support team, then outsourcing is necessary to maintain the hardware and the system to ensure it is working properly and has its security and integrity intact.

3) Susceptible to data loss during disasters

Depending on how much data, if any, is secured offsite, organisations risk losing all their sensitive and critical data in disastrous events, like flooding, fire, earthquakes, etc.

Cloud servers

As stated above, many small and medium businesses are switching over to cloud servers because of the advantages it offers. Data is stored and maintained through an online platform and is accessible wherever an internet connection is available. It has proven its success in increasing user access, boosting employee productivity and collaboration, and cuts down the time on searching for files. Work is now more streamlined and employees are no longer limited by a physical network. Below are the list pros and cons of cloud servers:


1) Small capital

As there is no need for hardware and hardware maintenance, the costs are dramatically decreased.

2) Onsite hardware not required

Only the server host needs to maintain the hardware, and the users pay for this with the fees they are charged for using the server.

3) Storage can be easily added

One of the biggest advantages of cloud computing is never running out of storage space. Cloud servers allow users to easily add more storage space when needed with storage upgrades.

4) Backup and restore from anywhere

Backups can be restored from anywhere and using any device.

5) Risk of data loss is smaller

As all the data is stored on a virtual space, the risk of data loss due to disasters is significantly smaller. Regular backups can also decrease the risk of data loss


1) Limits to data storage capacity

Depending on the plan the organisation subscribes to, there is only a certain amount of data that can be uploaded before the server runs out of space

2) No access to information if the internet is down

This is one of the biggest disadvantages of cloud servers. If the internet is down, there is no way to access the data unless it is stored locally as well.

3) Data recovery can be time-consuming

Full data recovery can be expensive and time-consuming, which can impact an organisation heavily.

4) Data exposure to third parties

Bearing in mind that cloud servers are online storage units, the data can be leaked and accessed by anyone with a reason to, especially in cases of data breaches and hacking.

It is hard to pick a side in the in-house servers vs. cloud computing debate. Organisations have to discern what is best for them and pick accordingly. In some cases, there are hybrid systems that work for those who need the best of both worlds.
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