The Hidden Costs of Self-Hosting vs Using a Cloud Platform

Dec 6, 2023 by Atulpriya Sharma
The Hidden Costs of Self-Hosting vs Using a Cloud Platform

Building applications has become easier over the last few years with advanced tools that help developers to code, test, and ship features faster. While development has become easier, developers often find themselves at a crossroads when it comes to deploying applications.

On one hand, you have an alluring option of self-hosting your application and going the DIY route that offers adventure, autonomy, and control. On the other hand, there’s convenience and peace of mind offered by cloud platforms, which are time-tested and also provide support.

This is a decision that tech enthusiasts, businesses, and creators often grapple with. In this blog post, we help you navigate this dilemma and make an informed decision of choosing between self-hosting vs cloud platforms.

Hidden Costs of Self-Hosting

Choosing between self-hosting and using a cloud platform is not merely a technical decision, it’s a multi-faceted choice that can have a significant impact on your digital journey. In this section, we’ll look into the costs and complexities involved with self-hosting. So whether you’re a tech enthusiast or a business, this exploration will help you gain clarity in choosing the right platform.

Hidden Costs

  • Infrastructure costs: When you’re self-hosting, you bear the expenses of the hardware which includes servers, networking devices, storage, etc. along with the server maintenance. These are upfront costs that you need to be wary of and can be significantly high depending on your requirements.
  • Ongoing Maintenance: With self hosting you also need to maintain the software, apply updates, and troubleshoot any issues. And all of these are ongoing efforts that demand time and expertise.
  • Security and Compliance: As they say, with great power comes responsibility. When you’re self-hosting, you need to ensure robust security measures are in place to safeguard your application and data. If you’re an enterprise, you also need to ensure adherence to various compliances and regulations. The cost of doing all of this can be substantial.
  • Licensing and Software Costs: Depending on the software you use, there can be significant licensing costs involved. In addition to this, there can be costs for updates, additional user licenses, support, etc. which again can be a significant financial burden.

Complexities With Self-Hosting

  • Scalability: With self-hosting, it can be difficult to scale your infrastructure to meet the growing demands of your business. It’s a challenging and resource-intensive process where you might have to tweak configurations or even add extra hardware to meet the demands.
  • High Availability: Achievement of high availability through redundant servers and failover mechanisms can be intricate and expensive with self-hosting.
  • Disaster Recovery: Creating a robust disaster recovery plan with intricacies of data backups and restoration processes can be daunting when self-hosting. Handling sensitive information is critical, especially with various regulations around it.
  • Performance Optimization: Load balancing, caching, and fine-tuning configurations can be challenging and time-consuming when self-hosting as these depend greatly on your hardware as well as your application’s requirements.

From infrastructure costs to performance optimizations, there are tons of things that you need to manage in exchange for autonomy and flexibility when you decide to self-host your applications. While it may seem like a good choice for a section of people, for most others, choosing a cloud platform makes sense.

Benefits of choosing Cloud platforms

When it comes to managing your applications and infrastructure, self-hosting may look like an appealing option, however, choosing a cloud platform can be a game-changer. These platforms offer a plethora of services that can transform businesses. Let us look at some of the benefits of choosing cloud platforms.

  • Reduced infrastructure costs: Cloud platforms significantly reduce infrastructure costs by offering pre-made solutions with varying degrees of customization. This eliminates the need for businesses or individuals to invest in expensive hardware leading to substantial cost savings and resource allocation.
  • Managed services: Hosted platforms come with a host of managed services that include security measures, software updates, and maintenance. The platform takes care of all the required updates and patches on your behalf. Most of these services are offered out-of-the-box and the user needn’t do anything specific.
  • Scalability and High Availability: Whether your application receives 100 or 10,000 requests per second, your cloud platform will be able to handle it. Thanks to their ability to seamlessly scale services to accommodate increased demand without the need for extensive infrastructure modifications. Further, with high availability, cloud platforms ensure continuous service access during server failures and disruptions.
  • Disaster Recovery: The creation of robust DR plans is simple with cloud platforms. These include automated data backup, storage redundancy, and restoration to a stable scenario. You can define Recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) to suit your needs.
  • Performance Optimization: Performance optimization tools come out-of-the-box with cloud platforms. These include CDNs, caching, and optimized server configurations to name a few. This results in faster loading times leading to improved user experience and operational efficiency without the need for manual tuning.


The choice between self-hosted vs cloud platforms isn’t just about convenience, it’s about unlocking the full potential. As we’ve explored in this post, cloud platforms offer a wealth of benefits from reduced infrastructure costs and managed services to scalability, high availability, and disaster recovery.

For those seeking a seamless cloud platform experience, we invite you to try Acorn. It is a managed hosting platform for developers that comes with a clean and user-friendly UI that makes it easy to work with your apps and services.

Further, collaborating with others was never so easy. With Acorn you can build and share Acorn images and try what others are building! Simply create Acorn images and share them with your team members. You can also try Acorn images from our Library and in a few clicks have them up and running in a free cloud sandbox.

So, whether you’re a DIY enthusiast looking to host your own cloud with Nextcloud or a developer wanting to build your Ruby application in the cloud, Acorn can virtually run anything for you. And since Acorn allows you to try out various applications in a sandbox mode for free, why not go ahead and give Acorn a try?