12-27-21 | Blog Post

Cloud VS On Premises: The Disaster Recovery Battle

Blog Posts

Making decisions about business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) can be a CIO’s worst nightmare. Planning, implementing and testing a strategy can take months and sleepless nights. Additionally, some CIOs face the added struggle of small budgets, fewer resources, and a mandate for agility to remain competitive. Add them all up, and you get an extremely difficult task.

But taking on the difficult task is far better than waking up one morning to discover a disaster has struck and you were unprepared.

Before you get knee-deep in it all, you’ll need to determine what type of DR solution best fits your company’s needs – a Cloud or On Premise approach. To help you determine the correct answer, let’s compare conventional DR and cloud DR solutions to see which solution type will make a better fit for your business.

On-Premises DR Advantages

  • Onsite servers will allow for more control over your server.
  • Keeps company data private. No third-party associated.
  • Data is accessible without internet access.
On-Premises DR Disadvantages

  • Increased capital investment
  • Limited scalability with growth of organization
  • Need for space to build/store hardware.
  • Added cost maintenance, management, IT support.
  • No guaranteed up-time
  • Data loss more likely to occur during disaster.
Cloud DR Advantages

  • No onsite hardware building costs.
  • Scalable to the growth of your business.
  • Only pay for what you use.
  • Easily connect to cloud from anywhere, using any device.
  • Backing data up to the cloud can happen as often as every 15 minutes.
Cloud DR Disadvantages

  • An internet connection is needed to access company data.
  • Trusting a third-party to keep data secure.
  • Ongoing cost.


If you look hard enough, you will find that there are benefits and drawbacks to any solution, but you can always find the one with the greatest number of “pros” and least number of “cons”. Based on the information above you may decide that your business has too much money invested in on-premises solutions to make a shift to the cloud reasonable at the moment. Or, you may decide that the costs/benefits associated with cloud are too good to pass up. Whatever you decide, it is important to understand what is available in the industry and what’s just on the horizon.

Making the Decision

It has often been said that conventional DR and archival solutions are headed down the same road as rotary phone. They’re often cost ineffective given the expense of the hardware, software, and skilled engineering staff needed to run them. In contrast to traditional solutions, cloud DR services offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional disaster recovery methods. Cloud DR, whether run by yourself or as a service (DRaaS) makes it easy to replicate data to multiple locations and get your business up and running faster in the event of a cyberattack or disaster of another sort.

More importantly, a cloud based disaster recovery solution provides infinitely more scalability and flexibility in terms of what, where, and how much data you can store offsite. It also frees up critical resources (like your employees) so that they may be allocated towards more core competency projects.

Cloud DR allows you to configure and construct architecture to suit the unique needs of your business. Whether you’re seeking the security and control of a private cloud deployment, the cost-effectiveness and ease of use of a public cloud, or the best of both worlds with a hybrid solution, Cloud DR offers unique opportunities to transform and protect your business more efficiently with greater agility.

One thing is for certain: a decision must be made. In the current digital environment, no business, large or small, can afford to make the mistake of not creating a DR plan.

The Bottom Line

Protecting your business in case of disaster can lead to some pretty complex decisions. While establishing a physical DR policy is a common starting point for many organizations, CIOs looking to protect their enterprise from ruin are increasingly looking to the cloud for better options. In fact, many are choosing a 3-tiered approach, opting to have two local sites and a third disparate site elsewhere, which can only be accomplished by leveraging cloud platforms.

Whatever your BC/DR questions, cloud-based disaster recovery platforms should factor into the answer. Whether private, public, or hybrid, you’ll benefit from continuous system availability, lower total cost of ownership, and the flexibility to optimize business continuity.

It’s impossible to know where technology is headed but it is clear that on premises DR solutions are now seen as a precursor to cloud-based DR solutions.

Contact an Otava specialist today to learn more about how a cloud DR solution can benefit your business.

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