ELIA ND Athens: Server or Cloud? That Is the Question for LSPs Today…

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David Canek – MemSource Technologies

Exploring the pros and cons of server versus cloud translation technology from the point of view of an LSP. Which one delivers better value? What about security? Does it make sense to invest in a server or pay monthly subscription rates for cloud translation technology?

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility over a network (Wikipedia).

Server computing: in the context of client-server architecture, a server is a computer program running to serve the requests of other programs, the clients. Thus, the server performs some computational tasks on behalf of the “clients” (Wikipedia).

Server considerations

Cloud considerations

  • Hardware and software ownership
  • Maintenance of servers – HW and SW
  • Physical privacy
  • Backups and data
  • Servers are close


  • HW and SW is not owned
  • Service
  • Not responsible for maintenance
  • Servers are remote

Why server?

Why cloud?

  • No monthly costs, once you have invested
  • No hosting costs (if in office)
  • Source of income if shared with a 3rd party
  • Total control over HW and SW
  • Immediate action can be taken in case of problems
  • Not dependent on the internet
  • No problems with internet security
  • No censorship issues
  • Connection speed higher on LAN
  • Fixed asset on balance sheet
  • Better in security (hosted in professional hosting center rather than in your office)
  • Less expensive (no maintenance, HW, electricity costs)
  • No investment needed
  • Scalable – easier to add users
  • No maintenance responsibility
  • Better backup and redundancy solutions
  • Collaboration opportunities

See David Canek’s blog for a summary of his workshop.