The Cloud Vs. The Server: Where Should You Store Your Data?

Small, medium and large businesses are moving to cloud servers, as they are generally the best solution based on several criteria.
Servers lined up in brightly lit room

These days, everyone deals in data. Businesses, contact centers, schools, doctor’s offices, nonprofits—all of these entities must now take data storage and computing power into account when building their internal processes. 

When it comes to deciding whether to store your business’ information on-premises or in the cloud (or migrating it from one to the other), the sheer thought can seem overwhelming and complex. Still, many companies—large and small—are choosing a cloud solution. In a recent survey, 94 percent of SMBs report security benefits after moving to the cloud, with 82 percent attributing reduced costs to the adoption of cloud technology.

That survey also shows a movement to the cloud in numerous industries, including large enterprises, government agencies, retail, and more. With so many different entities elevating from on-premise systems to cloud, it’s safe to assume that the benefits far outweigh the pitfalls. 

But wait, is that true? Does the cloud really deserve the many votes of confidence it has gotten in recent years? Is on-premise truly going the way of the dodo? Or is everyone wrong, suffering through some sort of mass delusion regarding the advantages of the cloud?

OK, “mass delusion” might be a tad hyperbolic, but it might be helpful to compare the cloud to on-premise and see which one comes out on top. To help you better understand what’s best for your organization, we’ve provided an overview of cloud technologies and how they stack up against the on-premise alternative. 


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What Is A Cloud-Based Server?

It’s easy to think of cloud servers as these nebulous pockets in the sky, where data goes to be stored in a magical sphere. But in reality, what we call “the cloud” is actually millions upon millions of square feet of multi-layered mega data centers. These impressive structures house endless rows of servers that are constantly processing massive amounts of data per second. 

One of the largest data centers in the world perfectly encapsulates the shift from “old tech” to “new tech” or from analog to digital. The Lakeside Technology Center in Chicago, IL, a data center with clients such as IBM and Facebook, covers an immense area of 1.1 million-square feet, consuming more than 100 megawatts of power. The building that houses this incredible beacon of technology once served as a printing press for the Yellow Book and Sears Catalog.

Data for larger companies might be hosted at several locations or virtual servers, while smaller organizations can easily have their data stored in one centralized location. 

The Pros Of A Cloud-Based System


Universal Access
Access applications anytime and anywhere, via a web browser from any device.

Few upfront costs. The cloud is an operating expense made up of regular payments. Maintenance and support services are included. 

Cost Predictability 
Predictable monthly payments cover software licences, upgrades, support, and daily back-ups.

Hands-Off IT
Maintenance of software and hardware, along with upgrades, are handled by the cloud-service provider. 

Security Protocols
Data centers employ security measures beyond the affordability of most businesses, therefore your data is often safer in the cloud than on a server in your offices.

Quick Deployment
Software delivered via the Internet takes hold in a matter of minutes, hours, or days (depending on the software), compared to on-premise applications, which must be installed on a physical server, as well as each team member’s desktop or laptop.

CCi Voice Data Centers

If you’re storing your valuable data in the cloud, you want it safely stowed away in a system that’s reliable, secure, lightning fast, and easily accessible by authorized users. At CCi Voice, we partner with data center companies that are all of that and more. 

Our data centers are managed through INAP. We have one in Secaucus, NJ, and that one is backed up by another in Plano, TX. Both data centers are backed by redundant power, cooling, and 10 tier-one Internet providers. Our carrier services, baked into our hosted services, feature a network of carriers that back up one another—if one route fails, the next best route is selected. The Secaucus data center currently does approximately 1 million re-routes per day. It saves us from having to worry if a single Internet provider has a bad day. 

The data centers we utilize have a patented process called Performance IP®, that guarantees the traffic is always going out the most preferred Internet carrier (choosing the best from eight out of 10 of their carriers) as of the last 60 seconds. It’s amazing for making sure data, voice, video, etc. is as perfect as it can be, without the client having to worry about it.

Check out this video to learn more about Performance IP® from INAP:

What Is An On-Premise Server?

“On-premise” refers to the actual, physical servers that are located within the confines of your organization. It’s what we’re referring to when we cite “closet setups.” It’s that loud, often frigid room with either one tall device or several rows of hardware. On-premise servers are units of computing hardware dedicated to serving specific tasks. Often these equipment stacks are tasked with managing and processing data 24/7. 

Also called dedicated servers, local servers are physical equipment purchased solely for the needs of one company. A physical server’s build varies widely based on a business’ operation needs. For example, you could have a couple of towers whirring away in cabinets, or a column of rack servers mounted on a wall. 

One challenge of these on-premise situations is the lack of redundancy in terms of cooling, power or Internet. No company or non-profit’s office can ever be as reliable or redundant as an enterprise data center can be.

The Pros Of An On-Premise Server


Ecosystem of Experts
As on-premise is the legacy (historical) choice, there are plenty of older IT folks accustomed to providing maintenance services to keep these systems running. 

Hands-On Maintenance & Security
In-house IT teams can work on fixing any problems that arise, without having to worry about an outside provider’s responsiveness. On-premise theoretically also gives companies full control over data security (except for threats from outside, with malware, ransomware, etc.).

Full Ownership of Hardware
If you bought it, it’s yours—unless you happen to lease your technology equipment. This ownership opens up the possibility of tax deductions or depreciation rates, and slight reductions in monthly costs. However, eventually these servers will need to be replaced, which will entail another large capital outlay down the road. 

Cloud Or On-Premise Solutions?

When stacked against one another and judged solely on the advantages each one grants, cloud solutions seem to offer the better deal. The affordability, scalability, and versatility of cloud-based systems is no mirage—instead, these benefits and more make the cloud a very real destination in the technological landscape. 


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Written by CCi Voice

CCi Voice is a leading provider of telephone and computer network equipment, software, and services in Southern New England, New York and New Jersey. For over four decades, we have been the go-to company for thousands of customers who need to install, maintain, repair or upgrade their critical communications infrastructure.

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