Skip to content
Best Practices

Self-Hosted IT Monitoring: Does it Still Make Sense in this Cloud Era?

Blog Self-Hosted IT Monitoring: Does it Still Make Sense in this Cloud Era?

Answering this question from the perspective of TCO, high availability, and security.

Historically, IT monitoring software was deployed within organizations in an on-premised, self-hosted fashion. But the rising popularity—and affordability—of cloud hosting brought many IT departments to rethink this model. As for other software types, IT monitoring software has evolved to offer cloud or hybrid deployment options. The cloud transition for IT monitoring is two-fold: it developed the capabilities to monitor assets in the cloud, and it can now be deployed from the cloud.

So nowadays, is cloud hosting for IT monitoring always the right answer? The answer is “maybe not.” Hosting and data security policies for example, can make this decision more difficult for some organizations. At Centreon, we believe that total cost of ownership or TCO is the key criterion to clarify the decision of whether to deploy IT monitoring on premises or in the cloud. This article explores some potential cases that would make a self-hosted IT monitoring solution a wise choice, from a TCO point of view.

Self-hosted IT monitoring: Reasons to steer away from the cloud

Some circumstances will call for a self-hosted strategy, and this is particularly true for organizations in which IT monitoring is part of the core business.

MSPs (Managed Services Providers), for example, may want to ensure strict control on critical data and their clients’ IT assets and applications to best meet their needs and requirements.

In the banking, retail, and e-commerce sectors, critical operations require a high level of IT service availability. In this case it may make sense for security and other strategic reasons to keep IT monitoring on premises.

When IT monitoring requires much customization and some specific software development, as can be the case with an open-source solution, a preconfigured SaaS solution might be less appealing.  

4 (very) good reasons to self-host IT monitoring

1. Retaining control over data

Keeping data ownership is the main motivation for some organizations that do not want to risk entrusting their data to a third party, these can be local, international, private, or public organizations. They are not looking to host data outside the organization or country.

2. Containing data security-related costs

Company policies which entail a superior level of security may make third-party cloud hosting too expensive if requirements are beyond usual security or data volume tiers. The strong point of SaaS is resource and cost sharing as well as flexibility, not customization, and so the cloud is not the cheaper option in some circumstances. Charges on a per-user basis may be yet another reason cloud comes to be more expensive than on-premise IT monitoring.

3. Preserving independence and data sovereignty

The issue of independence and data sovereignty covers several aspects:

  • Regulatory obligations that impose strict rules for data hosting in certain sectors and countries.
  • Control over configuration and customization, which may not be attainable with third parties but still mandatory for compliance reasons. Internal teams have the required knowledge and can be much more agile in making such configuration or customization.
  • Independence from third party suppliers over access to technologies, i.e., not being tributary to the supplier’s service outage, data unavailability, potential security breaches or server attacks, commercial disputes or change in the business, etc.).

4) Opting for the lower licensing fee

Stopping at comparing licensing fees, on-premises might win over SaaS, since SaaS solutions typically include hosting and other associated services, hence the need to balance all costs in the equation.

But an organization might already have at its disposal the flexible and scalable infrastructure required for IT monitoring, and thus enjoy flexibility equal to what the cloud offers, for a fraction of the cost.  

The weakness of self-hosted IT monitoring: hard to control costs

As we’ve seen, on premise hosting comes with hidden costs, some of which may only be revealed by a thorough TCO analysis. It can be difficult to assess the full scope of costs relating to a self-hosted solution, from its deployment up to its maintenance and more. License fees are just the tip of the iceberg to which must be added many upfront costs:

  • Servers to host the monitoring solution.
  • Hardware and licenses for third-party software.
  • Operating license for the solution.
  • Training on the software.

Hidden costs may lurk if insufficient allowance has been made for a growing IT environment to monitor. In SaaS hosting, capacity is automatically scaled, and there are no additional costs other than the licensing fee.

And then, there are operating and maintenance costs, direct or indirect, which must be accounted for in a self-hosted monitoring solution:

  • Longer deployment time for the solution.
  • Labor to maintain and operate the solution.
  • Time for new hires to familiarize themselves with operating the solution.
  • Operational tasks associated with service interruptions.
  • Resources and time necessary to ensure the maintenance of the solution.
  • Professional services purchased from the solution’s provider.

Cost relating to the shortage of qualified labor.

  • All the time that is spent on managing the IT monitoring solution rather than creating value for the business…

You need deployment choices

So, as we’ve seen, the decision to deploy an IT monitoring in SaaS or self-hosted mode is not always a simple one. And the right answer for your organization could be anywhere in between.

This is why Centreon offers a range of IT monitoring editions that come in several deployment and pricing options, to match a broad range of needs: on-premise or SaaS, free open source or paid editions: Centreon IT Edition, Centreon Business Edition, and Centreon MSP Edition.

For more information on the criteria that you should have in mind to find the best IT monitoring solution at the best TCO, based on your specific needs, read our latest Expert Insight, “IT monitoring and TCO: SaaS or self-hosted? Selecting the best option for your IT monitoring solution.” Read the Expert Insight. You’d rather chat directly with our experts? Contact us.

To keep informed about Centreon news or events, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


Facebook picto Twitter picto Twitter picto

Similar posts

Ready to see how Centreon can transform your business?

Keep informed on our latest news