Cloud or On-Premise Automation
What's best for your business?
With the options available to businesses when looking at automating IT services, it’s important to know which choice is the best for your business. Do you go for an on premise set up that lets you create a dedicated service, or do you go for a cloud based solution that provides pay as you go pricing? Or you already have an on premise solution and need new capabilities provided by Cloud Automation and want to consider a hybrid solution.
With each option available having both advantages and disadvantages, it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself in to before setting up your automation infrastructure. If this is your first automation project the starting point may be the reasons why you have not implemented automation before? This may have been up front investment required, understanding of existing processes, lack of integrations to your key systems or governance to ensure you received the returns promised by automation. To help you make that all important decision, we have created a list of the good and bad points for each type.
On Premise Automation
As the more traditional automation option, on-premise solutions are more widely available and use technology that has been around a long time, although that is not always a good thing as technology becomes obsolete. With an on-premise solution the key things to consider are that you generally pay more for your automation infrastructure with large upfront software and infrastructure investment required before you get to see the benefits. The advantage of this is a known investment cost for the solution which is all based within your secure datacentre environment.
- No external internet access required to data center
- Known cost
- Direct local access
- High level of security available
- Not limited by hosting capabilities
- Requires upfront investment in software before automation can start
- Requires infrastructure purchase and deployment
- Long lead times in infrastructure setup
- You are responsible for platform support and maintenance
- You are responsible for product updates
- HA and DR are difficult to configure and expensive
- Global availability is complex to set up and maintain
Automation as a cloud service
With the advancement of Cloud technology and acceptance of Cloud Services for business applications more organisations are making the switch from on-premise to cloud automation. Although there are a multitude of benefits and advantages that come with a cloud solution there are also a few key things that you need to watch out for to ensure you can make the most of this solution type.
The main disadvantage is that you need internet access from your datacenter to allow cloud automation to interact with on premise infrastructure, but with the rapid increase in cloud adoption this is quickly becoming a concern of the past. One of the key requirements we see is the ability to retain business data within the datacentre, Cloud Automation already has the ability to schedule your runbook from the Cloud with all execution and data retention taking place on premise, a best of both worlds. The advantages of this type of solution far outweigh the potential disadvantages, especially with global deployment readily available in minutes.
- Deployment possible in minutes
- Minimal upfront investment in software or infrastructure
- PAYG pricing, only pay as you receive the benefits from the automation execution.
- On premise server provides on premise datacenter security for business data
- Global deployment possible at the click of a mouse
- Keeping multiple deployments in step is straight forward and can be automated
- SaaS so infrastructure maintenance, updates and patching handled by cloud vendor
- Can automate both Cloud and on-premise resources
- Requires outbound internet access from datacenter to automate on premise resources
- Data at rest in the cloud may need encryption
We see Hybrid automation as a combination of both cloud and on premise, typically where a on premise solution is already deployed and delivering value.. In this scenario you continue to run your on-premise automation tool for your existing automation runbooks whilst deploying a Cloud Automation platform for Cloud activities and new automation tasks. With a hybrid setup, work can be exchanged between the cloud and on premise automation solution and the work can be carried out by the most appropriate solution.
Although it may seem like the versatile choice for any business the hybrid option isn’t widely available so if you go down this route the choice of automation platforms that you can use will be limited, however it does provide a great combination of benefits from both cloud and on-premise solutions. Generally this option is utilised when security or company policies require physical infrastructure for certain tasks or adopted as a ‘stepping stone’ as a company moves to a full cloud solution.
In summary, if your data security rules determine you have to be running in a data centre that isn’t connected to the internet then an on premise solution will be your best option. However, if internet access into your datacenter is not a show stopper then the benefits and flexibility of a modern cloud automation tool far outweigh the on-premise automation approach.
If you would like help with your automation, whether that is taking the first steps into setting up your infrastructure and working out which is best for your business or ways to enhance your existing set up, our automation experts at Kelverion will be more than happy to help you out.
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