Quick Guide to Cloud vs. Self-Host Dilemma

· · project-management

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Self-hosting is when you host software on your own server instead of paying the software provider to host it for you. It’s taking control of the software and getting behind the wheel. The cloud on the other hand, is taking the passenger seat and enjoying the view.

We wrote about what to keep in mind when deciding between the cloud and self-hosting, and why choose the cloud over self-hosting. Here’s a quick rundown.

The cloud is for small teams that don’t have the resources to employ a full-time tech crew. It’s like time-sharing a beach house — enjoy it as you go, there’s no overhead costs, and you don’t need to worry about maintenance; but you can’t do whatever you want or refurnish it to your hearts content.

Self-hosting is for organizations who have the resources to manage their own server. They have strict privacy policies or a really big user base, so they need to customize the software to their needs. It’s like owning the beach house — you can paint it whatever color you want, build another room, or keep lots of summer gear inside — but you have to maintain the plumbing and keep the fridge stocked yourself.

Which one are you?

Choose the cloud if you’re a smaller business with a limited budget. You’ll be sharing your cloud with other business; which is good, because you’re sharing maintenance and development costs that would be much higher if you chose to do it yourself. This is perfect for users who just want to log-in and start working.

Choose the self-hosted if you’re financially stable and certain that you can fund upkeep costs.

Users at Stackoverflow suggest asking yourself this:

  • Can you react to system failure in minutes (even when you sleep)?
  • Can you spot a system break?
  • Can you remove exploits from your system?
  • Can you recompile the kernel if you can’t remove exploits?
  • Can you configure the system for optimal performance?
  • Are you willing to pay for UPS, backup storage and a backup internet provider?

For more information, read our in-depth article.

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