7 Reasons To Use Cloud Over On-Premise File Sharing

by | October 7, 2021

What is on-premise file sharing?

On-premise file sharing (also known as “on-prem”) is a file transfer method that is reliant on local servers. It has been around for pretty much as long as the internet, thanks, in part, to the introduction of file transfer protocol (FTP) in the early 1970s. 

On-premise file sharing remains popular today, especially with organizations that don’t need to quickly transfer large files to external recipients. Or, those who are wedded to more traditional IT approaches. But for those who need a more flexible (and cost-effective) way of moving large files great distances, the wide availability of public cloud servers and cloud-based managed file transfer (MFT) has become immensely valuable.

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On-premise file sharing gives organizations complete security, performance, and customization control over data, systems, and workflows. FTP workflows are relatively well-known by many IT professionals. On-premise file sharing can even have faster transfer speeds when sharing files internally and over short distances.

But these traditional file sharing techniques make less sense when transferring large media files externally. Or, for organizations without the time or budget to set up, maintain, and scale complex on-prem environments. 

That’s because when transferring video or other large files, cloud systems are now cheaper and in many cases faster than their on-prem counterparts. They’re certainly more flexible. They can even be a more secure file transfer solution.

Indeed, while on-premise file sharing isn’t going anywhere, if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that the future is in the cloud. Organizations must have the flexibility to find efficiencies where possible. Here are seven ways companies can do that by using cloud transfer over on-prem when it makes sense.

on-premise file sharing server with gigabyte written on a microchip

Photo by Florian Krumm on Unsplash

    Seven situations when the cloud is a better solution than on-premise file transfer

     1. When you need to quickly send large files externally

    While on-premise file sharing can be super fast when sending smaller files or sharing internally, transferring large files from huge distances to external recipients can be troublesome. That’s largely because FTP solutions don’t have built-in acceleration technology and connect to other networks using Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which can be downright glacial when faced with latency from high-bandwidth networks. Remote workers can use virtual private networks (VPNs) to connect to on-prem systems, but sending files internationally will be slow and unreliable because both connections must pass through an internal server during transit.

    Cloud-based managed file transfer solutions ride on a dedicated global accelerated network, which results in less throttling and faster transfer speeds to anywhere in the world (depending on the provider) with an internet connection.

    2. When you need to ease network congestion

    The convenient thing about cloud-based file transfer is the ability to scale networks to meet increased traffic. For instance, if everyone in your organization is rushing to meet a deadline for an upcoming product launch, there will be significant spikes in file transfer activity.

    Cloud services are infinitely scalable with a few clicks—or even automatically. On-premise file sharing doesn’t have that flexibility. On-prem servers cannot scale up to meet higher demand. They also don’t have great monitoring capabilities, making it difficult to track transfer activity among large numbers of users. That means too many users, sending too much data, on infrastructure that can’t handle that much traffic. Cloud file transfer can help alleviate some of the pressure.

    3. When you need to save on expenses

    Anyone who has ever had their own server knows—sometimes through painful lessons—that on-premise file sharing requires significant CapEx. Along with hardware purchases in an era of disrupted supply chains, you also need expensive IT expertise on hand for installation, configuration, updates, security, and maintenance. That’s not even counting other on-prem expenses such as physical space (a server room), software licensing fees, energy costs, a storage backup system, a fire suppression system—and, of course, upgrades when your system inevitably grows obsolete or if you need to scale. Cloud file storage and transfers usually have monthly subscription fees or a pay-as-you-go payment model, making them a cost-effective alternative. Instead of paying for server and other capabilities you may or may not need, you only pay for the required storage and bandwidth at that given moment. Cloud providers also take care of all updates, security, performance issues, and troubleshooting.

    4. When you just need a solution ASAP

    On-prem servers aren’t just expensive to purchase, implement, secure, and maintain. They’re also subject to long sales cycles, endless licensing agreements, and months of installation, configuration, tweaking, and testing. That means it can take months after your initial purchase before an on-premise file sharing system is up and running at full speed and capacity. 

    Scaling on-prem systems with additional compute power, memory, and other capabilities is also notoriously expensive and slow. Scaling these systems means longer sales cycles accompanied by additional CapEx, IT expertise and labor expenses, and constant monitoring from someone on your team. You might not even need the extra capacity by the time it’s ready.

    In the case of cloud file sharing, you can look up your preferred vendor, sign up for an account, and start sending files right away in minutes.

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    5. When you need to save on training (and aggravation)

    On-premise file sharing typically relies on outdated, creaky command-line interfaces that can be intimidating (or downright unusable) for non-technical folks without hours of training. 

    Most cloud-based apps and services, however, are made to be user-friendly. With cloud, transferring hundreds of gigabytes is a simple matter of dragging and dropping the file into an intuitive user interface.

    Read More: GB vs GiB: What’s the Difference Between Gigabytes and Gibibytes?

    6. When you need to work remotely

    We’ve all heard it numerous times at this point: the cloud is the “backbone” of remote work. That’s because keeping all your data on a local server requires workers to be on site. While VPNs can help, they’re often slow (especially for global workers), relatively costly, difficult to patch, and unreliable. They’re also not very secure in that any infected endpoint can easily compromise corporate systems once connected via VPN. 

    Even with offices opening back up, many employees are choosing to stay remote permanently or opting for a hybrid work model. For these reasons, any org should strongly consider cloud over on-premise file sharing. Remote work isn’t going anywhere.

    7. When you need to be competitive

    Many on-prem systems are simply old and unable to keep up with the pace of change. As mentioned above, on-premise file sharing can be augmented to meet performance requirements—but these additions often lead to additional complexities that hamper innovation and the timely delivery of new features. Indeed, introducing any new features or additions almost always takes much longer to implement and fine-tune, especially if your IT team still delivers features using the waterfall model.

    Case in point: Most on-prem file transfers can’t resume a transfer where it left off after a service disruption. Cloud-based managed file transfer can. 

    On the other hand, Cloud services are built under the agile development model and regularly implement new features into products without user effort. Users can implement any new features with a simple restart of the app.

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    On-premise file sharing vs cloud transfer

    On-prem is preferred by many organizations who want tighter control over how their files are shared. This includes security and creating custom workflows that benefit other internal systems. But, there are several scenarios where cloud transfer makes more sense. To recap, cloud-based file transfer might be right for your organization if you need to:

    1. Send large files to external resources
    2. Save on expenses (server room, IT infrastructure, maintenance, etc.)
    3. Account for sudden spikes in high traffic
    4. Move quickly with sign up
    5. Get your staff up to speed quickly
    6. Foster remote collaboration
    7. Keep the pace of innovation

    And perhaps the best part? Because cloud services don’t require substantial up-front cash outlays, it’s easy to give these tools a try without worrying about long-term commitments or vendor lock-in.

    Related: How to Determine the Best File Transfer Tool? 5 principles to consider

    When on-premise file sharing won’t do, trust MASV cloud transfer

    MASV’s cloud-based large file transfer is one of these tools. It’s the fastest, most reliable way to transfer massive files (up to 15 TB with a single file) to clients or collaborators anywhere in the world with an internet connection. No time-consuming installations, configurations, or tweaks are required. Literally sign-up and start sending files, today. Or, create a MASV Portal and have files delivered to you from remote parties.

    Our global network of servers makes remote collaboration a breeze and we are proven to be a leading file transfer solution for fast upload and download speeds. MASV even resumes your transfer where it left off in case of a dropped connection or other interruption.

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    MASV connects seamlessly with a host of cloud storage services, eliminating the need for local servers (unless you really, really want them). Sign up today for a free trial of MASV and send 100 GB worth of data on us. Everything after is just $0.25/GB.

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