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

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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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Joseph Timmins