Data Centre vs. Self-Hosted: What Should Businesses Choose?
It’s common for many smaller businesses to run their own server. Some of the most basic solutions we’ve seen have literally just been an old tower PC or a Mac Mini, loaded to the brim with extra storage, and plugged straight into the LAN or a router.
Of course, this is just fine for a small team that needs quick access to lots of documentation too large (or important) to be stored solely on their own workstations.
But as with so many things in business and in life, one size does not fit all. The makeshift server approach is definitely not appropriate for a financial institution, or a department of the government – or any business with multiple physical locations.
And, as smaller businesses relying on self-hosted solutions grow, so too will their IT hardware and infrastructure needs. Eventually, a more robust solution will be required.
So, at some point, any business that relies on a server will have to make a choice: should they migrate to a Private Cloud solution in a data centre – or continue down the self-hosted route?
On-prem servers operate entirely within your offices – usually in a dedicated server room.
The Benefits of Self-hosted Solutions
✅ Self-hosting puts you in full control of your computing infrastructure, and your systems can be tailored exactly to the requirements of your organisation.
✅ Data can be restored quickly in the event of a network failure or attack (provided that you have sufficient backup solutions and resources in place).
✅ Self-hosting gives excellent availability to your teams, is fully compliant with regional data residency laws, and is entirely subject to your own security and resilience protocols – not those of a third-party.
😬 With on-premises hosting and storage, your IT team must manage and maintain all infrastructure. This can be an around-the-clock undertaking, and financially demanding.
😬 Initial costs – for design, hardware, installation, cooling systems, and configuration – are typically very high for large organisations. Subsequent upgrades must come from the company’s own pocket (same goes for the electric bill).
😬 Admin access control is notoriously time-consuming and expensive, and could even involve building a user access management system from scratch in some private network environments.
😬 Depending on the size and nature of your organisation, self-hosted on-prem solutions are far more prone to physical and cyber attacks, natural disasters, and total loss.
As you can see, self-hosting has some standout features, and some pretty major shortcomings. It is usually the reserve of organisations with an unbreakable physical and digital security presence, extremely demanding networking needs, and the budget and resources to cope.
On the flip side, a simple self-hosted solution might also work for a solopreneur or a very small firm, as after investing in a small server and backup system, your costs are more or less limited to energy.
But can a Private Cloud, hosted in a data centre, do better?
Using a Data Centre
Data centres power the Cloud – which is essentially data stored off-site, on servers owned by a third-party firm. Data centres have some major advantages over self-hosting.
The Benefits of Using Data Centres
✅ The third-party you contract your off-site solution out to is typically responsible for all site management, physical security, cyber security, maintenance – and pretty much everything else your IT team would cover.
✅ On that note – resilience, security, uptime and accessibility are all lightyears beyond what most organisations could create in-house.
✅ Even when installing owned hardware in a Private Cloud, the initial financial outlay is significantly lower than building in-house infrastructure.
Are There Any Negatives?
Maybe just a few. With Private Cloud solutions, you have some control over the hardware and computing infrastructure on which your data is stored – but you don’t usually get any say with a public data centre solution.
While the cost of entry is far, far lower than a like-for-like self-hosted solution, lifetime costs can be higher; however, the reduced need for IT personnel can offset this.
And finally, latency. A Private Cloud installation at one of our flagship data centres could have a latency as low as ~1ms, which is completely imperceptible; but an off-the-shelf or public solution can be far slower, and noticeably laggy.
Overall, and especially in a Private Cloud context, a data centre solution offers the majority of businesses (those sandwiched between the extreme use cases of a self-hosted solution) the absolute best path towards secure, accessible and resilient data.
That just leaves finding a data centre…
Choosing the Right Data Centre
We have a growing list of data centre partners, with a now global presence – helping businesses local to us maintain regional data residency compliance in new, international markets.
Our newest addition is the MI6 Miami data centre, in partnership with Equinix. Miami is home to the NAP of the Americas; the primary internet exchange point between Latin America, the United States and Europe.
Our data centre solutions offer businesses control over when, where, and how their off-site computing and data is managed. And if you’re looking for the right partner to implement your Cloud strategies, we’re ready to help.
For Private Cloud Solutions, Your Business Deserves deeserve.
We’re deeserve – experts in Private Cloud solutions and IT services, and a trusted partner to some of the largest organisations in the world. Let us design your ideal solution, at one of our world-class data centres.
Call us on 01509 80 85 86 or send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
More services to help
We offer a comprehensive range of IT services to suit all businesses - from "helpdesk"-style IT support to data centre hosting services.
Your business doesn’t run itself; and neither do its IT systems. From email to Internet, your back-up server to your phone system, you need technology to run smoothly so your business can do the same.
Our scalable private cloud services run on dedicated hardware. You’ll get 24/7 support, total security and lightning-fast speed; all at a fixed, all-inclusive monthly cost.
Our fully managed colocation services make use of data centres across the UK, to securely house your network equipment.