In our previous blog, we looked closely at the benefits and shortcomings of cloud storage solutions. With the rising momentum of cloud repatriation, where organizations are seriously considering bringing their data back on-premises – or at least adopting a hybrid model – business leaders need all the information they can get to make an informed decision on how to manage data: in the cloud or on-premises.
In this week’s installation, we take a deep dive into the benefits and disadvantages of on-premises storage solutions so you can make the best decision according to your organization’s needs.
What is On-Premises Storage?
On-premises storage is where data is stored in an organization’s own physical or licensed (co-location) facilities. The data is stored and managed in procured hardware and software solutions, which are located and maintained on local infrastructure within an organization’s premises or in rented space in co-location facilities, hence the name.
When cloud storage solutions gained popularity and witnessed a steep rise in adoption and application, one of the primary motivators was eliminating the need to purchase, maintain, and upgrade hardware and software locally.
Conversely, on-premises storage solutions have many benefits that persist to this day and are causing companies to reconsider their cloud migrations. Those benefits include:
The Benefits of On-Premises Storage
Coincidentally, one of cloud storage’s biggest pitfalls is on-premises storage’s premier benefits: control.
With on-premises storage solutions, organizations have total and complete control over their data. This is a primary reason why enterprises in heavily regulated industries like financial services, banking, healthcare, and pharma were initially reluctant to move their data to the cloud. They are some of the first to start repatriating their data locally to on-premises storage solutions.
Strict requirements, controls, and security protocols for heavily scrutinized components like data security and privacy demand a high degree of control to ensure compliance, making on-premises data storage and management an ideal fit for organizations that adhere to stringent policies.
Similar to the alluring benefits of greater control over your data, on-premises storage solutions also provide more authority over your data and the policies you enact to manage your data.
With your data and backups managed locally, you can implement the strictest security measures you have in place to govern access and ensure compliance where necessary.
Arguably, the biggest factor driving organizations back to on-premises storage solutions is the rising costs of cloud storage. For example, back in 2022, Google announced increases in cloud storage costs that could impact companies by a 25-50% price hike.
Earlier this year, in Virtana’s independent research report The State of Hybrid Cloud Storage, they reported that 94% of IT leaders confirm that storage costs are rising, and 54% believe that cloud storage costs are growing faster than other cloud services and prices.
The initial outlay for on-premises storage solutions naturally demands some investment for the hardware needed. However, beyond that point, costs remain stable and predictable—they are not dependent on the price fluctuations of third parties or a volatile marketplace.
As an organization’s data needs grow, they realize they can save a lot of money in the long term by moving their data storage and management to on-premises solutions.
A major benefit of on-premises storage is also accessibility. When data is stored and accessed locally, latency is minimized; you can get to your data much quicker.
With cloud storage solutions, speed is not always stable and consistent. Because another party hosts your data, there are always outages to consider, in addition to having to trust that your vendor’s data centers are disaster-proof too.
The Disadvantages of On-Premises Storage
There is a reason there was such a strong push for organizations to move their data storage needs to the cloud. A lot of those moves were in response to the disadvantages of on-premises storage, which include:
Cloud storage delivers seamless and automatic scalability. As your data storage needs grow, your cloud storage provider can increase capacity on the fly. The only thing that changes is your monthly costs.
With on-premises storage, scaling your data storage requires increased investment to handle a greater quantity of data. That being said, there are ultra-dense, incredibly efficient, and cost-effective hardware solutions that enable you to shrink your storage footprint, essentially eliminating this traditional and outdated disadvantage.
Cloud storage vendors take care of all maintenance issues, patches, and upgrades. This responsibility falls on the internal IT teams for those utilizing on-premises storage to manage their data in-house.
That means IT resources with adequate bandwidth are needed to perform hardware maintenance, updates, and security. This process can be made easier by utilizing storage solutions that excel in ease of use and are highly reliable on-premises storage solutions.
Accessibility is certainly an advantage of on-premises storage solutions, but it can pose some challenges for a remote and dispersed workforce. For some on-premises storage solutions, a single accessible cloud interface is needed while others lack the ability to be remotely accessed altogether.
The advantages of on-premises storage solutions are apparent and, interestingly enough, address the challenges many enterprises are encountering with cloud storage, such as dramatically rising costs, a lack of control, and diminished security.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder organizations are already planning on bringing at least some, if not all, their data back in-house.
Summary: The Pros and Cons of On-Premises Storage Solutions
On-Premises Storage Solutions
In summary, no one solution fits every organization and this is as it should be. What’s important is for IT professionals to assess their organization’s needs and resources, and to align a data storage strategy to those needs. For consideration of cost control, data management, security, and other noted reasons, on-premises data storage is increasingly coming up as the right approach.