Once you've selected a Web CMS, you'll need to determine whether to run it on-premises or in the cloud. For an on-premises deployment model, your Web CMS runs on infrastructure that you provide or manage. The infrastructure may reside in a server room in your office, or be provided by a hosting company.
On-Premises Web CMS
Let's consider some of the details of an on-premises deployment model.
Your Web CMS runs on one or more servers. In addition to the costs of purchasing or leasing the servers, you'll have recurring costs in the form of facilities, power and cooling. You’ll also need to purchase additional hardware for backups and provide networking hardware, such as switches, firewalls and load balancers.
You’ll need systems administrators to install hardware and software, apply patches, resolve issues, plan upgrades and troubleshoot issues. You may also need specialized technical personnel, such as database administrators and security experts. Hiring and retaining qualified IT staff is a challenge. For a mission-critical website, your team will need to provide 24x7 support.
Maintenance and Upgrades
Keeping servers running with operating system upgrades and security patches is only part of keeping an application up to date. Most Web CMS vendors ship new versions of their software a few times a year. These updates to be applied and tested.
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Testing upgrades requires separate hardware and copies of the application. Because of the time and testing required to upgrade software, some organizations postpone upgrades. As a result, they're not able to take advantage of the vendor's latest capabilities and features. In addition, important security fixes contained in these updates are not applied to the website.
To plan for growth, organizations install enough capacity to prevent them having to purchase more in the near future. Forecasting growth has its challenges: traffic to your site may exceed forecasts or fall short. There’s a cost in either case: unexpected growth calls for more hardware and bandwidth, while forecasts that fall short mean excess capacity sits idle.
When comparing on-premises software to the cloud, it's important to quantify the costs associated with each option. No two deployments are identical; some organizations will have strengths to leverage for an on-premises deployment. Other organizations will find the costs of on-premises exorbitant or unwieldy.
This infographic helps you decide whether to deploy a cloud-based CMS.