Self-Hosting vs. Cloud Infrastructure: Which is Right for Your Business?

Self-Hosting vs. Cloud Infrastructure: Which is Right for Your Business?

There’s one critical question you must ask yourself before you embark on the product development journey — should you self-host or consider cloud infrastructure?

While both options have their advantages and disadvantages, deciding which one is right for your business can be a bit overwhelming. No wonder there is a split between on-site and cloud-hosted servers at organizations. However, you may find that one solution is fitter for your business than another. In particular, you may lean toward cloud infrastructure because of the variety of benefits it offers (but more on this later).

At ORIL, we’ve helped dozens of companies worldwide establish an online presence with custom solutions. As a part of the way, we helped decision-makers find an optimal infrastructure option considering their needs and budget.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of self-hosting and cloud infrastructure, and explore which option might be best for your business.

Discovering the Concepts of Self-Hosting and Cloud Infrastructure

Before we discuss the pros and cons of these infrastructure options, it’s important to break these concepts down. So let’s get into this.

What Is Self-Hosting?

Self-hosting is the practice of running and maintaining a digital product on a server that is owned and operated by your company. In other words, you physically host a website or application on a server that is located in your own data center or in a third-party data center that is owned or leased by your business.

Though, there is a misconception that self-hosted infrastructure is outdated and not popular. But we are of a different opinion, just like tech giants such as Dropbox, Netflix, GitLab, Shopify, and Mozilla that use it for running their products. If you need full control over what is going on with your data and hardware, there is no better option than self-hosting.

What is Cloud Infrastructure?

Cloud infrastructure, also known as cloud hosting, is the practice of hosting an application on a third-party server. So, instead of hosting software on a physical server owned by the business, you entrust it to a remote data center owned and managed by the cloud infrastructure provider.

With cloud infrastructure, you are essentially renting server space from a third-party provider instead of owning and maintaining your own server.

What’s the true cost of app maintenance? We’ve broken this down in the article.

Let’s Talk Pros and Cons of Cloud- and Self-Hosting

If there were a one-fit-all infrastructure model, there would never be a dilemma for your business. But things are the way they are, and now you face the daunting task of choosing the right infrastructure for your application. To decide whether you should stick to self-hosting your application or use a third-party hosting provider, you’ve got to weigh the pros and cons of these solutions.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Hosting

If you are considering self-hosting for your project, we have you covered. In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of self-hosting, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision on whether this option is right for your application.

Pros of self-hostingCons of self-hosting
  • Full control over your infrastructure, allowing you to customize and configure it to your specific needs.
  • No data transfer cost or ongoing subscription fees.
  • Ability to manage your own security, implement your own security protocols and stay in control of your data.
  • You can customize your infrastructure and applications to fit your specific requirements.
  • No vendor lock-in as you are free to integrate the cloud app with any service like Mailchimp, CloudFlare, Namecheap, etc.
  • Requires high upfront costs for purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading hardware and software licenses.
  • Can be difficult to scale as businesses need to purchase and set up additional hardware.
  • May have limited disaster recovery options, making it difficult for businesses to recover from a disaster.
  • Requires ongoing maintenance, updates, and backups, which can be time-consuming and require dedicated resources.
  • Limited remote access, mainly all the maintenance and configurations are made onsite.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Infrastructure

These days, cloud infrastructure has become a preferred choice for a great number of businesses. It offers many advantages, such as increased reliability, scalability, and accessibility, but it also has its drawbacks. Thus, it is essential to understand its advantages and challenges fully to make sure this model totally covers your requirements.

Pros of cloud infrastructureCons of cloud infrastructure
  • Allows businesses to easily scale up or down on demand, enabling efficient resource use and great cost savings.
  • You can choose different services, storage, and servers based on your requirements.
  • Can be more cost-effective than on-premises infrastructure, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Is designed for high availability, minimizing the risk of downtime and service interruptions.
  • Can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making it ideal for remote work and collaboration.
  • Requires a reliable internet connection to access data and applications, which can be a problem in areas with poor connectivity.
  • May have security risks, such as unauthorized access, data breaches, and cyber attacks, that can potentially harm businesses.
  • A lack of control over data and applications for businesses as providers manage the physical hardware and infrastructure, which can limit certain app functions.
  • Providers may charge for data transfer and storage, which can add up over time.

Which Infrastructure Meets Your Business Needs Better?

Let’s now bring all the pieces together. Below we created a chart that breaks down the features of these infrastructure options.

FeatureSelf-HostingCloud Infrastructure
CostUpfront costs for hardware and software licenses, ongoing maintenance costs — may be hard to predict due to hardware failurePay-as-you-go model, no upfront costs, ongoing subscription fees — always predictable
MaintenanceRequires ongoing maintenance and updates, you’re responsible for backups and disaster recoveryCloud provider handles maintenance and updates, backups and disaster recovery included in service
ControlComplete control over hardware and software, can customize to specific needsLimited control over hardware and software, customizations may be limited
ExpertiseRequires technical expertise to set up and maintainLess technical expertise required
AccessibilityAccessible only from your location, limited remote access capabilitiesAccessible from anywhere with an internet connection, remote access capabilities
ScalabilityLimited scalability, difficult to upgrade or expand hardwareEasy to scale up or down, resources can be provisioned in minutes
SecurityMust be managed and maintained by you, potential security risksSecurity is managed by the cloud provider, who implements best practices and compliance standards
Time to deployLonger time to deploy, requires hardware setup and software installationQuick deployment, resources can be provisioned in minutes

Overall, self-hosting may be a better option for businesses with specific hardware or software requirements, or those that require complete control over their infrastructure, and have the technical expertise to manage and maintain it. Cloud infrastructure, on the other hand, will be a better fit for companies striving to achieve scalability, reliability, and security, and don’t want to manage the infrastructure themselves.

At ORIL we observed that the majority of startups, around 99.9%, choose to go with cloud infrastructure — and we think that’s a great choice. Especially when you’re starting your business, cloud infrastructure providers can help you overcome many challenges. Instead of worrying about buying and maintaining hardware, you can focus on developing your product, which is crucial in the early stages. Of course, you can always consider self-hosting later on if it makes sense for your business.

Do you want to consider something different — like a blockchain? Learn about the pros and cons of Daaps.


In the end, the choice between self-hosting and cloud infrastructure depends on what’s right for your business. Self-hosting can be a great option if you want complete control, but it may come with extra costs and technical challenges.

You can overcome these issues with the cloud infrastructure. It offers scalability, accessibility, and cost savings, ensuring you can easily scale up and down as your business needs change. Over the years of experience, we revealed that cloud hosting is the ultimate solution that should be able to cover the needs of nearly any company — a startup or a well-established organization that wants to transform its environment; a small local business or an international enterprise. That’s why we recommend going with this infrastructure model that will enable bringing a new product to the market faster and with a reduced cost.

If you’re feeling unsure about which infrastructure solution is best for you — that’s where we step in. At ORIL, we’re here to help you navigate this decision with ease. Our team of experts is ready to guide you toward a suitable infrastructure solution that matches your goals and budget. Contact us today and let’s get started!

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