• What is the difference between the Cloud and Self-hosted versions?

    Dmitry Davydov 16 August 2016
    Bitrix24 is a solution for business communications and collaboration introduced for organizations of any size. The system unites tools classically belonging to corporate intranets with CRM, project management and social collaboration elements to form an optimal virtual work platform. Bitrix24 can be used as an online service (Cloud version, SaaS) and as a ‘box’ product (Self-hosted version, i.e. installed on your own server). Depending on your  business nature, company size, and requirements for an intranet solution, you can choose between the flexible Cloud subscription plans, or develop a custom intranet project using the Self-hosted version.

    Bitrix24 Cloud version
    Cloud technologies are very popular at the moment, they provide flexible data management, and 24/7 access from anywhere where you can get connected to the Internet. Bitrix24 Cloud version could be an optimal solution if you have 1-100 employees. Selected commercial subscriptions provide an unlimited number of user accounts for both the intranet (employees and management) and the extranet (partners and clients). If you eventually need a higher level of product customization, corporate branding and/or integration with other enterprise software, you can migrate your Bitrix24 Cloud account to the Self-Hosted version at any point.

    Bitrix24 Self-hosted version
    There are several instances when on premise Bitrix24 editions have to be used instead of cloud - when law requires that data has to be stored in a specific location, when you need source code access, when you need Bitrix24 tools that aren't available in cloud or when you don't want to use cloud services due to internal policies.  Feature-wise, the Self-hosted version includes more tools and modules compared to the Cloud version.

    Unlike the Cloud version, Bitrix24 Self-hosted version is fully customizable (in the front-end of the product you can change logo, color scheme, layout, menu structure, page content, add or remove gadgets, modify CRM menu and fields, etc.). The Self-hosted version can be hosted on a remote web server of your choice, or deployed on a local network (even with no or limited access to the Internet).

    Bitrix24 Self-hosted version is a PHP based product. If compatible, you can integrate 3rd party add-ons, gadgets and modules. AD / LDAP integration is also supported. The full source code availability of the Self-hosted version adds up to more customization flexibility and integration options.

    The top edition of the Self-hosted version also features special modules, such as Web Cluster (helps you balance server load and provides additional scalability tools), and Multi Department feature (allows for creating multiple intranets within s single intranet; usually required by companies having a number of subsidiaries or branches that need individual Activity Streams and Department structures).

    Note: Bitrix24 Self-hosted version is sold as a lifetime license (one-time fee). Each commercial license key of the Self-hosted version comes with a free 1-year subscription for premium technical support and product updates. After the first year subscription comes to an end, you may wish to renew your subscription for another year (however, this is not mandatory).

    Both versions have their benefits and trade-offs associated with deployment and maintenance. Below, please find a quick overview of core differences between the Cloud and Self-hosted product version:


    Pricing & Licensing
    Cloud Version
    Self-hosted Version

    "Pay-as-you-go" subscription options

    One-time fee

    Bitrix24 Cloud is SaaS (software as a service), licensed on a subscription basis

    Ownership of the license key is fully transferred to the end-user

    Unlimited user subscriptions are available

    1000-user packs are available
    Installation & Deployment
    Cloud Version
    Self-hosted Version

    Quick start, no installation or ongoing maintenance

    Installation and deployment on a web server of your choice

    Instant web browser or mobile app access

    Requires corresponding hardware and software infrastructure

    Online storage space limit is set according to the subscription option

    Unlimited disk storage space (depends on your hosting provider's capacity and plans)
    Product Customization
    Cloud Version
    Self-hosted Version

    Custom logo (available in selected subscriptions)

    Custom logo

    Custom domain name (available in selected subscriptions)

    Custom domain name
    REST API

    REST API, API
    n/a

    Custom authorization page (welcome page)
    n/a

    Custom color schemes and templates (CSS, HTML, PHP, Java)
    n/a

    Custom layouts, custom menus
    n/a

    Full source code availability
    n/a

    Full front-end access
    n/a

    Full back-end access
    n/a

    Complete module, structure, and contents management
    n/a

    Advanced set of administrative tools
    n/a

    Localization tools (product can be translated into any language)
    Enterprise Level Integration
    Cloud Version
    Self-hosted Version
    Pre-set access rights and permissions

    Flexible access rights and permissions for User Groups and individual users
    n/a

    LDAP / Active Directory
    n/a

    NTLM authentication / SSO
    n/a

    MS Exchange (Calendars)
    n/a

    MS SharePoint (Lists)
    Back-Ups
    Cloud Version
    Self-hosted Version

    Automatic daily back-ups for Cloud accounts

    Manually scheduled backups

    Back-up restore procedure (available only with a commercial subscription)

    Cloud storage option for backups
    n/a

    Built-in back-up / restore tools
    Security & Safety
    Cloud Version
    Self-hosted Version

    Accessible only through SSL-protocol

    Security measures and access procedures can be adjusted manually

    Proactive filter WAF (Web Application Firewall)

    Proactive filter WAF (Web Application Firewall)

    Several independent data centers providing 24/7 online service availability
    n/a
    n/a

    Built-in security tools with a full access at the back-end of your product copy
    Product Features & Tools
    Cloud Version
    Self-hosted Version

    Set of features defined by subscription plan

    Set of features defined by product edition
    n/a

    Additional HelpDesk tools
    n/a

    Additional e-Learning tools
    n/a

    Additional CMS tools
    n/a

    Additional security tools
    n/a

    Additional scalability tools
    Mobile & Desktop Apps
    Cloud Version
    Self-hosted Version

    Free Mobile App

    Free Mobile App (with a partial front-end custom view support)

    Free Desktop App

    Free Desktop App
    Bitrix24 Cloud and Self-hosted versions are priced and licenses using different models, hence each product version is associated with different costs. Here’s how those costs are considered from the point of view of the end-user:

    Costs associated with Bitrix24 Cloud version:
    · Basic hardware assets (workstation / laptop / mobile device that can provide access to the Web);
    · Internet access (various options provided by ISPs or mobile carriers);
    · Monthly (semiannual or annual) fees for a Bitrix24 subscription option;
    · Additional training and maintenance may be involved (usually paid services provided by a Bitrix Partner).

    Costs associated with Bitrix24 Self-hosted version:
    · Hardware and software for local networks (ranges from $1,490 and up);
    · Hosting services for remote installation;
    · Commercial license key for a Bitrix24 Self-hosted version + additional user licenses (if more than 25 users are required);
    · 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).
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