Published On: June 12th, 20248.6 min read

Are you thinking of integrating cloud-based solutions into your on-premise infrastructure or applications? Integrating cloud-based solutions with your on-premise applications can increase the performance, security, and reliability of your applications and can also be cost-effective in many cases. But before deciding to integrate cloud-based solutions with on-premise applications with existing infrastructure, at first, you have to know whether you really need cloud-based solutions in your existing on-premise infrastructure or not. And in which cases will it be beneficial and cost-effective for your business?

In this article, we will first discuss what an on-premise application is, why it is used, and when it is built. Then we will discuss cloud-based solutions in those same aspects. In the end, we will talk about in which cases you should integrate cloud-based solutions into on-premise applications and give some examples where the cloud-based solutions are integrated into existing infrastructure.

On-Premise Infrastructure

On-premise infrastructure refers to the hardware infrastructure set up by an organization on their own premises to host their internal software and data. The infrastructure may also host the software and data of clients, partners, associations, or subsidiaries.

Why build on-premise infrastructure?

There are several reasons why an organization builds on-premise infrastructure. The main points are explained below:

  • Control: In the case of an on-premises infrastructure, the organization has full control over the infrastructure, which means full control over hardware, software, and data. They can configure or customize the infrastructure according to their needs.
  • Security: Sensitive information and data like trade secrets, intellectual property, research and development data, legal documents, financial data, etc. are kept within the organization and are not exposed to unwanted third-party applications or vendors. The organization can implement its own customized security architecture to keep this sensitive data secure.
  • Compliance: Specific types of organizations may have their own regulations and standards and/or industry-specific regulations and standards that they have to follow. On-premise infrastructure enables or makes it easier for the organization to implement these regulations and standards.
  • Legacy System: In many organizations, their infrastructure and software have become legacy as technology has evolved. For many reasons, they could not or have not updated their system. These types of systems are not compatible with modern cloud infrastructure, and organizations maintain them in their own IT departments.
  • Cost management: Although the initial cost of building an on-premise infrastructure is higher, in the long run, the organization saves money as there are no recurring fees associated with cloud services.

In which cases should on-premise infrastructure be built?

The above subsection also partially answers in which cases the on-premise infrastructure is built. On-premise infrastructure is not for all organizations. Along with the factors discussed above, some other cases also have to be kept in mind. First of all, it needs a fair amount of cost to build an on-premise infrastructure. And after building an infrastructure, if it is not used properly, it will be a waste of money.

Also, maintaining the infrastructure requires specialized IT personnel to maintain the hardware, software, and data, which is also not cheap.

Another thing to consider is the varying requirements for hardware based on specific times of the day, week, or year. For example, within a day, in the evening, the number of consumers for a specific application may increase, which may also increase the need for software, data, and hardware resources. And in other times of the day, it may not be the case, which means the extra resources kept for handling the peak time will sit idly in other times. It can also be said for a specific time of the year, like Christmas, Eid, Durga Puja, etc.

Along with the factors mentioned in the why subsection and in this subsection, a primary decision can be made about whether an organization should build an on-premises infrastructure or not. It also gives some indications as to which on-premise infrastructure should consider integrating cloud-based solutions. But to make the final decision, along with the factors above, a detailed specification of the software and data and also the organization’s view, mission, vision, etc., and many other factors have to be considered.

Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud-based solutions refer to resources, software, or services that are hosted and operated on remote servers and accessed over the internet.

Why use cloud-based solutions?

There are many reasons why cloud-based solutions are used. It also solves many of the disadvantages of on-premise infrastructure. The main ones are discussed below:

  • Scalability: One of the disadvantages of on-premise infrastructure is that it is not feasible to scale for a certain period of time. In cloud-based solutions, the infrastructure can be scaled instantly based on the needs of the consumers and can be scaled down when fewer resources are required.
  • Security: Cloud-based solutions provide high-level security to protect the hosted software and data.
  • Reliability and Recovery: Cloud-based solutions are fault-tolerant as they provide robust infrastructure and redundancy measures. In on-premise infrastructure, the system may shut down because of natural or other causes like lack of power, short circuits, cycles, etc. But cloud-based solutions are tolerant of such faults and recover from any such fault in the quickest time possible. Also, cloud-based solutions apply multiple techniques to prevent data loss, which may be expensive for on-premise applications to apply.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Cloud services give consumers the option to choose different plans and pay-as-you-go options. Consumers can choose the best-suited plan and only pay for the resources they consume.
  • Automated Management: Many of the configurations and updates are done by the cloud vendors themselves. So, consumers don’t have to worry about the maintenance and configuration of the services. Also, in many cases where security is a concern, the cloud vendors take the responsibility, and the consumers don’t have to worry about it. This keeps consumers free from legal bindings in many cases.

In which cases should cloud-based solutions be used?

For cases where organizations can’t afford to set up an on-premise infrastructure or, due to varying needs of resources, building such infrastructure has to be highly scaled, most of which will remain unused most of the time, it is better to use the cloud infrastructure in such cases.

On-premise infrastructure also needs to be updated, maintained, and secured regularly, which also requires specialized personnel. Not all organizations can afford to have such a specialized department in their workforce. On the other hand, cloud-based solutions provide services that are automated, regularly updated and maintained securely within an affordable price range, and organizations will only pay for the resources they consume.

When integrating cloud-based solutions into on-premise infrastructure

Based on what we have discussed so far, an idea should be built by now, usually when to use on-premise infrastructure and when to use cloud-based solutions.

As the real world is dynamic and unpredictable, so are the real-world applications. They possess different characteristics where we may need both on-premise infrastructure and cloud-based solutions.

Example application characteristics

An example of scenarios where both on-premise infrastructure and cloud-based solutions may be needed is given below. They simply possess a combination of characteristics where, for some, on-premise infrastructure is needed and, for others, cloud-based solutions are better suited.

  • Security, Compliance, Cost-Effectiveness, and Automated Management: Let’s consider the scenario of a law firm where the firm needs to keep the sensitive information of clients, stakeholders, and organizations private. The firm may also need to make sure to be compliant with laws and regulations regarding the confidentiality of its clients. There are security and compliance requirements for which on-premise infrastructure is the best option.

On the other hand, they may also want to run different analyses on the data of cases that have already been resolved to find insights that will help increase their winning percentage. For this case, cloud-based solutions like AWS Analytics and GCP Big Data and Analytics are the best as they are cost-effective and the law firm doesn’t have to be concerned about maintenance, management, or configuration.

A real-world example of integrating cloud-based solutions into on-premise infrastructure

Some of the best-known companies use this technique of integrating cloud-based solutions into on-premise infrastructure for different reasons. Among those three such companies, their reasons for integrating cloud-based solutions into on-premise infrastructure are discussed below:

  • Netflix: 
  • Benefits: Scalability and cost-effectiveness
      • Reason: As a video streaming service provider, Netflix needs a huge amount of storage to store its content (movies, shows, etc.). During peak hours, the traffic and demand for its services increase exponentially. For this, it requires scalability to meet the demands of its users. To handle this scenario, it has integrated Amazon Web Services (AWS) into its on-premise infrastructure. Based on the user traffic, AWS scales the saved resources, which means during peak hours more resources are allocated and during off-peak hours fewer resources are allocated. This saves Netflix a significant amount of infrastructure costs and also improves the streaming experience for users.
  • Airbnb:
  • Benefits: Flexibility and User Experience
  • Reason: Similar to Netflix, Airbnb has also integrated the cloud-based services of AWS to scale its web application dynamically based on user traffic during peak hours. Before adopting cloud-based services, the downtime and user satisfaction were not so good, as the site used to frequently go down during peak hours, along with slow response issues. After the integration with AWS, the traffic is managed more efficiently, downtime is reduced, and availability is increased, which has led to improved overall user satisfaction.
  • NASA:
  • Benefit: Data Processing and Analytics
  • Reason: NASA has integrated cloud-based solutions for data processing and analysis into its on-premise infrastructure for its space exploration missions. These types of missions contain large amounts of visual and other types of data that need large amounts of storage and huge computational power to analyze and gain insights. This integration of cloud-based solutions has allowed faster processing and analysis of data, accelerating faster decision-making and discoveries.

Conclusion

At this point, you should have an idea of why and in which cases cloud-based solutions are integrated into on-premise infrastructure. Whether to integrate cloud-based solutions into on-premise infrastructure or not depends on the nature and requirements of the application and organization. A much more detailed analysis is required for that. We at Nascenia have expertise and can help you with the analysis (and integration, if required) on this matter. Please contact us for any kind of help required while integrating cloud-based solutions into your on-premise infrastructure.

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