Are Local Servers Coming Back to Businesses?
The emergence of cloud computing over the last twenty years and the recent interest in edge computing have highlighted one crucial aspect that directly affects us at Maxi-Cool: the significance of server racks in the age of cloud computing. While the debate about the virtues of local servers and the Cloud for business is ongoing, a new question has arisen, and that is, is the use of local servers making a comeback through edge computing?
There are many contributing factors in IT decision-making, and the use of Cloud or local servers for business is not a binary, either/or situation. These days, even the smallest companies are data-focused and are data-dependent. Reportedly, 75% of companies rely on data from local servers, and this dependence has created a zero tolerance for downtime. The debate is not Cloud vs servers anymore as both have distinct advantages for business. The optimal choices for IT infrastructure fundamentally depend on the nature of each company.
The advantages of cloud computing for business are enormous. The Cloud is a series of remote servers that companies can lease space in and operate remotely. The Cloud is easy to use, and most people are used to using cloud-based platforms in their daily lives and at work in social media, email, and internet banking. Cloud platforms constantly update data sets, and information is easily retrievable at any time and location. Although security can be an issue and now infamous outages possible, overall, using the Cloud is relatively low risk. Spending on cloud computing systems is by subscription, and therefore the pricing is visible, which helps to standardise budgets and is positive for cash flow management. Cloud packages are flexible, you only pay for what you use, and you can buy more space as needed. With the Cloud, there is no need for a server room or a dedicated space for an IT function or the necessary cost associated with the installation maintenance and running costs of dedicated air conditioning. Cloud IT systems also liberate staff for other tasks beyond maintenance.
The use of locally held servers also has many advantages and is, in some cases, essential. Highly confidential data sets and operating systems unsuitable for remote access necessitate local servers. In some cases, local servers are critical for complex software that uses constant revisions and edits. This infrastructure is a financial commitment to installing outlay and upgrading hardware. It is also a high running cost subject to local variables such as electricity costs. However, the infrastructure of IT hardware is an asset for a business, and this investment provides for the complete autonomy and ownership of data. This autonomy includes security and stability in terms of data delivery and accessibility. With local servers, businesses have the full use of the bandwidth available to them and are not competing with neighbours with busier servers. Local servers provide faster connections and downloads for those using data.
We have found that servers racks are still required if businesses choose the Cloud or local servers. Server racks are necessary if a company selects the Cloud for the interface functions and patches, routers, switches, and upgrades. This trend is increasing with the growth of edge computing. Interestingly there is considerable interest in server racks with adequate cooling for edge applications that don’t require a whole room. Where businesses have locally held servers, these are expanding to increase capacity and build some contingency for the future. Upgraded cooling systems are an essential part of this development.
In conclusion, cloud computing has never entirely replaced local servers. Most businesses cherry-pick the best local and Cloud computing bits to get the best outcome for their particular purpose. Edge computing underscores and drives the need for local servers and server cabinets in businesses.