Cloud vs. On-Premises Streaming Deployment (Update)

Looking to get into video streaming, but unsure whether to deploy your technology on premises or in the cloud? Look no further than our Cloud vs. On-Premises Streaming Deployment decision tree.

A decision tree for weighing the options between cloud vs. on-premises streaming infrastructure deployment.

Cloud vs. On-Premises Streaming: Determining the Right Deployment Model

You need a video solution that delivers content to a range of devices in a matter of seconds. But to get something in place, you’ll need to evaluate cloud vs. on-premises streaming deployment models.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, as every scenario comes with a unique set of requirements. We suggest asking the following questions to determine which option makes sense for you.



Do you prefer to keep your streaming infrastructure in house?

If you’re a control freak about your data and have the resources to maintain on-site infrastructure, then on-premises deployment might be for you. We often see this as the preferred choice for enterprises, government, or surveillance organizations deploying video across a large private network.

But because on-premises deployment gives you full control over your workflow, you’ll also be responsible for managing every level of your technology stack. Cloud deployment, on the other hand, allows you to offload some management duties and maintenance costs to the service provider.

What’s more, today’s cloud-based video platforms come with robust security controls like digital rights management (DRM), token authorization, geofencing, IP whitelisting, and steam-level encryption. For that reason, cloud-based deployment is still a highly secure option — especially when powered by a SOC 2-compliant provider like Wowza.



Are you able to integrate multiple vendors to satisfy all your video needs?

For comprehensive functionality, cloud-based solutions often take the cake. Integrated video platforms like Wowza Video deliver powerful features at every stage of the workflow — including transcoding, packaging, delivery, playback, a content management system (CMS), analytics, and comprehensive APIs.

On-premises solutions, on the other hand, require that you pick and choose providers at every point of your streaming workflow. This certainly ensures flexibility, but with that comes more complexity.  



Is scalability a concern?

You’ll need to consider what resources you already have, and what you’re willing to invest in to support future growth. If you already have IT personnel dedicated to building live streaming infrastructure or architecting cloud environments, outsourcing might not be necessary. And if keeping this expertise and infrastructure in house is core to your business’s value, then on-premises deployment might work for you. But if you’re planning for growth without a plethora of resources, cloud-based deployment will be a better route.

Unpredictable audience sizes also come into play. In most streaming scenarios, there’s a certain level of volatility related to viewership. Cloud-based deployments can scale your capacity up and down in minutes, while also cutting costs for hardware and maintenance. For that reason, it’s often wiser to offload processing and delivery to a cloud-based solution when scale is at stake.


Speed to Market

Do you prefer a solution that gets you up and running quickly?

Time to market is a critical element in the cloud vs on-premises streaming evaluation. For those who want minimal start-up time without sorting through all of the components required to reach end-viewers, Wowza Video is your one-stop solution to get going fast. The builder-focused platform includes API coverage across encoding, transcoding, CMS and playback to support everything from quickly getting started to developing advanced video applications.



Would you benefit from holistic visibility across the entire video workflow?

Video analytics tools can help provide improve video quality and optimize costs by shedding light on quality of service (QoS), quality of experiences (QoE), and viewer engagement metrics. That said, a prerequisite to this is interoperability across the video workflow. That’s because end-to-end visibility requires integration between the encoder, packager, content delivery network (CDN), and player. For this, your best bet is a full-service video solution that provides observability every step of the way.

With Wowza Video’s simple-to-use interface, publishers gain insight into stream health, viewer data, and platform performance — with the freedom to integrate with external tools using our video API.


Deployment Needs

Is on-premises or offline video deployment critical to your use case?

For some business models, a video streaming server software like Wowza Streaming Engine is the only option. Perhaps your technology needs to go behind a firewall or stay offline. We often see a need for this in government or surveillance organizations scaling video across a large private network.

Luckily, Wowza Streaming Engine can be deployed and modified to suit any business’s needs — it’ll just require some additional configuration and resources along the way.



No matter your video requirements might be, Wowza has got you covered. We designed our cloud-based and on-premises solutions to empower businesses like yours in unlocking the value of video. Here’s a closer look at our options for both deployment models:

  • Integrated Cloud-Based Video Platform: Wowza Video integrates all the core streaming technologies your business requires into a single platform, making it an ideal solution for organizations looking to enhance their products and services with video.
  • On-Premises Streaming Server Software: Wowza Streaming Engine comes with robust and fully customizable features that make it optimal for self-managed infrastructures and offline deployment

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About Traci Ruether

Traci Ruether is a Colorado-based B2B tech writer with a background in streaming and network infrastructure. Aside from writing, Traci enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending quality time with her kith and kin. Follow her on LinkedIn at or learn more at