State of the Cloud: Choosing Cloud vs. On-Premises Infrastructure (Part One)

John Skeehan

by John Skeehan, Senior Product Manager – Cloud Video Services, LifeSize

Because cloud is a relatively new concept in the video conferencing industry, I often encounter skeptics who still believe traditional on-premises infrastructure is always the favorable choice. However, depending on your company’s specific needs, that may not always be the case. At LifeSize, we know that innovation is the key to moving an industry forward and that is exactly what we have done with LifeSize Connections. We have created a groundbreaking new service to fill the gap for companies that are better suited for a cloud video conferencing solution. In this blog post, I will examine the pros and cons for both infrastructure choices.

Size of deployment/IT resources: For companies with a dedicated IT department that have the capital expenditure and resources to support a large video conferencing deployment, an on-premises infrastructure can yield the lowest total cost of ownership. However, what about those companies who are just getting started with video and have much smaller deployments? What about businesses who have a distributed deployment across numerous smaller sites? In these cases, a cloud solution could be a much lower cost.

Here’s an example: take a small consulting firm with 250 employees, distributed across a dozen regional offices in the US. At first glance, you may think a few well-chosen pieces of infrastructure would suffice. What if half of those offices were small 2-3 person offices with no IT on-site? What if 10 percent of the employees telecommute from home? All of a sudden, setting up traditional on-premises infrastructure becomes infinitely more difficult. This is where a cloud solution, with firewall traversal and automated deployment built-in, can make this exponentially easier. Can you imagine having to roll a truck to every worksite/home? It would be virtually impossible. Cloud solves this problem.

Join me in my next post when I discuss other factors to consider, including flexibility to telecommute, guest invitation capability and length of deployment.

4 Responses to “State of the Cloud: Choosing Cloud vs. On-Premises Infrastructure (Part One)”

  1. Mariette Johnson Wharton

    John, I agree with the premise that smaller deployments of video conferencing are a great fit for cloud services. Could you offer an explanation as to how a large internal deployment (internally hosted infrastructure) has a more favorable TCO than a cloud solution? Thank you!

    Reply
    • John Skeehan

      It always comes down to the customer need. Depending on how the customer will deploy and use video in their organization, on-premise or cloud may be more attractive financially. Frequency of use and global concurrency can factor into the decision. The degree of centralization or distribution of employees will affect the cost of deployment and variety of infrastructure needed. If video is used more within the LAN and less with external parties, dedicated Internet access costs may even affect the decision. LifeSize is innovating in video infrastructure, including traditional, virtualized software platforms and cloud-based (infrastructure-as-a-service or IaaS). We are doing this because we recognize that different customers have different needs.

      Reply

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