Blog , 01 Mar 2023

On-Prem vs. Cloud Mail Server: Differences and Benefits

Larry Ellis,

Content Creator

The internet has enabled businesses to utilize cloud services, including hosting mail servers.  

When making a decision, we need to consider the following :

  1. Compliance and regulatory requirements (e.g., GDPR and privacy risks) for running a mail server on-premises versus in the cloud. 
  2. Set up a framework to compare the performance of both. 
  3. Identify the costs and create a cost-benefit analysis for each option.

On-Prem Mail Servers

With the increasing popularity of cloud-based services and the ease of access, many businesses are considering running their mail server in the cloud. 

However, there are still numerous advantages to running a mail server on-premises, including increased security, better control, and lower operating costs.

Increased Security

Security is a paramount concern when running a mail server, and on-premises solutions provide the highest level of security available. Businesses can customize their security settings, protocols, and permissions by running the server locally to protect their data better. Additionally, on-premises solutions allow companies to physically store their data rather than trusting it to a third-party cloud provider.

Better Control

Another benefit of on-premises mail servers is the level of control they provide. 

Businesses can customize their settings, protocols, and features by running their mail server to meet their needs best. 

This is especially important for companies with specific requirements, such as those that need to comply with industry regulations.

Lower Operating Costs

Finally, on-premises mail servers can save businesses money. 

Cloud-based services often require companies to pay for extra storage and features, whereas running a mail server on-premises only requires the upfront cost of purchasing and setting up the server. 

Additionally, businesses can pay ongoing subscription fees and avoid being locked into a long-term contract.

Cloud Mail Servers

Using cloud services to host a mail server can save users from managing it and its associated costs. 

Cloud services can help users as they don’t need technical skills to run a mail server on-prem. 

To assess cloud mail servers:

Ultimately, a cloud mail server user does not have to worry about purchasing, installing, and maintaining the necessary software. However, you’ll still need to assess if it’s secure, flexible, or customizable enough for your specific situation.


The decision to run a mail server on-prem or in the cloud depends on the user’s needs and technical skills. 

On-prem servers offer the user more control and customization but require the user to maintain the server and its software. 

Cloud services provide users with a more straightforward solution but at the cost of taking some power. 

Ultimately, the decision should be based on the user’s needs and technical skills.

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