Cloud vs. On-Premises Streaming Deployment

April 15, 2019 by

Looking to get into live 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.


Decision Tree: Cloud vs. On-Premises Streaming


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

You need a live-streaming 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 capable of building out a robust solution.

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, yields some control and management duties to the service provider.



Does your streaming workflow require a high degree of customization?

For ultimate tunability, comprehensive functionality, and the opportunity to pick and choose providers at every point of your streaming workflow, on-premises solutions usually take the cake.

That said, Wowza Streaming Engine™ can sit in virtually any environment, with both hosted and on-premises deployment options available.

The Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service is better suited for those looking to get up and running quickly.



Are you able to build out your infrastructure as your user base grows?

You’ll need to consider what 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 is the way to go.

Another aspect to consider is your existing equipment and infrastructure. For organization with a robust data center in place and high-capacity wiring, streaming to a content delivery network (CDN) or directly to an established number of external viewers may be well within your capabilities.

Remember, you can always refine your requirements as you go to determine the most effective workflow. But if you’re planning for growth with limited resources, cloud-based deployment will be a better route.


Traffic and Auto-Scaling

Do you need auto-scaling capabilities?

In most streaming scenarios, there’s a certain level of volatility related to audience size. For an internal audience with somewhat predictable traffic, on-premises deployment might be perfectly suitable.

Conversely, cloud-based deployments can scale your capacity up and down in minutes, while also cutting costs for hardware and maintenance. If you’re broadcasting infrequent events across the public internet, it would be wiser to offload processing and delivery to cloud-based servers when needed.


Cost Model

Are you looking to shift from CapEx to OpEx?

Your budget will define whether hiring people or purchasing servers is even an option. Many organizations are transitioning from capital expenditure (CapEx) to operating expenditure (OpEx) models in the shift towards software as a service (SaaS) applications.

Each have pros and cons, with the right option hinging on your organization’s unique needs.

Internal live streaming can often be handled by just one or a few servers, allowing many companies to start streaming by repurposing old email and database servers. But without any infrastructure in place, why not try before you buy with a cloud-based deployment?


Speed to Market

Do you prefer a solution that gets you up and running fast rather than requiring configuration?

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 Streaming Cloud is your one-stop solution to get going fast. You can also elect to use the transcoding capability as part of a custom solution, while leveraging the graphical user interface for point-and-click deployment.


Wowza Streaming Cloud


Fully Managed Cloud Streaming Service

Wowza Streaming Engine


Self-Managed Media Server Software

  • Global streaming to any size audience.
  • Minimal setup with infrastructure provided.
  • Easy to use, no matter your level of expertise.
  • Reliable streaming to any device, anywhere.
  • Robust, customizable platform that puts you in control.
  • Flexibility to deploy software on premises or in the cloud.
  • Configurable to support virtually any streaming workflow.


About Traci Ruether

As a Colorado-based B2B tech writer, Traci Ruether serves as Wowza's content marketing manager. Her background is in streaming and network infrastructure. Aside from writing, Traci enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending quality time with her kith and kin. Follow her… View more