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On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based Email Archiving: How to Determine Which Email Archiving Solution is Best for Your Organization.

On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based Email Archiving: How to Determine Which Email Archiving Solution is Best for Your Organization.

There are several archiving solutions on the market today, the most popular of which involve either on-premise email archiving or cloud-based email archiving. Regardless which deployment style you choose to use, it’s vital that you select a solution that meets the needs of your organization. That’s why we’ve put together this guidebook, which will walk you through the steps of evaluating both on-premise and cloud-based email archiving solutions to determine which one is right for you.

Table of Contents

  1. A Basic Breakdown of On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based Email Archiving
  2. The 2 Most Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a Solution
  3. What Are Your Organization’s Current & Future Storage Needs?
  4. What Are the Short & Long-Term Cost Implications of Email Archiving?
  5. Who Will Manage the Email Archiving Solution You Select?
  6. What Type of Accessibility Do You Want Your Solution to Have?
  7. Find Peace of Mind With Your Email Archiving Solution
  8. The Intradyn Difference
  9. On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based Email Archiving FAQ

A Basic Breakdown of On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based Email Archiving

As mentioned above, there are two primary types of email archiving solution:

  • An on-premise email archiving solution, also known as a self-contained appliance, is typically deployed in-house to capture all emails and send them to an indexed database, making them easily searchable and accessible. With on-premise email archiving, this database is stored on one of your organization’s physical servers.
  • A cloud-based email archiving solution essentially does the same thing as an on-premise solution — that is, it captures all emails and indexes the data they contain — but, rather than an on-premise server, this data is stored in a secure cloud environment.

To narrow down which of these deployment options is the best option for your organization, keep reading.

The 2 Most Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a Solution

The decision of whether to use on-premise email archiving or cloud email archiving starts with two very simple questions:

  • What does my current in-house IT infrastructure look like?
  • Does my organization have a philosophy on cloud computing?

It’s imperative that you answer these questions because an email archiving solution is an investment, not only of the time and effort it takes to implement a new solution, but also in terms of new hardware, software and other startup costs. Let’s break these two questions down a little further to understand what makes them so important.

What does my current in-house IT infrastructure look like?

The size of your organization is, more often than not, directly proportional to how advanced your IT department is.

For instance, a small organization is unlikely to have an IT department as large as that of a Fortune 500 company. Instead, smaller companies tend to have a few people dedicated to IT and, to fill in the gaps, rely upon third-party software providers. A Fortune 500 company, by comparison, likely has hundreds of employees dedicated to various IT-related tasks, not to mention a robust IT infrastructure.

Larger organizations with dedicated IT departments are more likely to have the IT infrastructure necessary to handle an on-premise email archiving solution deployment, whereas smaller organizations would likely benefit from cloud-based email archiving because it doesn’t require the same amount of resources as an on-premise setup.

That said, the size of your company’s IT department and the strength of its infrastructure aren’t the sole indicators of which type of email archiving solution would be best for your organization. You’ll also need to take into account your organization’s unique needs, as well as its beliefs, best practices and processes, which leads us to our next question…

Does my organization have a philosophy on cloud computing?

Your organization’s attitude toward cloud computing will have a definitive effect on whether you choose to work with an on-premise solution or a cloud-based solution.

For instance, if you were an IT director who was staunchly against using the cloud — for whatever reason — you’d be less likely to use cloud email archiving, even if it might be the better option for your organization. If this were the case, you’d probably choose to use an on-premise email archiving solution.

Conversely, if your organization is small with no real IT hierarchy and you have a proven track record of using cloud technology, a cloud-based solution would be the obvious choice.

Now that you’ve answered these two essential questions, you’re ready to evaluate which type of email archiving solution will provide the greatest return on investment based on the following:

  • Storage
  • Cost
  • Management
  • Accessibility

What Are Your Organization’s Current and Future Storage Needs?

Your storage needs will have a major effect on whether you choose an on-premise or cloud-based email archiving solution. If your organization has hundreds of employees, it would make the most sense to choose a solution with the storage space to accommodate the activity of hundreds of different users, each of whom sends and receives numerous emails on a daily basis. However, if your organization only has a dozen or so employees, finding a solution with significant storage capacity might not be a priority.

In general, the following is true when it comes to the storage capabilities of on-premise email archiving vs. cloud email archiving.

  • On-premise = Limited. On-premise email archiving solutions typically offer a limited amount of storage space, meaning you’ll need to purchase more once you’ve reached capacity.
  • Cloud = Unlimited. Cloud-based email archiving solutions typically offer an unlimited amount of storage space, which means you’ll likely pay a monthly subscription rate for these unlimited storage capabilities.

Since the storage capabilities of the email archiving solution you choose are directly related to the associated expense your organization will incur, it’s important that we next consider the cost-related implications of on-premise email archiving vs. cloud-based email archiving.

What Are the Short- & Long-Term Cost Implications of Email Archiving?

As mentioned above, the total cost of ownership for an email archiving solution depends on the amount of storage your organization requires. Generally speaking, the cost breakdown for on-premise email archiving vs. cloud email archiving looks something like this:

  • On-premise email archiving: On-premise solutions typically have a higher startup cost because you need to purchase and implement the hardware and software. That said, they’re priced by capacity, which means you only pay for additional storage capacity on an as-needed basis. Because of this, on-premise email archiving solutions do not require a continuous allocation of budget over time unless you require more space.

In summation, your organization can look at an on-premise email archiving solution as more of a capital expense.

  • Cloud-based email archiving: Cloud-based solutions, which typically offer unlimited storage capacity, are priced by the number of users or “seats” needed. While costs for a cloud-based solution can add up over time, your organization won’t have to shell out a significant amount of funds to cover startup costs or have to worry about using up all of its storage. Unlike on-premise email archiving, the cost of cloud email archiving is spread out over time based on subscription rates.

In summation, your organization can look at a cloud-based email archiving solution as more of an operating expense.

In addition to storage and cost attributes, each email archiving solution requires a different investment in time and personnel for proper management.

Who Will Manage the Email Archiving Solution You Select?

Although how your solution is managed ultimately depends on how your IT infrastructure is set up, this should give you a general idea of the necessary investment to properly manage each type of archiving solution:

  • On-premise email archiving: If you’re considering an on-premise email archiving solution, odds are you already have the IT infrastructure needed in terms of equipment and personnel to adequately manage the archiving process. If not, then you’ll absolutely need someone in-house who will be responsible for managing and monitoring the email archiving solution, as well as maintaining its hardware. This may require hiring a new employee, as well as repurposing your current employee responsibilities.

In summation, an on-premise solution requires more hands-on management.

  • Cloud-based email archiving: As mentioned earlier, one of the key benefits of cloud-based email archiving solutions is that they’re typically managed by third-party professionals who essentially act as your go-to IT support specialist. You will likely not be required to hire anyone to help implement, manage or monitor a cloud-based solution.

In summation, cloud-based email archiving is more of a “set it and forget it” solution.

While management is important, having a versatile set of accessibility capabilities for your email archiving solution is paramount.

What Type of Accessibility Do You Want Your Solution to Have?

The accessibility of your archived emails varies very little from one archiving solution to the next. In general, accessibility capabilities for on-premise vs. cloud-based email archiving looks something like this:

  • On-premise email archiving: Accessibility for on-premise solutions is typically dictated by in-house IT experts. That means that if you’re the IT director, it’s up to you where, when and how someone with the required permissions can access archived emails.
  • Cloud-based email archiving: Accessibility for cloud-based solutions is typically an option to be discussed with your third-party provider. That means that you’ll have to work with the person in charge of managing your solution to set up access and control preferences and permissions.

Now that we’ve covered the four most important factors in choosing either an on-premises or cloud-based email archiving solution — storage, cost, management and accessibility — the decision comes down to which option gives you the greatest peace of mind.

Find Peace of Mind With Your Email Archiving Solution

The final and perhaps most important question to ask yourself when choosing an email archiving solution is which deployment style will provide you with the greatest peace of mind.

It’s important to note that, with an on-premise email archiving solution, the ball is always in your court. An on-premise solution is hardwired into your existing setup and managed according to your infrastructure preferences, so if anything goes wrong internally, it’ll directly affect your email archiving capabilities. This isn’t an issue if you have a strong in-house IT department that you trust to handle any potential challenges that might arise but is important to keep in mind.

A cloud email archiving solution is slightly different. A native-cloud based solution, such as Microsoft Exchange, which has the backing of Microsoft, can give you the peace of mind only a major tech company can provide. A third-party cloud-based email archiving solution, unlike a native solution, relies on the competency and existing software infrastructure of other reputable providers, such as Amazon or Dell.

The Intradyn Difference

Intradyn offers a single email archiving solution with flexible deployment options.

If you’re interested in an on-premise email archiving solution, we offer a virtual appliance that is compatible with both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, as well as a physical hardware appliance built on Dell hardware.

If cloud-based email archiving is more your speed, Intradyn offers the most cost-effective, reliable and scalable solution, built on Amazon Web Services.

For more information about Intradyn’s industry-leading email archiving solution, please contact us.

On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based Email Archiving FAQ

Q: What is on-premise email archiving?

A: On-premise email archiving, also known as a self-contained appliance, captures all emails and sends them to an indexed database, which is stored in an on-premise server.

 

Q: What is cloud-based email archiving?

A: Cloud-based email archiving captures all emails and sends them to an indexed database, which is stored in a secure cloud environment.

 

Q: What are the two major questions I need to ask before I can evaluate on-premise vs. cloud-based email archiving solutions?

A: The two questions you need to ask are “What does my current in-house IT infrastructure look like?” and “Does my organization have a philosophy on cloud computing?”

 

Q: What are the four factors that will determine whether I get the greatest return on investment on an email archiving solution?

A: The four factors are storage, cost, management and accessibility.

 

Q: What storage options does on-premise email archiving offer?

A: On-premise email archiving solutions offer a limited amount of storage space; however, you can purchase additional storage capacity as needed.

 

Q: What storage options does cloud-based email archiving offer?

A: Cloud-based email archiving solutions offer unlimited storage capacity.

 

Q: How is on-premise email archiving priced?

A: Those interested in on-premise email archiving must pay a flat-rate startup price to purchase and implement the necessary software and hardware. From there, it is priced by capacity, which means users need to purchase additional storage capacity on an as-needed basis.

 

Q: How is cloud email archiving priced?

A: Those interested in cloud email archiving must pay a monthly subscription rate based on the number of users or “seats” needed. There are no initial startup costs associated with cloud email archiving.

 

Q: How is on-premise email archiving managed?

A: On-premise solutions typically require more hands-on management, which means you’ll need to assign someone from your IT department to monitor and manage the solution, as well as maintain its hardware.

 

Q: How is cloud email archiving managed?

A: Cloud-based solutions are managed by third-party professionals. These professionals will act as your go-to IT specialist and will maintain your solution on your behalf.

 

Q: How accessible is on-premise email archiving?

A: Accessibility in an on-premise solution is dictated by the in-house IT director, who can set permissions around who can access your email archive, when they can access it and how often.

 

Q: How accessible is cloud email archiving?

A: Accessibility in a cloud-based solution is controlled by the third-party provider. In order to set up or change access controls or preferences, you’ll need to work with your designated IT specialist.

Questions to Ask
Before Buying an Archiving Solution
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