In the early days of the internet, the constantly-connected world of today would be almost unimaginable. Internet uptime was a luxury that had to be carefully managed, even in many business environments. Today, around-the-clock internet connectivity has become a fundamental requirement for any business, and this always-online culture – combined with the ubiquity of cloud storage solutions – has opened up new avenues for organisations in terms of their technology spending.

A major consideration in today’s business landscape is Software as a Service (SaaS) or cloud-based versus on-premise uptime monitoring solutions. Internet technology has reached a point today at which it’s possible and feasible to move many important business functions to the cloud – but does that mean you should?

What are the benefits of SaaS monitoring?

In a traditional, on-premise solution, IT costs can quickly compound into unmanageable proportions. The initial investment in hardware, physical office space and setup of equipment can be rather substantial, but the continued cost of maintaining internal IT infrastructure, including staffing and periodic upgrades, can be a consistent drain on your finances. SaaS mitigates most of this cost by allowing businesses to outsource their IT requirements to an external party. This means trading unpredictable IT costs for a fixed monthly rate, and the peace of mind that experts are on call 24/7 should a problem arise.

Keeping an in-house IT department can also be costly, and means you’ll be reliant on finding IT staff who perform to your standards. SaaS also makes it possible to access your network from anywhere and at any time. This could be an important consideration for companies who rely on frequent staff travel, or who employ many freelance or outsourced workers. Another definite benefit of SaaS uptime monitoring is that, unlike traditional methods, there is no single point of failure. In a SaaS solution, monitoring is done from distributed data centres – if there is a local outage, systems are in place that will alert the customer to the issue, stopping critical events from going unnoticed.

Is there still a place for on-premise monitoring?

Opinion on SaaS versus on-premise monitoring is relatively unanimous – the sheer number of articles proclaiming on-premise monitoring’s obsolescence is testament to this. But what many advocates of SaaS over on-premise monitoring fail to take into account is that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. While there is certainly a movement towards cloud storage and SaaS monitoring, there’s no sense in throwing the baby out with the bathwater: on-premise monitoring has some distinct advantages. Security, as a major concern in the modern business, is chief among those: SaaS, which leverages the internet for functionality, has some intrinsic security pitfalls. On-premise monitoring is also useful in allowing more control over IT resources, in contrast to SaaS’s provider-controlled systems.

Ultimately, on-premise uptime monitoring makes integration with existing software easier, facilitates more transparent and direct control over IT resources, and allows CIOs to customise their monitoring methodologies based on the changing needs of their environments.

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach for monitoring techniques

There’s no single solution that is universally “best” for every technology, or for every organisation. Some of the benefits that SaaS and cloud storage platforms offer, most notably much lower operational costs, make them ideal solutions for SMEs and organisations that do not rely heavily on physical office space. However, on-premise monitoring provides a more direct and transparent connection to your network environment, which is an important concern for organisations who require detailed information on the flow of data through their networks.

The most important thing to bear in mind, though, is that neither SaaS nor on-premise monitoring is superior to the other – simply, the two are suited to different contexts. Therefore, your monitoring concerns shouldn’t be based on internal or external infrastructure. Your network’s requirements should be identified on a granular level, and an appropriate decision should be made for each individual component. According to an Enterprise Management blog from 2014, more than 30% of companies surveyed are running “distributed hybrid cloud applications spanning on-premise and public Cloud”, and 40% deliver at least one production application via SaaS. In other words, your environment should be kept as diverse and open to optimisation, no matter what form it might take, as possible.

IRIS offers Network Management and Monitoring Software that is scalable to any network environment, regardless of size or complexity. To find out how IRIS’ software can help you achieve around-the-clock uptime and consistently accurate network reporting, download a free copy of our Network Manager’s Guide to a Stable and Highly Available Network.

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