Cloud storage vs Local on-premises servers

Enterprise storage solutions comparison


Cloud storage means your files are stored on external servers, typically managed by another company. 


“On-premises storage” is when data is stored on local hardware, such as servers, computers, or other devices. For example, if you purchase a server and set it up at your office, you and your team can store your data on that server. Because the server is locally operated, it is considered on-premises storage, sometimes known as “on-prem storage.”

With on-premises storage, you own all the equipment.


On-prem vs cloud storage: Can the cloud ever be as secure? - In today’s data-centric business environment, having a data security infrastructure that you can trust is essential. As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, the need to bolster security only grows by the day.

But can the best cloud storage platforms ever match the level of security afforded by storing data on-premises? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about on-prem vs cloud storage, specifically focusing on data security.


One of the primary ways the cloud interacts with your company is in the way it stores data. Unlike on-premises servers with storage, cloud storage uses external servers managed by another company.

A primary function of any business is the ability to store data in servers. After all, servers are the lifeblood of your organization. They store your information, connect your employees and allow you to connect with others around the world. In the past, on-site servers were the only options available to you, but now, cloud-based servers are a viable option.

Cloud storage is a great option for many companies, as it provides cost-saving benefits along with functional ones like regular data backups and the ability to scale easily. Cloud storage is a great option for your company because it can:

•         Reduce IT staff’s responsibilities: As your cloud storage will be managed by another company, your IT staff won’t have to take the time to install new software patches or updates, freeing up their time for other tasks.

•         Eliminate capital expenses: While on-premises storage is considered a capital expense, cloud storage is considered an operational expense. Typically, on-premises storage requires a large initial investment to purchase equipment and install it in the office. As cloud storage is taken care of externally, there is no need for capital investment. Instead, companies will pay an affordable monthly subscription.

•         Adjust to your budget: To help companies keep their initial costs low, organizations regularly pay for cloud storage on a month-by-month basis. No matter if you’re scaling up or scaling down, most cloud-based storage companies can adjust their prices to meet your budget. Additionally, cloud storage features can be adjusted, added or left out of plans altogether. This sort of flexibility is great for companies who expect change and don’t want to get locked into paying for services they don’t need.

•         Perform regular data backups: The cloud offers easier data backup than on-premises servers ever could. Cloud-based servers give users peace of mind because they know if their computer goes haywire or their local files are deleted, they can find the information again. This ability to access information that would otherwise be lost means your company can minimize the risk of losing critical information.

•         Adjust to your company’s needs: Cloud-based storage is built to scale. Need a few extra terabytes of data to store more data? Simply upgrade your plan with a click or two. Unlike a company’s own servers that would need to have new hardware installed, cloud-based servers can quickly be expanded to meet the needs of your company. For those companies growing quickly, it means that you’ll never have to worry about slowing down because your equipment can’t keep up.


Unlike cloud storage, on-premises storage relies on infrastructure at your company’s brick-and-mortar office to manage your data. You’ll own all of the equipment, and you will be responsible for the lifecycle management. As you might guess, there are several pros and cons of on-premises solutions for data storage.

Though cloud storage has been all the rage lately, some companies still believe that on-premises solutions are best suited for their business needs. For example, many enjoy the greater security that on-premises solutions and storage give their data. On-premises storage is a great option for your business because it can:

          Operate without internet: One of the major upsides to on-premises storage is that it doesn’t require users to have an internet connection to access data. Though most businesses rely on the internet to conduct business, there’s always a fear that the loss of a connection could harm productivity and make it impossible to access crucial data. On-premises servers will provide you with an internal network that is accessible anytime, no matter your internet connection.

•         Lower monthly internet costs: If your business doesn’t rely on the internet or cloud-based services, you may not need to pay for such a high-speed connection. For those with on-premises storage, the need for a strong connection with fast download speeds is reduced even further. Based on your needs, you may not have to pay for a more expensive internet plan if you don’t have to access the cloud to view files.

•         Provide greater security: Unlike cloud storage, which is more vulnerable to third parties and prying eyes, on-premises storage is completely restricted from anyone other than authorized personnel. On-premises servers are not accessible to those outside the network, as they are not storing the data online. For companies that handle sensitive data, like those in the financial industry, on-premises storage may be a preferred option.

•         Offer control over server hardware: Some companies enjoy having dedicated servers within their building to handle all their needs. Instead of having to ask a cloud storage company to upgrade their storage plan or add new features, the company can simply do the upgrades themselves. Potentially, being able to modify the server’s hardware can give savvy companies greater flexibility and customization for their storage needs.


Overall PrimeArray systems would give cloud storage a D- on security mainly because their infrastructure is structured in a way that allows users to access the Internet is considered the Wild West

Another factor in our grading on security is the fact that most of these servers are shared servers with other customers.

You also give control over who is physically handling the servers, dealing with components that could fail or become outdated, and swapping some of these components may contain your valuable data.

We feel that on-premise storage is protected by firewalls and the servers are not shared with other users. A standard firewall today is a serious roadblock for any prying eyes.

Cloud storage may seem attractive because of its lower price at the starting point, but that monthly cost can add up to higher costs than owning the device.

PrimeArray believes that cloud storage does have benefits for almost all businesses. It offers a form of off-site backups, a great place to store a disaster recovery image. However - PrimeArray systems would recommend encrypting your data prior to storing it on the cloud.