Good idea to scrap on prem servers for these services?

Matthew B
Matthew B used Ask the Experts™
Hi all

I am helping a company that is about to "upgrade" their IT infrastructure. This is there current setup:

On Prem DC/AD - windows server 2008r2
On Prem File Server (250GBs) - windows server 2008r2
On Prem Server hosting internal application - windows server 2008r2
QuickBooks - windows 10 desktop
Exchange 365 - cloud

Im thinking to hell with on prem hardware for such simple resources (essentially they have a fileshare), and going with a solution like this:

Use a service like egnyte for a file server (Supports Azure AD SSO ~ $8 a month per user
Use Azure AD Premium for MFA and SSO to apps such as egnyte, they dont use any GPO - ~$7 a month per user
Move the internal application to a hosted solution (already offered by provider) - unknown
QuickBooks operates on a users local so can just switch the file path of the database - no change in cost

In turn i would:
Scrap the on prem domain controller
scrap the on prem file server
scrap the on prem server hosting internal application

All these servers are due for upgrade, and we estimate costs being in the tens of thousands to keep them all prem or even use a hybrid azure solution. I could save them a load of upfront costs as well as maintenance/security, etc.
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

The problem with putting any critical application into the "cloud" is that when internet access becomes unavailable for any reason, the business is temporarily out of business.  Most businesses have little to no backstop in case of computer failure and can't sell so much as a postage stamp without network and computer services.

The "cloud" is a single point of failure for which there is no cheap cure.  Dual redundant internet lines do not necessarily solve the problem.  Some years ago a bum living under a bridge in Minneapolis decided to build a fire and burned through the primary fiber lines serving the city.  The backbone switched to the secondary fiber lines ... which were two feet away from the primary lines and also scorched to carbon.  It was two days before internet service was restored, and since dial-up had largely been abandoned MSP was in effect an island in the internet for that period.

My advice:  Move to the "cloud" if you wish but be aware that is a single point of failure that can stop the entire business.  Ensure there is an immediate on-premises fallback that can come to work immediately in case of internet outage.
Matthew BHack


The way i see it is id rather worry about internet access than 4 on prem servers, VPN access, power outages, etc.

Internet down at the office?

Work from home day because you can authenticate with azure ad and access egnyte files anywhere.

 Internet is a non issue today.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

we estimate costs being in the tens of thousands to keep them all on prem or even use a hybrid azure solution.

Maybe for a Hybrid Solution, $8 - $12 thousand (very, very rough estimate).

Keep in mind the points above about Internet access.  I spoke to a Microsoft person at my last MVP Summit and he recommended a hybrid solution to keep local files fast and other services in the cloud.

QuickBooks (if you have the Desktop version) should be on a local server and fast LAN.  Otherwise move to QB Online.
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Matthew BHack


Hi John

Hybrid solution will be in the thousands per year plus upfront costs for local equipment.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Yes I understand that Hybrid is pricey but you do have AD services and files in both places for good support in case of failure (which notably have occurred) ,

So you need to determine if you want all local with redundancy or the Hybrid idea.
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

Going cloud may make sense. The on prem solution would be at most 2 servers. One server to run 1 or 2 VMs, and the second server to hold the backups and run backup copies of VMs in case of primary failure. Even 10K seems high for such a solution.

Being able to work from home is valuable. QuickBooks in the cloud can work if for just this one business. If this is a bookkeeping organization, I have heard that hosted QuickBooks is not a good solution.
btanExec Consultant
Distinguished Expert 2018

The question is to still find the right balance. Most of the time hybrid is taken not because of just SPOF but primarily for non critical to go cloud first for policy compliance due to the high cost saving in a long term.

 It is not wise to build private cloud for the basis of no expertise and agility is not maximise doing on premise. The performance problems arose because the cloud app relied heavily on the on-premises applications, so performance was slowed as they tried to communicate with one another.

That said, on premise remains for critical system that has need to meet a very high demand of availability and assurance of data control and oversight of its movement within country, which can mostly be achieved and convinced if we have those on site and during emergency call, we can jump into the system fast. In country for cloud is doable but defeats the purpose of its implementation of being always ready.

Everybody automatically assumes there is a huge migration to the cloud. But there will always be a segment that will never go the cloud as long as you have strong virtual private networks and strong remote access with encrypted channels

Where possible most should go for cloud and leave the critical ones on premise.

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