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SQLBLOG – Difference between Cloud, On-Prem and Hosted environment

cloudWelcome!! An another post of the series on Cloud. Last week in my post basic understanding of cloud we learned what Cloud is. In this week, I will explain the differences, advantages and disadvantages of IT environment such as the on premise, hosted environment and the cloud. Let us see the explanation in very simple term and in single line.

On premise:

In this type of environment every piece of hardware, software is owned, managed and licensed by the owner or an organization. A good example will be an own house


In this type of environment the hardware or the server that the application(s) or database runs on is provided by a hosting service provider such as SiteGround. An example will be the house that one has on the rent agreement


In this type the software, hardware is owned and maintain by service provider and the end user or an organization pay the monthly subscription fees only. For example the hotel room that one has rented out.


This is mixed setup – On Premise + Cloud / Hosted, now a days these type of configuration is seen most.

As we have covered these different environments let us understand the pros and cons of each so as we can easily understand them and decide what it has for us. However, one has to be very careful and cautious to design and decide which technology to use according to the need and followed by thought process to support the decision made.

On Premise
  • Lower cost at long term
  • Customizable
  • Controllable – Security policies
  • Controllable – Storage
  • Controllable – Updates/patches
  • Off-line mode access
  • High Upfront cost for procurement
  • Requires IT staff involvement
  • Have to manage backup
  • Team needed to maintain hardware
  • Not very easy to scale-up or scale-down
  • Lower cost for long term
  • Up to certain extent customizable
  • Controllable – Security policy
  • Controllable – Updates/patches
  • High cost
  • Have to manage backup
  • Have to manage performance
  • Not so easy to scale-up or scale-down
  • Only on-line access
  • Low upfront cost
  • Very easy maintenance
  • Very secure
  • Easy to Scale-up or scale-down
  • Best performance
  • Redundant/multi-location backup
  • No off-line access
  • No control over update/patches
  • little customizable
  • no control over security policies

In the next article we will learn different service offering with an example.

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Hemantgiri Goswami

Throughout my extensive 24-year tenure in the IT industry, I have honed my expertise in SQL Server and cloud technologies. My qualifications include certifications in ITIL, Azure, and Google Cloud, and my professional journey boasts a consistent record of delivering top-notch, dependable, and efficient solutions across diverse clients and domains. In recognition of my dedication and impact, I am honored to have received the Microsoft MVP award for SQL Server on six occasions. Additionally, I actively contribute to various online forums and blogs, acting as a moderator and facilitator of meaningful discussions. My ultimate mission revolves around empowering organizations to enhance the reliability and efficiency of their SQL Server implementations while fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth within the SQL Server community.