Blog : What is hosting and how do the options differ?



What is hosting and how can it benefit the way your business is run? Well, if your organisation is looking to digitise, then you’re probably looking to deploy software in a manageable way. Gone are the days where system upgrades involved uninstalling and reinstalling each user’s machine. Instead, a server platform is upgraded and the users then connect to the new software version via their browser.

To add another layer of service, many businesses outsource their IT Management. If you are also considering doing this, it is vital that you choose a technology partner that will work harmoniously with you.

So, in a nutshell, hosting is when you implement software via the web, and there are several ways of doing this; SaaS, Private Hosted Server, On Premise Server. This article looks at the pros and cons of each hosting option to help you decide which one is best for your business.


According to Wikipedia “Software as a service (SaaS) (also known as subscribeware or rentware) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted”. You might also have heard it called “hosted software” or “in the cloud”.

In layman’s terms, it means that a software program is:

  • “hosted” by the provider (usually the software vendor)
  • on a platform that multiple customers use
  • accessed via a web browser, as opposed to being installed on your actual computer.

Generally speaking, any acronym ending in “aaS” i.e. as a service, means that it is managed by the provider of that service.

Technical Fun Fact: Did you know that you can also have:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Desktop as a Service (DaaS)
  • Managed software as a Service (MSaaS)
  • Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS)
  • Datacenter as a Service (DCaaS)
  • Information Technology Management as a Service (ITMaaS).

Pros and Cons of Saas

Pros Cons
Very low maintenance (for the customer). Often comes with a higher subscription cost.
Always on the latest software version / most updated features of the software. No choice when updates are applied (but usually out of working hours).
No need to purchase expensive servers or employ IT services. This saves money, time and physical space. Customisations and bespoke integration often less flexible due to being multi-tenant (more than one organisation using the same platform).
Technical issues will be kept at a minimum.

Private Hosted Server

Choosing the Private Hosted Server option gives you all the benefits of Cloud and SaaS within a secure hosted environment exclusively for your business.

Avrion provides this via the Microsoft Azure platform or our own Private Cloud Hosting platform.

We deliver world-class hosting solutions to our clients, based in state-of-the-art UK datacentres, meeting ISO 9001, ISO/IEC 27001 and other stringent technical and security standards. Our service offering is extensive, going far beyond the hosting of just your CRM solution.

If you plan to integrate your privately hosted systems, then renting hosted servers from us will deliver the flexibility and control you need.

Pros and Cons of Private Hosted Servers

Pros Cons
The best of both worlds – a cloud experience with full flexibility and access to your data. Additional recurring cost. However, Avrion’s costs are among the lowest available, and would usually be far more cost effective than keeping an in-house server maintained and up-to-date.
Your IT employees will be able to access the server if required. Some new updates and upgrades are rolled out to SaaS customers first, meaning you may have to wait longer to get that new upgrade.
Allows for custom developments or integrations which may not be possible with SaaS.
Know where your data is kept – our data centres are all UK based.
Increase/decrease specification as needed. Need more hard drive space? No problem! Need to move your financial software on to the server quickly? No problem.
Easy to expand and grow as your business develops.

On Premise Server

On-premises software is defined by Wikipedia as “installed and runs on computers on the premises of the person or organization using the software, rather than at a remote facility such as a server farm or cloud.”

On Premise Servers are 100% under your control. However, you will need to have the right IT team to support and maintain the physical servers. Additionally, you will need to ensure that you have a temperature controlled room for the servers, along with surge protection in case there are any power-cuts.

Pros and Cons of On Premise Servers

Pros Cons
You may already have a perfectly good working server which you can use, saving money – at least initially. Servers are expensive to buy and maintain. Technology moves at an extremely fast pace so, to keep up, you often need the latest hardware.
Access and security to be led by your internal IT team. Some new updates and upgrades are rolled out to SaaS customer first. This means you may need to wait longer to get that shiny new upgrade.
Ability to create custom integrations and developments with full access to the back-end database.

Further information

Hopefully, you now know what each implementation type offers. Avrion is here to help you work out which hosting option works best for you. Just contact us and we’ll be happy to walk you through it:

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