Hosting Data: On-Premise vs. Cloud Data

Hosting Data: On-Premise vs. Cloud Data

As cloud storage adoption continues to grow rapidly, IT organizations are making decisions around how to effectively manage their system infrastructures in the long term. There are many factors to consider for these options, and companies need to find what will work best for them in the future.

Flexibility & Control

  1. On-Premise systems offer wide range of flexibility and control. As internal hardware and software are purchased and implemented, IT teams can configure their tech stack to address hyper-specific business needs like custom reporting, peak time management, and data access for individual users. Easy access to the data flow also makes it efficient for problem solving in the event of malware or any other data management related emergency.
  2. Cloud storage does not offer nearly as much control. Cloud SaaS solutions have out of the box feature sets that may not work for all businesses depending on your data management needs. For organizations with very low data management needs and standard reporting, this may be a viable solution. If a company plans to grow and scale rapidly, the upgrades and customization efforts needed to adjust for unique business use cases can be costly and time consuming. Variations outside of basic cloud features usually involve requesting needs directly from the vendor and amendments to existing vendor contracts.


Costs around these options fully depends on the needs of the organization and their current data architecture.

  1. Most on-premise costs are up front. It also involves direct capital expenses that tends to average out as cost effective over the life cycle of the investment (3 – 4 years). Main factors to consider for costs are space, hardware, and power consumption. Space is obvious, but it is also important to measure opportunity costs. Consideration around whether or not there are more efficient ways the business can use this square footage will be key. Hardware is usually expensive on the front end, and potentially steep CAPEX investments deter most companies to seek cloud solutions. Luckily, Brightstar Systems offers a unique, cost-effective solution with refurbished hardware from the most accredited manufacturers. Many organizations would be able to drive some of their initial costs down 95%, making on-premise systems more valuable than cloud solutions. Shop our Juniper or Cisco routers, or even request a quote from our team.
  2. Cloud storage options have low costs to entry with ‘pay-as-you-go’ methods. Underlying fees are baked into cloud SaaS cost, so basic plans are cheap. Unfortunately, many of these plans suffer from an “iceberg” effect; costs tend to skyrocket as businesses scale and need more features. Customizations require extra time and money depending on the provider which can bottleneck business operation needs, especially in time crunches. There is also consideration for shared cloud vs private cloud options, the latter being more expensive. Cloud storage does have the added benefit of quick and easy deployments.


  1. On-premise maintenance does require organizations to have dedicated support. In-house support means individual system problems can be solved quickly without going through a 3rd party vendor. Internal teams can grow to be experts in the data systems and provide support for unique business needs. A drawback may be costs for breakdowns or upgrades after the lifecycle of equipment. Luckily, Brightstar Systems tests all equipment, and all products go through a 9-Point Quality Control and Testing Process.
  2. Though easy to deploy, maintenance is a cost that is baked into any payment plan associated with the vendor. An organization is at the mercy of specific vendors’ up and down time. Any hiccups or problems on the cloud servers are fixed and maintained by the vendor. Most companies sit by the sidelines waiting for fixes around access. Some vendors offer contracts that give provisions to offer a certain level of compensation if there are ‘high’ levels of downtime or access. Unfortunately, these provisions are difficult to secure in writing, difficult to cash in on, and would likely not compensate for any lost opportunity costs.

Data Governance

With events like Cambridge Analytica leading to GDPR and CCPA, there is a much larger focus on data governance, security, and privacy within any organization.

  1. Because on-premise data warehouses are built from the ground up, it is easy to put in the necessary safeguards and compliance efforts based on necessary compliance needs. Access to systems is simple to track especially around sensitive data like employee information, PII, or customer financial data. Depending on the business, there are compliance or governance requirements (i.e. HIPAA, NIST, or ISO) that must be followed with data management. The ease of access simplifies building data environments around those requirements.
  2. Cloud SaaS solutions can be risky for businesses for a few reasons. Most cloud solutions offer a shared cloud method and an organization typically uses all control over data and information shared with the vendor. Any technology failures could mean lapses in security, resulting in data breaches or possible data loss. As per any industry governance requirements, companies need a deep understanding of data storage locations, security and access levels of the 3rd party to ensure the proper measures are in place. Some providers also have regulation specific data environments (HIPAA clouds, GDPR clouds, etc.) which are great for those solutions, but it should be known that these environments are expensive.

IT decision makers need to weigh their individual needs and concerns as they decide on the right path. A hybrid solution is a good path for those who may need the best of both worlds. For those looking to build out their on-premise architecture, BrightStar Systems stocks and resells high-quality, pre-owned Juniper EX Series switches at the most competitive prices. Contact us to learn more about buying or selling used Juniper switches.