Cloud Hosting & On Premise Guidance

Trying to figure out if you should host on a cloud or on prem? Here is a helpful set of slides to use as a resource as you are determining the best option for you:

Below is guidance on the difference between locally hosted deployments vs. cloud/central hosting

Locally Hosted

  • This means data is hosted on a local server, sitting somewhere on the physical premises, remotely accessible by users through an internet connection or local area network.
  • This is preferable to hosting data on a local computer because it has fewer opportunities to be stolen, corrupted or damaged than one computer, and allows for more users to access the application and database hosted by the server over the internet. It also ensures that a master database always has the latest/greatest data, which can be backed up and secured automatically. This option is only preferable if there is a good reason for not hosting the data on the cloud. The reason for this is that maintaining and supporting a locally hosted instance requires ongoing on-site, dedicated IT support, as well as a dedicated and equipped room, which is more costly. It is also inferior in terms of security and data protection compared to a cloud based approach, as the machine can often be physically accessed and the standards for data security and encryption are more difficult to enforce.
  • Advantages
    • Data is available to anyone in your organization with credentials (access) and an internet connection
    • Keeps one database up-to-date and avoids duplication
    • Can be configured to support mobile application (smartphones, tablets)
  • Disadvantages
    • Lower performance than cloud hosting (with limitations on storage abilities depending on specifications of the server)
    • Require administration from your IT staff
    • Some vulnerability to theft
  • Key Considerations
    • Is there capacity and budget in your organization to help you manage the server? Can you ensure access to the server is restricted?

Cloud-Based/Centrally Hosted Deployment

  • CPIMS+ can be accessed on any device with a data connection via your browser (Google Chrome recommended)
  • Cloud providers we recommend: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure (Microsoft), Linode, UN Hosting (UNICC): AWS and Azure servers are scattered around the world, with centers in US, Ireland, Germany, India, Singapore
  • Provide a solid, stable, reliable platform with tools around server monitoring, scaling, deployment, and security
  • Transparent infrastructure support and SLA
  • Legal issues for data hosting with a third party, for example data breaches, security violations, privacy violations, or data loss
  • Cloud hosting requires monthly/annual subscription to be paid, but is much more cost effective than local hosting
  • This is the most preferred method of hosting because it has the least opportunity to be damaged or compromised while offering high levels of accessibility (anyone with an internet connection), security and dynamic storage (meaning that there is no limit on the amount of data stored). This allows increased security for access to the data. The cost implications for hosting data on a cloud-based system may vary. There is initial work on the part of the IT team to set up the cloud instance. However, ongoing maintenance and troubleshooting are provided by the cloud service provider, requiring much less dedicated support from local IT teams. The cloud provider also grantees the servers (physical machines) the application is running on will stay operational in the event of network loss or physical damage to one of the cloud providers data centers (using a network of globally redundant servers in key regions).
  • Advantages
    • Most secure
    • Best performance
    • Automatically scalable to meet the demand of CPIMS+ users
    • Quick upload of data; opportunity to provide real time data and to have an easily manageable inter-agency data-base
    • Cost efficiencies – as more instances use cloud hosting, unit prices decrease
    • Can easily be configured to support mobile clients (smartphones, tablets)
    • Easily accessed via with any device via web browser
    • Cheaper than locally hosted option
  • Disadvantages
    • Dependable internet connection is required
    • Any application available over the public internet requires constant security infrastructure
  • Key Considerations
    • Is there dependable enough Internet connectivity or can we further invest in the stability of the connection?

NOTE: Multiple system configurations can be maintained concurrently (i.e. roving instances, local hosting, and cloud hosting can be mixed and matched) according to varying connectivity conditions in a particular emergency response.