Data Backup: On-Premise or In-the-Cloud?

Regardless of how big or small your business is, keeping your data secure is your number one responsibility as a business owner. Choosing the best backup solution for your business and private customer data will require one to understand the difference between on-premise and cloud backup.

On-premise backup is the more traditional way where you copy your data on hard drives or servers and store it in-house. Your data can be backed up either manually or automatically using these devices and stored on-site to ensure it can easily be accessed or moved to an offsite physical location for archival purposes.

In-the-cloud backup is where your data is stored in thousands of servers and encrypted to protect the information. The data centers can be accessed when there’s an internet connection and are highly secured. There are two types of cloud backups – the private and public cloud service. The private option is provided by a third-party, and the latter is where you share servers with other businesses.

The following is a comparison between on-premise and the cloud based on both functionality and value:

Recovery Time

Businesses are subject to loss of data either by human error or hardware failure. The time taken to recover this data is very crucial as every minute lost could lead to security or financial losses. The recovery time taken will depend on the method of data backup chosen, according to the on-premises vs offsite backup whitepaper. It could take days or weeks to recover data depending on the location and the type of storage option chosen.

On the other hand, cloud backup is quite efficient as the time could be hours or minutes as all that is required is a secure internet connection and you’re good to go. Cloud backup helps minimize losses and downtime as data is always available and easily accessible.


Security is another big difference between on-premise and cloud backup. On-premise backup can seem to be safe since you can store the hard drives in a vault or a locked file cabinet. However, in the case of fires, hurricanes or even mere theft, it becomes more vulnerable. Many businesses have been unfortunate victims of fires and other environmental hazards and have lost data stored on-premise.

However, backup in the cloud helps mitigate these risks as the data is stored in centers that are well secured. These data centers have round-the-clock surveillance, and even have inbuilt redundancy which significantly mitigates disasters and ensures that your data is safe. Cloud storage comes with its own risks, especially with the increasing cases of data breaches.

Cybersecurity should be taken seriously by any business that chooses to store or back up valuable data in the cloud. It’s important to consult with cloud storage vendors to understand what security policies they have in place to protect your business’s and customers’ data and privacy. Additionally, your business should also have strong cybersecurity measures in place. 


On-premise backup may seem inexpensive at first, but there are quite some costs to be incurred. First, there is the cost of virtual machines (VMS) and the enormous energy bills you have to incur from operating the entire infrastructure. Then there’s the cost of storage and maintenance which will include the human capital involved. This is because you will need a vibrant IT team to monitor the security logs closely.

The cloud is relatively cheaper keeping in mind the difference in price among the cloud backup providers. Businesses that adopt the cloud backup option pay only for the capacity they need and thus end up minimizing on costs. Embracing cloud backup also ensures you minimize the maintenance cost as the price is like insurance, it’s spread across many customers.


The on-premise backup option may seem like the best option due to its easy setup, but when you consider the security factor, it may not be the best solution. Cloud backup means that you do not need to worry about regular backups since it’s automated and the security is excellent too. Both the on-premise and the cloud are good options, but they aren’t without their flaws, so it’s up to you to decide the best choice for your data.

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