Data Storage 101: Servers vs. Cloud

When you own an established business or have started your journey as an entrepreneur, there are hundreds of items on your to-do list. Responsibilities pile up quickly, and you need to grasp certain areas of knowledge to ensure the digital capabilities of your company.

One of the most critical decisions you will make for your business involves where you will store and manage data as well as run necessary applications. Here is a simple breakdown of what it means to store data in the cloud as compared to physical servers.



Technology has transformed our lives, and it continues to change at breakneck speed. Cloud storage is becoming the most accessible method of managing data and applications. It involves third parties housing hardware and offering software to business owners so that all of their data and applications run virtually in the cloud.

Using the cloud for data and application purposes doesn’t require a large upfront investment. Instead, companies will pay monthly fees and only use what they need. The ability to rely on cloud storage also enables companies to hire remotely. This way, business operations such as digital marketing become theaters of real-time collaboration.

Other benefits of cloud storage include:

  • Less risk of security incidents
  • Increased flexibility to scale to a business’s needs
  • Reliable back-ups in case of natural disasters

One thing to keep in mind is that your company will need to utilize cloud storage expertise to manage data accurately and effectively. Kubernetes, an open-source option, can assist you in this aspect. What is a Kubernetes cluster? It is a system that automates the management of containers for running applications and using data from the cloud.



Before the invention of cloud computing, companies relied on physical servers to store and use data. Traditionally, this type of setup requires a large investment up front, but smaller business operations may be happier to make a one-time payment instead of monthly fees for cloud services.

When you use local servers, you will need trained IT staff on hand to deal with any problems at your physical site. However, many companies prefer to operate their own local servers to avoid third-party interference. You can protect local servers from security vulnerabilities with specific on-site protocols.

Some more benefits of using local servers include:

  • Easy access to data that does not rely on an internet connection
  • Less reliance on a third party for repairs and maintenance
  • Important for working with legacy systems



While it may seem like the decision to choose local servers or cloud services is all or nothing, you can also explore mixed storage options. Your company may benefit from looking at possibilities that allow some of your computing needs to happen on-site while some data and applications can run from the cloud. A hybrid solution may be necessary for existing businesses that have already invested in physical infrastructure but would like to have the flexibility to utilize the speed and efficiency of the cloud.

Digital resources and investments in technology are both vital considerations for business owners. It is worthwhile to explore many options before settling on your preferred infrastructure setup. Cloud services are constantly evolving, but it doesn’t mean that the use of local servers is going out of style. Many companies continue to rely on physical hardware and in-house software for their computing needs.

For a more in-depth approach, you can seek out a professional consultant who can provide a complete overview of your options, sharing the pros and cons of using servers versus the cloud.

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Written by Mark Palmer

I am a small business owner. I enjoy writing about and researching business methods and practices. I love staying caught up with modern technologies and incorporating that into the business aspect.

July 29, 2022

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