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The Hidden Costs of a Server-based Video System

When deciding between cloud based security camera systems for business, price is a critical factor. From an operating expense view, the price each month on a cloud service is likely lower for many use cases. Evaluating cloud vs. dedicated servers solely on monthly costs alone is a mistake. There are other hidden costs which should shape your decision. Both hard and soft costs can impact total cost of ownership and overall experience.


A recent study by SherWeb put the average monthly cost of a cloud server at $313.90 vs. a dedicated on-premises server at $1,476.31. This estimate took into account technology refresh rate, scaling needs, and the indirect cost of system admin staffing. It’s important to consider factors such as timelines, compliance requirements, the consistency of your workload demand, staff, and more. Let’s take a look at the other factors that can impact cost.

Enterprise Class Functionality

While on premise servers and cloud servers perform similar basic functions to store, share and protect information and data, there are key differences in functionality, complexity, implementation time, and cost.

Existing solutions require you to host servers and software on-premise.

Servers in the cloud provide better functionality at lower cost.

Many organizations often purchase the cheapest video security system that meets their requirements only to watch the total cost of ownership grow over the lifetime of the system. The initial savings disappear, and the hidden costs of video surveillance turn into an unexpected new budget. While many NVR and DVR systems may seem cheaper, understanding the life cycle costs of implementing an on-premise server will ensure that your investment will be money well spent.

Biggest Hidden Costs

Hardware and Upkeep

The first biggest cost is the installation and upkeep of hardware.  You could easily spend $5-10k on a new server, space, and installing it in a cooled room.  The immediate and upfront costs are just the start.  Databases and monitoring tools are often kept on other separate servers, in which case you’d have to add the time and money spent on fixing and maintaining this equipment too.

Software and Licensing

Another huge cost is software and software licensing.  Costs incurred from both licensed and unlicensed software such as databases, monitoring tools, network utilities, anti-virus can cost big businesses millions of dollars each year.

People, Time, and Resources

Software updates, security patches, configuration, permissions changes, and back-up recur overtime.  Overlooking and neglecting these items can result in system failures or security breaches that bring the whole company to a halt.

The Benefits of a Cloud Managed Solution


of the cost of an on premise system that is spent on servers and software and is typically updated every 3 years.

    Managed cloud video systems cost less and deliver more

    •  Offsite Backup – no single point of failure

    •  Lower IT and maintenance costs

    •  Higher network security and availability

    •  Included software and feature updates

    •  Unlimited users

    •  Unlimited locations

    •  Unlimited number of cameras

On premise server systems with traditional cameras are complex, costly, and challenging for most people to manage.  Today, many are looking for video surveillance systems to be secure, simple to use, and easy to administer.  Cloud based video security camera systems for business provides all of that and more.

CheckVideo Cloud VMS provides the servers and software in the cloud and we keep it running.  It is more reliable, with 99.5% uptime guarantee, automatically protected against hackers and cyberthreats, and all updates and enhancements with new software versions are included.  CheckVideo’s revolutionary managed service enables centralized configuration, viewing, and monitoring of video feeds across tens or hundreds of locations while reducing infrastructure costs. Every video camera enrolled into the service benefits from remote live, playback and export without the need to add servers and software licenses. CheckVideo does not stream continuously to the cloud by combining the best of on-premise recording and off-site backup, your video evidence is safe.


An industry-first search engine saves hours of time on investigations, and built-in video analytics notify you about activities of interest as they occur, not after the fact. As a managed system, updates are included and automatically applied, and the health of the system is monitored to ensure that your property stays secure.  Contact us to learn more.

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