It’s a question we hear a lot from our clients: is it best to have a local or a cloud server?
The answer depends on your business specific requirements but at Multum Tech, we tend to favour a hybrid approach, which utilises both local and cloud servers to cover all bases. But let’s take a look at each setup, what it involves and who it could be best for.

Local, Cloud and Hybrid Server Solutions

Below are the pros and cons of local servers and cloud servers. This isn’t an exhaustive list and other factors could apply, but these are the main points we see.

Local servers

  • Pros:
    Faster data transfers
    Only you have access to your data
    Full control over your server
    No internet access required
    Usually more cost-effective
  • Cons:
    No guarantee of uptime
    Investment in hardware and infrastructure
    Requires in-house expertise and support
    Space requirements
    Possible data loss in a disaster
    Own security maintenance required

As the name suggests, local servers are on your premises. A good local server will probably beat any cloud server when it comes to speed, so for businesses that means: faster file transferring, data copying, backups and restoration. On the flipside, if a local server goes down and there is nobody in the business with sufficient expertise to get it back up and running again – that means big trouble.

For businesses that aren’t as concerned with guaranteed uptime – such as those with one or several physical premises which can still make money if the server fails – that have the on-premises ability to house a server, a local server could be a good option. It all depends in your business circumstances, budget and capabilities.

One of the key things to remember with local servers is that it is your responsibility to backup your data. In the event of a disaster, it will be down to you to restore everything. We highly recommend keeping data backups both on and off your premises to reduce the risk of loss.

Cloud servers

  • Pros:
    Guaranteed uptime
    Guaranteed support
    Disaster recovery and data backups provided
    No onsite hardware or infrastructure required
    Easily scalable
    Robust security
  • Cons:
    More expensive than local servers
    Reliant on internet connection
    Third parties have access to your data

Cloud servers are hosted in data centres where many services such as data backup, disaster recovery and security layers are provided as standard. For many small businesses, cloud servers offer capabilities that would usually be beyond their reach – with that said, these services come at a price.

For SMEs that are wholly reliant on the internet to make money, cloud servers offer extra security and peace of mind that any faults will soon be restored, with minimal impact to data or overall business activity.

Hybrid Server Solution

As you can see, there are great benefits and pitfalls to using both cloud and local servers. It just depends on where your business currently sits, and how your plans for growth will affect your infrastructure requirements.

Simply by comparing the bullet points above it is clear that a hybrid solution of both cloud and local servers will cater to the vast majority of small – and large – business requirements. Combining the robust security and managed services of cloud servers with the control and speed of local servers is a win-win all round.

Small Business Server Specialists

Here at Multum Tech we have been advising small businesses on their IT requirements for over 15 years. We’ve seen the exponential growth and change of the IT landscape for SMEs and use our expertise to provide well-placed advice that has the best interests of our clients at heart.

We take your business goals and growth plans into account, as well as your current infrastructure, to determine whether a local, cloud or hybrid server solution would best suit your needs, now and in the future.
To get server advice from our specialist team today, call us on 1300 685886.

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