On Premise vs. Cloud Hosted System Architecture

In the modern security industry, there are two main types of core system architecture:
On-Premise & Cloud Hosted Systems.

While the two are fundamentally different, many aspects remain the same.
Let us take a look at the similarities and differences of each type.

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In both system models, a security integrator will install card readers and electronic access control hardware within your facility at each door you desire to have electronically controlled.

Typically, those doors are cabled back to one central head-end location. This is where a series of access control boards are installed acting as the brain to the system. These control boards make all the decisions that determine if the door will unlock or remain secure when an authorized (or unauthorized) individual presents his or her credentials to the reader.

These panels connect to the network in the facility where they communicate back to the access control software.

This is where the similarities end, and the differences begin.

OnPremise System Architecture

An On-Premise access control system typically consists of at least one server, a database, software & client PCs.

Each of those components are dedicated to the operation of the security system or share resources depending on the requirements of the organization.

The main benefit of On Premise is the client retains full control of the system. It does not rely on the internet to function.

These systems can be costly to implement and come with unpredictable ongoing costs: maintenance, software upgrades, and server/client hardware lifecycle upgrades.

Unfortunately, many clients cannot justify the costs of redundant systems and if one component of that system fails it is down for as long as it takes the security integrator to respond, identify the issue, and implement a resolution. Server failures often take weeks to remedy.

Cloud Hosted System Architecture

A cloud-hosted access control system typically consists of many servers providing a redundant, infinitely scalable, and highly available application delivered over the web.

The main benefits to this type of system are lower upfront costs, a high level of redundancy/uptime, and predictable ongoing costs with upgrades included.

The physical system components installed at the site are making all of the access control decisions. Therefore, temporary internet outages only have an impact on the real-time monitoring of events.

M3T Corporation has over 20 years of experience installing, maintaining, and supporting on-premise security solutions. We have provided cloud hosted systems for the past 7 years.

If you have any questions on which system architecture is the better fit for your organization, our Technical Solutions team would love the opportunity to meet with you and review the best fit for your organization.

Markus Leogrande

Markus Leogrande

Technical Solutions & Customer Care Manager