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Off Premise vs. Server Closet: Which Is Right for You?

By Joseph Timmins

As discussed in our last post, there are options for managing your IT needs when IT is not your business. These include off premise alternatives – hosted, public cloud, and private cloud. Shifting off premise may be a difficult choice if you prefer the security and “control” of in house servers, but when done correctly, off premise is a secure, viable option. Maintaining a server closet full of equipment, in fact, is a more risky and expensive option than you think.

So, which should you choose – off premise or a server closet?

There is no “one size fits all,” so let’s take a look at some pros and cons.

For an off premise IT solution, pros and cons include:


  • Cost-effective (less onsite hardware and/or capital expenses)
  • Easily scalable (you pay only for what is needed)
  • Anytime, anywhere access to data
  • Encryption and authentication for data security
  • Regular backups, updates (virus, spam, malware) for insurance
  • Managed FOR you, not BY you


  • Access to system and data is dependent on the internet connection
  • User experience is limited to the speed of that connection
  • Desktop help is still required and will be separate from server level support

For an in house IT solution, pros and cons include:


  • Physical control over your servers
  • Critical data is kept in-house (no third party access)
  • No need to rely on an Internet connection for daily data access


  • Requires capital investment in hardware in infrastructure
  • Requires office space for racks and server equipment
  • More susceptible to data loss during disaster situations and equipment damage
  • You must create and implement your own data backup and update plans
  • Some level of internet still required (remote access, updates, backup systems)
    • More involved IT management demands on the organization

Unsure about making a choice? Contact the experts at Acuity and let us help you determine the right setup to meet your business needs.

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