Cloud vs On-Premises Video Streaming

Cloud vs On-Premises Video Streaming


What is streaming video?

Video streaming refers to the process of delivering video content over the Internet in real time. This allows users to watch videos without having to download them. Instead, the video data is sent in a continuous stream, allowing viewers to watch the video as it is being delivered. Video streaming is ubiquitous in various fields such as entertainment, education, and business. Video streaming hosting can be done on-premises or in the cloud, and each solution has its benefits.

Cloud video hosting

What is cloud video hosting?

Cloud video hosting stores and streams video content through a third-party cloud-based service. Instead of hosting video files on its servers, it manages your content on a remote cloud hosting provider. That provider will store, transcode, and deliver the videos to your audience using their video-optimized infrastructure.

The world is moving to the cloud

The world is moving towards cloud-based solutions and video streaming is no exception. There has been a significant shift towards cloud computing in recent years.

Many businesses and organizations are now embracing cloud computing as it provides a more flexible and scalable way to access and manage their computing resources. Businesses can now take advantage of the resources of cloud providers, allowing them to scale up or down as needed, pay only for what they use, and access the latest technology.

As a result, cloud computing is fast becoming the preferred model for businesses and organizations.

Benefits of Cloud Server Video Hosting

Cloud providers will save you time because they adhere to many compliance standards by default. Having security experts to protect the network means you have more time to focus on delivering the streaming experience.

Being in the cloud also allows you to access your infrastructure from anywhere. This will give you much more flexibility when hiring.

Another benefit of cloud hosting is scalability, which means you can handle sudden spikes in traffic without worrying about your servers crashing or being overwhelmed. This is especially important with video hosting, as traffic can be unpredictable and consume a lot of bandwidth.

On-premises video streaming

What is local video streaming?

Local video streaming refers to hosting your video files on their servers. This means that you are responsible for purchasing and maintaining your hardware and handling all associated costs and maintenance. Even though you’re hosting the infrastructure, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take care of everything related to the software as well. It is possible to use solutions explicitly optimized for local streaming. And many cloud streaming providers will also offer on-premise software solutions.

Benefits of having video streaming servers on premises

The most significant benefit of on-premise video streaming is control. When you host your servers, you have full control over your infrastructure, which is particularly important for businesses with specific security or compliance requirements. If necessary, this allows on-premises solutions to be more customizable overall than cloud-based solutions, allowing you to personalize your streaming experience.

Certain customers, such as government agencies, financial institutions, or healthcare providers, especially need more specialized solutions, such as the availability of video only on the internal intranet.

And since the data is in your control, you can invest more in protecting it and have more confidence to stop the bad guys instead of trusting a third party.

Plus, since you have full control over your infrastructure, you can optimize your hardware to handle your specific needs. This can help you avoid overpaying for resources you don’t need.

Cloud vs. On-Premises Video Hosting Costs

When comparing cloud vs. on-premises video hosting, there are a few key factors to consider.

With cloud hosting, you’ll typically pay a monthly fee to your provider based on how much traffic and storage you’re using. This means you only pay for the resources you need, which can be particularly beneficial if you’re just starting out or experiencing traffic spikes. Plus, since cloud hosting providers take care of maintenance and updates, you won’t have to worry as much about investing in your server hardware or hiring dedicated, specialized staff.

On-premises video streaming can be more expensive up front, since you’ll need to maintain your own hardware and IT staff. While you’ll need to invest much more in hardware up front compared to a cloud solution, this route can also be worth the cost after a few years in certain situations. It is also best suited for an organization that has already established an on-premises IT infrastructure through a physical data center.

Below is a direct breakdown of certain cloud vs. on-premises video hosting cost factors:

hardware expenses

On-premises video hosting requires hardware purchase and maintenance, which can initially be a significant capital expense. You will also have to investigate and wait for the team to arrive. Cloud video hosting eliminates the need for hardware purchases and maintenance as everything is handled by your provider, who will already know which hardware stack is best and have enough in stock to deploy immediately without long waits.

server configuration

With on-premises video hosting, you have to install and configure video hosting software, which can be expensive and time consuming. With cloud video hosting, setup and configuration will be handled by the provider, which could be set to provision automatically. Also, the hosting provider will take care of all future updates, usually at no extra charge.


With on-premises video hosting, you’ll typically have to purchase licenses and subscriptions for the video hosting software or pay developers to build or extend functionality for you. With cloud video hosting, you’ll pay a subscription fee that can include specialized software licensing at a much lower cost.

Availability of uptime

On-premises video hosting can be more prone to downtime, which can be costly. Cloud video hosting generally has better uptime service level agreement (SLA) availability guarantees.


On-premises video hosting can be more difficult to scale up or down, requiring costly hardware upgrades or replacements, which can result in under- or over-utilization. Cloud video hosting makes it easier to scale up or down when needed and only use the necessary resources.

service integrations

On-premises video hosting offers more flexibility when it comes to customization and integration, but this can also require additional development and maintenance costs. Cloud video hosting offers fewer customization options, but you can have more cost-effective, video-specific add-on services that are reliable, proven, and scalable.


With on-premise video hosting, hardware will need to be replaced periodically, which can be expensive, cumbersome, and time-consuming. With cloud video hosting, the provider handles hardware replacement in case of failure.


On-premise video hosting may require additional technical staff for 24/7 on-site availability. In an emergency, they could react more quickly. With cloud video hosting, tech support is typically included in the subscription fee for a much lower cost, giving you access to highly specialized staff. However, response time and quality of support may vary.


With on-premise video hosting, you must hire staff to manage the hardware, software, and network infrastructure that must support on-site. The provider handles most of the administration on the cloud video hosting side, reducing the need for additional staff to maintain the hardware. Going with the cloud also allows you to outsource staff, as your team can access cloud infrastructure from any location.


On-premises video hosting costs more as you have to maintain your physical security, cyber security, and compliance staff. With cloud video hosting, you may still need to pay for your app security, but the provider covers your security.

Backup and recovery

On-premises video hosting requires you to manage your backup and disaster recovery solution. With cloud video hosting, backup and disaster recovery are usually managed by the provider as part of the subscription.

Additional costs

On-premise video hosting requires ongoing operating expenses such as electricity, physical security on site, and cooling. Cloud video hosting is usually just an ongoing monthly expense, but there can be significant charges for breaking bandwidth caps and unexpected price increases.

final thoughts

When deciding on cloud or on-premises video hosting, it’s important to consider factors like video hosting costs, scalability, control, and security. While cloud hosting provides ease of use and lower upfront costs, on-premises hosting provides greater control over security, compliance, and the software stack. It is important to prioritize security, scalability, and reliability, regardless of the option chosen.

Still have questions? The most helpful humans at Liquid Web HostingĀ® will be happy to help.


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