On-premises architecture is comprised of data, software and applications that are installed and operated from an in-house server and computing infrastructure. It utilizes the organization’s native computing resources.

It is the traditional method for storing data and running enterprise applications, although it is quickly losing ground to cloud infrastructures like IaaS and PaaS.

On-Premises Benefits

  • End-user access: Applications or data running or stored in a public cloud can’t be accessed without a reliable internet connection. An on-premises implementation provides continuous access to critical business information.
  • Regulatory compliance: Industries like healthcare and financial services need to adhere to government data security regulations. In many cases, this compliance requires that sensitive data be secured behind a firewall on-site.
  • Data tracing: It can be difficult to identify the precise location and movement of data stored in a public cloud. In an on-premises implementation, data is easier to track within the system.
  • Global access restrictions: A global organization may enjoy the remote benefits of cloud services, but bandwidth constraints and internet access in some countries or regions may restrict access to information on the cloud. In these situations, private connections to on-premises data centers are more reliable and consistent.
  • Latency: Businesses typically can’t suffer performance delays caused by network connectivity issues that occur between on-premise and cloud applications. On-premise reduces these delays.
  • Data protection laws: Different countries have different data protection laws that may prevent data storage outside of the country. That may require application and data storage on-premises, particularly for global companies.
  • Security: Cloud security has come a long way, but some IT departments prefer using their own security protocols to prevent a data breach.

Ultimately, on-premise solutions provide control to the business and users, which may be beneficial for sensitive data.

There are disadvantages to on-premise infrastructures. For example, the costs associated with managing and maintaining them are typically more expensive than cloud computing. On-premise applications require in-house server hardware, software licensing, integration and a local IT team for support. There are also recovery concerns if hardware fails. Organizations that maintain their own data centers need to have robust recovery plans in place in case of failures or natural disasters. Finally, the timeframe to purchase and stand up hardware in a local data center is much lengthier than implementing the same set up in the cloud.

Hybrid Solutions

Because there are benefits to both on-premise and cloud services, many businesses are choosing to combine the capabilities with hybrid solutions.

A hybrid cloud solution features elements of both on-premise and cloud computing. Sensitive data may be stored in-house, lowering the risk of a breach or data access issues, while still maintaining the speed, storage and cost benefits of the cloud for some processing.