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  • Choose your Bitrix24: in the Cloud or Self-hosted

    Ann Slyshkina 28 February 2013
    ( ! ) Please note that updated information is available at: https://www.bitrix24.com/about/blogs/tips-n-trick/what-is-the-difference-between-the-cloud-and-selfhosted-versions-.php

    Bitrix24 is a solution for business communications and collaboration inside organizations of any size.  The system unites tools classically belonging to the corporate intranet with social collaboration elements to form an optimal virtual work platform.

    In this article we won’t go deep into the descriptions of the functional capabilities of the product; they are highlighted in the video that you can find here or on our site.

    If, when searching for a virtual workspace for your business you chose Bitrix24, you may not have realized that Bitrix24 can be used as an online service and as a ‘box’ product – that is, installed on your own server (or that of your hosting provider).

    Depending on your business nature, company size, and requirements to an intranet solution, you can choose between the flexible monthly payment available from the Cloud version of Bitrix24 or the purchasing and owning a life-time license of the Self-hosted version. Both versions have their benefits and trade-offs associated with deployment and maintenance.

    Whether the cloud or self-hosted is right for you depends on a number of factors.  

    Below we will discuss several advantages of the two options, noting technical and economic factors along the way.

    The following comparison will help you choose what version of Bitrix24 is appropriate for you.


    Technical factors

    Bitrix24 Cloud version Bitrix24 Self-hosted version
    Server - No server or hosting headaches
    - No installation or ongoing maintenance
    - Quick start, pay as you go
    Requires a server and everything associated with that
    Disk spaceLimited disk space according to the plan; more space can be purchasedLimited to the space on your server
    Control PanelNo administrative tools or interfaces accessible - Full featured administrative section  
    - Complete module, structure, and contents management
    - Highly advanced set of administrative tools available
    Customization - No customization of look-and-feel
    - Underlying functionality not customizable
    - Some functionality augmentation via the Business Process constructor
    - Product’s full source code available
    - Customized components and templates
    - Customized look-and-feel
    - API
    Enterprise level integrationLimited - Active Directory
    - NTLM authentication
    - MS Exchange
    - MS SharePoint
    Creation and restoration
    of reserve copies
    - Bitrix, Inc. creates daily backups and restores if necessary.
    - No user-side backups or control options
    - Creation and restoration of backups
    - Scheduled backups
    - Cloud storage option for backups
    Security and Safety - Accessible only through SSL-protocol  
    - Two independent data centers provide high availability
    - Proactive filter (WAF - Web Application Firewall)
    Any security measures can be implemented according to the needs of the user
    Set of featuresFeatures limited by tariff plan Features limited by edition

    Functionality factors


    The box version of Bitrix24 has an extensive set of tools and functions which is not present in the cloud version.

    The box version includes the following functionality which is not available in the cloud:  
    • Multi Departments
    • e-Orders (web forms)
    • Idea Management
    • Company Photo Gallery
    • Helpdesk
    • e-Learning
    • Records Management
    • News Feeds
    • Powerful CMS
    • and much more.
    For a detailed description of the differences between the box and cloud versions, refer to the table found here.


    Economic factors

    Bitrix24 Cloud version
    Cloud technologies are very popular at the moment, they provide flexible data management, and 24/7 access from anywhere wh ere you can get connected to the Internet.

    Bitrix24 Cloud version could be an optimal solution if you have a very large number of employees. The paid subscriptions provide an unlimited number of user accounts for both the intranet (employees and management) and the extranet (partners and clients).

    Example
    Let's see how much it costs to manage your company's workflows with a Bitrix24 Standard subscription for 5 years:
    (1) Commercial subscription (if purchased as 5 yearly contracts with a 10% discount) - $5,346
    (2) Additional users (not required) - $0
    -----------------------------------
    The TTL is $5,346 no matter how many employees are using it. However, you may run out of online storage space during the 5-year period. The Standard subscription provides 50Gb of online storage, if that’s not enough you can switch to Professional subscription with a 100Gb lim it ($199/mo), or simply purchase additional 50Gb of online storage as an additional feature (this option will soon be available to all Bitrix24 commercial clients).


    Costs associated with Bitrix24 Cloud version
    - Basic hardware assets (PC / laptop / mobile device that can provide access to the Web);
    - Internet access (various options provided by ISPs or mobile carriers);
    - Monthly fees for Bitrix24 (either $99/mo or $199/mo);
    - Additional training and maintenance may be involved (usually paid hourly to a Bitrix Partner).
    Bitrix24 Self-hosted version
    If your company is still rigid regarding the data management policies, and does not want any sensitive information to be available in the Cloud, you are very welcome to purchase a life-time commercial license key of Bitrix24 Self-hosted version. You can deploy your intranet/extranet solution in-house (or on any other remote server that meets all the requirements of your corporate security policy).


    Example

    Let's do some calculation. Suppose, you have a company with 250 employees and you'd like to deploy your Bitrix24 solution in-house and need AD/LDAP integration. The following costs will need to be considered:
    (1) Product license (Bitrix24 BizPace Edition, standard 25-user pack) - $3299
    (2) Additional intranet users ($40 per user, i.e. 225 * $40 = $ 9,000)
    -------------------------
    So, the TTL for this intranet solution with a lifetime license is $12,299.

    If you would like to extend your subscription to technical support and product updates for five years (the first year is included in the purchase), your TTL would be $2705 for each additional year (i.e. $10,820 for four years).

    Costs associated with Bitrix24 Self-hosted  version

    - Hardware and software for local networks (ranges from $3K up);
    - Hosting services for remote installation ($250/mo is usually enough);
    - Commercial license key + additional users costs (product editions start at $2299, one additional user license is $40/user);
    - Salary for outsourced or in-house IT-staff for project implementation and maintenance (depends on many factors; can be a one-time payment for a turn-key intranet solution developed by a Bitrix Partner, or can involve hourly payments for the services provided by IT-specialists).
    Migration

    If you eventually need high-level customization, advance customization, corporate branding or integration with other enterprise software, your Bitrix24 intranet can be migrated from the cloud to your on-premise server and 'rolled out' using a license of a version of Bitrix24 Self-Hosted.
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