Hosting SAS – Your Server or the Cloud?
When clients are either installing a new SAS system or upgrading their existing SAS system one of the first questions we’re always asked is:
“Where should I host my SAS system? Would it be better to use an internal server or to migrate to the cloud?”
Whether you ultimately decide to host your SAS on your internal server or migrate to cloud storage it’s important to remember there isn’t one right answer for every situation. And even though for over 90% of cases the cloud is the preferred option there are still some circumstances where an internal server is best.
So let’s take a look at some of the major pros and cons of both internal hosting on your own server and SAS hosting in the cloud.
Cloud hosting uses the resources of a third party’s external server, which you connect with remotely, instead of using dedicated internal servers which are usually located on your premises.
Cloud hosting is increasing becoming the popular hosting choice for most of our client’s SAS systems for a whole variety of reasons.
Purchasing Capability and Ongoing Fixed Costs
A lot of companies initially think if they just buy their own server it’s going to be much cheaper than the cloud hosting cost. However, they are not factoring in the costs of installing, configuring, maintenance and air-conditioning, as well as paying for the space an internal server requires.
Once you factor in all of these additional costs the cloud is always more cost effective. And forecasting is simpler too, as you know exactly what you’re paying every month.
Another common misconception about external cloud hosting of your SAS system is that it is not a secure as hosting SAS on your own internal server. If this was really the case many big organisations such as Commonwealth Bank and Suncorp wouldn’t have well over 2000 applications hosted securely in the cloud!
The real reason SAS systems get hacked is not because they’re hosted in the cloud…it’s because they’re not securely set up and maintained. Either the security is not set up properly or there are holes in the system because updates haven’t been done.
Also, your internal server may not be as secure as you think it is. Every time one of your employees logs into your SAS system externally on a private computer, your server’s security may be compromised.
Improved Resource Utilization
Regardless of the size of your company, external cloud hosting of your SAS system allows your staff to focus on their jobs and enjoy utilising the data generated by your SAS system rather than wasting time on day-to-day maintenance of an internal server.
You may not even have the infrastructure or staff qualified to maintain and support your SAS system–external hosting solves that problem for you.
Flexibility & Scalability
Cloud environments can easily and rapidly scale up and down as your SAS hosting requirements change. Whereas with a dedicated internal server you’re looking at a substantial infrastructure investment every time you want to increase your SAS capacity…or potentially wasted resources when you want to downgrade.
Just because you don’t want to think about it doesn’t mean it won’t necessarily happen. Hosting in the cloud protects your SAS system from loss of data due to internal server crashes or natural disasters, such as fire or earthquake.
The Cons of Cloud Hosting
Cloud Hosting may not be the best option for you if you have poor connectivity or a slow internet connection. Also if you don’t have the cloud already set up it can be quite an involved and time-consuming process.
Cloud hosting also comes with a ongoing monthly bill, that always needs to be paid and if the internet goes down either at your end or on your cloud provider’s side you won’t be able to access your SAS system.
With internal hosting your internal IT department hosts your SAS system on your own servers and hardware.
While cloud hosting is the preferred option for the majority of SAS users, there are still advantages of hosting on your own server and circumstances where internal hosting will be a better option.
No hosting or management fees
You don’t have an ongoing monthly cloud-hosting fee. You only pay for the costs of installing and managing your own internal server, so if you already have your own server and dedicated IT team hosting internally can save you money.
Internal hosting gives you total control of your SAS system hosting environment, including all changes, criteria and timetables for any change.
If you have slow or poor internet connectivity then an internally hosted SAS system server will perform better than a cloud-hosted system.
Frequency of data uploads
If your SAS data is constantly changing and you need to frequently upload data to your SAS system, internal hosting may be the solution for you. Cloud hosting environments work well for clients who upload large volumes of data infrequently, however they will charge you more if you are uploading frequently, regardless of the size of the data.
The Cons of Internal Hosting
Internal hosting of your SAS system means you are responsible for monitoring and managing your server 24/7.
In addition you are responsible for all of the hardware/software/maintenance costs as well as the power/cooling/hosting costs…and you receive no economies of scale.
Internal hosting not only requires a capital investment in hardware and infrastructure, it also takes up physical space on your premises and it can make you more vulnerable to data loss in case of an emergency due to the in-house location.
Need help with deciding where to host your SAS system?
The decision to host your SAS system in the cloud or on an internal server should be based on a range of criteria which include;
- your financial and budget considerations
- size and frequency of your data uploads
- maturity of your data infrastructure
- speed and size of your internet connection
- whether you already have a dedicated IT department and your own internal servers
Most businesses have some form of cloud storage these days, however whilst some are just starting out on the journey, others already have an advanced strategy in place.
If you are considering hosting your SAS system in the cloud but you don’t have the connectivity already in place we can help you set it up. As the NBN is being rolled out around the country download speeds are getting better and Amazon now provide a service where you plug your disc in via courier for the first upload and setup of your cloud server.
Whether you decide to host in the cloud or internally is ultimately up to you. Either way, we’re here to help.
And with some of the most highly skilled and experienced SAS specialists in Australia we can ensure you make the right decision, so you can rest assured your SAS system is always securely hosted and delivering the data you need to grow your business.