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Cloud Server vs. Local Server: What’s Right for Your Cannabis Software?

January 15, 2018

When it comes to hosting your cannabis software or cannabis POS data, some prefer the accessibility of the cloud server, while others prefer the physical control of a local server.

When BioTrackTHC first joined the cannabis industry in 2010, it was a different industry than what we see today.  Most businesses still feared interference from the DEA and there was largely no record-keeping for concern that it would incriminate you to the federal government.  Bringing regulation to the industry changed that, but still, many feared interference and would do everything in their power to make sure their business was safe.  Among other reasons, that’s part of why BioTrackTHC was built to utilize the strongest data security possible through a local server instead of a cloud-based.  Now, when we say a local-server, we’re not talking a business-level server; this can be as simple as a home PC that essentially acts as your server.  Most cloud servers at the time wouldn’t even work with cannabis businesses because the revenue ultimately came from selling a federally illegal, Schedule I drug, complicating their ability to work with cannabis-related businesses.  Even today, many companies refuse to work with cannabis businesses or even accept their cash due to the federal Schedule I status.  Knowing that, locally hosted servers gave you a handful of benefits that many businesses consider ideal.  Here’s what they are, all of which are still relevant today for some licensees and their businesses:

  • Increased Security – Due to the restricted access of the physical machine, a local server is much more difficult for a would-be cyber attacker to steal or corrupt your data.  Having a dedicated local server provides exceptionally high security that can be valuable for businesses of any size.
  • Predictable Demand – Did you know that cloud servers occasionally go offline for maintenance?  That’s right, and the timing is usually out of your control.  A local server lets you perform maintenance on your time.
  • Manage Your Own Server – Any idea what it’s like to spend 10+ years’ operating a grey-area business and suddenly you’re told you have to track and trace your entire cannabis inventory to be reported to the government? Having physical control of your server provides added peace of mind for the extra cautious operator who still doesn’t trust anyone but themselves with their cannabis software or Dispensary POS System inventory data.  We demonstrate a perfect track record of data security for both our business and 100% of our customers.

Fast forward to 2017 and the technology is finally right for the cannabis industry.  We now offer the option for BioTrackTHC customers to utilize the AWS Cloud Hosting service as an alternative to your local server, which employs world-class data security standards used by the likes of the CIA.  Here’s why:

  • Cost-Effective – Having a local server can sometimes mean dedicated IT support (depending on the size of your business), which not all cannabis businesses have.  By utilizing a cloud server, the majority of IT and maintenance needs are covered in your monthly costs.
  • Scalable – We’re in cannabis, so everyone is growing in some shape or form.  Scaling with a local server requires adding infrastructure and potential maintenance costs.  Increasing server space on the cloud is as simple as clicking a mouse.  Add two, three, or ten locations to your cloud server without spending hours shopping for hardware and spending money on costly tech support/setup.
  • Remote Access – Access your cloud server database anywhere with an internet connection.  With a local server you have to physically access the hardware to access the data within it, hence the added security we previously mentioned.

When it comes down to it, it’s all about what’s right for your business.  No two businesses are exactly alike, so take a look at your current and future needs before you decide that you want to switch from local to the cloud, or vice versa.  Check out this great resource from Rackspace that helps answer some of the trickier questions so you can decide which is right for you and your business.  Interested in learning more about BioTrackTHC’s new AWS Cloud Hosting option? Contact our Sales Team to learn more.

Want to learn more about BioTrackTHC’s industry-leading cannabis track and trace software or DIspensary POS System?  We’re one of the only cannabis software providers in the industry to offer a full-vertical tracking solution!

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