September 18, 2017 by Jatheon

On-premise vs. Cloud Email Archiving Solutions

In 2017, it seems that the email archiving dilemma has evolved from the initial “to archive or not to archive” to “what to archive and how to go about it”. In times when the world is turning to cloud-based archiving platforms, is on-premise archiving dead? To help you choose the best fit for your organization, here’s a breakdown of the similarities, differences and benefits of one and the other.


The first thing you must take into consideration when debating whether to go with the cloud or the appliance is the size of your organization. A company employing hundreds or thousands of people will need a lot more storage space than a small start-up or a family company. Cloud solutions offer unlimited, bottomless storage. On the other hand, you’d typically choose an on-premise archiving appliance based on how much storage you need. 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.


Cloud-based solutions are famous for taking very little time to implement. It’s only logical that buying, setting up and configuring the on-premise archiver will require a bit more time and effort. When it comes to management, an in-house archiving tool requires you to have the IT personnel who would be in charge of the archiving process, whereas the cloud is managed by third-party professionals and requires no management effort on your end.


Although easy access is an obvious advantage of cloud solutions, security issues are an entirely different story. With on-premise archiving tools, it is typically the IT Manager that 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.

There are a few reasons why cloud environment might not be the best archiving option if you are a large organization or a business. 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. On the other hand, “place it where you can see it” philosophy that on-premise archiving entails will give you the ultimate control over your data and, most importantly, peace of mind.

An on-premise archiving solution gives you the ultimate control over your data and peace of mind. Click To Tweet


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, and here’s why:

Statistics show that there are 15-20% of inactive mailboxes in an average company. Although these belong to the former employees, you’ll still need to archive their email and other digital communication in order to meet compliance regulations. With newly-hired employees come new mailboxes. 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.

Data archiving appliances can be costly as they feature state-of-the-art software and hardware. Click To Tweet


Although the newest cloud-based solutions offer a wide range of possibilities, their popularity should be taken with a pinch of salt. Your IT specialists are rightfully concerned if they mention issues such as data migration, loss of control and lack of trust. The conclusion is that the cloud may be better suited for individual, private users. If you are a business, an agency or an organization, it’s still better to opt for the appliance because of enhanced security and cost.

For more info about email archiving, register for our webinar. To learn how to securely store and manage your digital data with Jatheon’s archiving solution, schedule a personal demo today.

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On-premise vs. Cloud Email Archiving Blog

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