February 25, 2022 by Bojana Krstic

On-Premise vs. Cloud Archiving: Which Method to Choose?

If you’re looking to implement an archiving solution, you will have to choose between on-premise vs cloud archiving. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, regardless of the deployment strategy you choose, you must select a solution that suits your organization’s needs.

In this blog post, we’ll help you through the process of analyzing both on-premise and cloud-based email archiving solutions in order to determine which is best for you.

The Difference Between On-Premise and Cloud Archiving

An on-premise email archiving solution captures all emails and sends them to an indexed database, making them easily searchable and accessible. This database is stored on one of your organization’s physical servers with on-premise email archiving. It is also known as a self-contained appliance or hardware archiving.

A cloud-based email archiving solution accomplishes the same thing as an on-premise solution — it captures all emails and indexes the data they contain — but the data is stored in a secure cloud environment rather than on an on-premise server.

Things to Consider When Selecting a Solution

The choice between on-premise vs cloud archiving solutions boils down to a few simple questions. It’s critical that you respond to these questions since implementing an email archiving solution is an investment, not just in terms of time and effort but also in terms of new hardware, software, and other expenditures.

Let’s take a closer look at these deciding factors to see what makes them so essential.

Company size and storage requirements

Whether you use an on-premise or cloud-based email archiving system depends largely on your storage requirements, and storage requirements are usually determined by the size of your company.

If your company has hundreds of employees, it’s best to go with a system that has enough storage to handle the activity of hundreds of different users, each of whom sends and receives a large number of emails on a daily basis.

Finding a solution with considerable storage capacity may not be a priority if your company only has a dozen or so employees.

When it comes to the storage capacity of on-premise vs. cloud archiving, the following is generally true. On-premise solutions usually have a limited amount of storage space, so you’ll have to buy more once you’ve used it up.

On the other hand, cloud archiving solutions often provide unlimited, bottomless storage. You’ll most likely have to pay a monthly subscription fee to take advantage of these unlimited storage features.

Although on-premise solutions might lack the scalability needed for managing the ever-increasing volumes of email, good vendors will help you calculate the appropriate storage plan. They’ll also be able to offer expansion units, which means you’ll be able to double or triple storage space at any time.

The state of your IT infrastructure

The size of your company doesn’t only determine your storage requirements. It also frequently determines how advanced your IT department is.

Smaller businesses are more likely to have a few individuals dedicated to IT and rely on third-party software vendors to fill in the gaps. Such companies would benefit from cloud-based email archiving because it requires fewer resources than an on-premise configuration.

In comparison, big companies are likely to have hundreds of staff dedicated to various IT-related duties, as well as a solid IT infrastructure. This means that they are more likely to have the IT infrastructure needed to implement an on-premise email archiving solution.

The level of accessibility and security

Accessibility for on-premise email archiving solutions is often governed by in-house IT specialists. That means if you have complete control over where, when, and how someone with the appropriate permissions can access archived emails.

The IT Manager assigns permissions and roles to other employees and grants them access to the appliance. Regular end users will have more restricted access and less control over the appliance when compared to admins and compliance officers, which significantly improves the overall security of the important, business-critical data contained in the archive.

On the other hand, if you opt for a cloud-based solution, you’ll have to coordinate access and control preferences and permissions with your third-party provider. This might not be the best option in terms of security for three reasons.

Firstly, you’ll never be sure about the exact physical location of your data. Secondly, you’ll never know who has access to it. And finally, it will most likely be stored together with other companies’ data. This means that if another company’s data gets hacked or compromised, yours might be vulnerable too.

Still, most modern cloud-based solutions have advanced security features like encryption, multi-factor authentication and systems to guard against threats. For this reason, cloud archiving software is generally considered a good and secure option.

Short and long-term costs

There’s no doubt that cost is often a deciding factor when making a purchase, regardless of what it is that we’re buying. This is especially true with big investments such as an email archiving solution.

Cloud solutions appear cheaper, but this seemingly big difference in price actually lies in how the cost is presented and structured. Cloud solutions are sold per mailbox, which is why they typically have a lower initial cost. On-premise archiving tools are sold per capacity, and the startup cost is a bit higher because you need to purchase the actual archiving appliance.

The cloud, however, has the potential to become a lot more expensive over time. The cloud is paid per mailbox, regardless of whether it’s active or not, so you’ll have to constantly allocate budget to maintain the cloud. In other words, this low initial cost can be very misleading and accumulate over time.

With an on-premise archiving solution, your first year can be expensive because the appliances are known to be costly. They must be, as they feature state-of-the-art software and hardware. A big advantage is that in years to come, you’ll only need to pay for maintenance, which can ultimately be even 5 times cheaper than the cloud.

On the other hand, with hardware, parts can get broken or malfunction. Despite the enterprise-grade hardware used in on-premise archiving, this may cause troubles along the way.

Implementation and management

Although the management of your solution is ultimately dependent on your IT infrastructure, the following should give you an idea of the expenditure required to successfully implement and maintain each type of archiving solution.

Cloud-based email archiving is a “set it and forget it” type of solution. They take very little time to implement. One of the main advantages of cloud-based email archiving systems is that they’re often handled by third-party professionals who operate as your go-to IT support specialist. A cloud-based solution will most likely not require you to engage somebody to assist you in implementing, administering, or monitoring it.

If you’re thinking about implementing an on-premise email archiving system, chances are you already have the IT infrastructure in place, both in terms of technology and employees, to manage the archiving process effectively.

If not, you’ll need to hire someone in-house to oversee the email archiving solution’s management and monitoring, as well as its hardware maintenance. This may necessitate both the hiring of a new employee and the repurposing of existing employee roles.

This infographic illustrates the benefits and drawbacks of both on-prem and cloud-based email archiving solutions, as well as five key factors to consider when making a decision, such as IT infrastructure, security, and the size of your company.

on-premise vs cloud archiving

Choosing the right vendor

Lastly, no matter which solution you choose, cloud or on-premise email archiving — it’s important to go with an archiving company that’s trustworthy and has a good history of technical support and a clear roadmap for your future.

Jatheon provides both enterprise-grade on-premise solutions and cloud archiving solutions suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. It is our mission to ensure security and help organizations implement our solutions with our best-in-class tech support, Jatheon Care.

Here are some of the customer reviews of Jatheon’s on-premise and cloud solutions (via Gartner Peer Insights):

A reviewer in the I&O role in the Manufacturing industry whose organization is using Jatheon’s hardware archiving said: “A great product with an even better support team backing it! We have been a Jatheon customer for over 10 years and have been extremely happy with how the product performs. Our appliance works without a hitch and is very easy to use. Like any technology solution there are sometimes minor issues, however, the Jatheon technical support team is top notch and is able to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently.”

A Network Engineer in IT Services said about Jatheon Cloud: It’s an “archival tool that is easy to deploy, easy to onboard, and easy to train users on. This ease does not impact the strength of the tool – in fact, it’s still a powerful tool. For my customers with no email archiving experience, Jatheon makes it easy to understand the basics, while still being intuitive enough to allow customers to also explore past the basics. For my customers moving from another archive product, they dreaded the thought of learning a new tool since their experience is with tools where there wasn’t much thought put into user experience. They are then pleasantly surprised by how easy the product is to use, while still giving them the capabilities of the products they’re used to.”

If your organization is currently evaluating on-premise vs. cloud archiving solutions, contact us for more information or a personal demo.

Read Next:

What to Look for in a Cloud Email Archiving Solution in 2024

Top 5 Email Archiving Software Features (for 2024 and beyond)

Top Trends in Enterprise Data Archiving for 2024

About the Author
Bojana Krstic
Bojana Krstic is the Head of Content and SEO at Jatheon and an experienced writer on topics like data archiving, ediscovery, and compliance. When AFK, you’ll find her hiking, discovering new music, or road-tripping.

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