Adobe Commerce On-Premise vs Adobe Commerce Cloud: A comparative guide

Adobe Commerce On-Premise vs Adobe Commerce Cloud: A comparative guide

More than 200,000 sites run their stores using Adobe (Magento) Commerce. This number proves the mettle of Adobe Commerce in the eCommerce ecosystem and how it is the platform of choice for several global merchants and retailers. A leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, Adobe Commerce is known for its flexibility, scalability, and cutting-edge functionalities that help deliver personalized shopping experiences to every customer across channels. However, ever since Adobe renamed Magento's enterprise version to Adobe Commerce and launched Adobe Commerce on cloud infrastructure, merchants have only wondered about the difference between the two.

From April 2021, three distinct versions are available from Adobe: Magento Open Source, Adobe Commerce On-Premise, and Adobe Commerce Cloud. If you want to explore Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce On-Premise, check out our resource here.

In this blog, we will discuss Adobe Commerce On-Premise and Adobe Commerce Cloud, and when you should migrate from on-premise to the cloud version.

Breaking down the on-premise and cloud terminology

The practice of using ‘the cloud’ has become rampant across the SaaS and PaaS systems. To be honest, cloud has both technical advantages and a marketing appeal attached to it. However, many merchants do not completely understand how on-premise and cloud are different and when to invest in either of these. 

On-premise eCommerce platform has always been a popular option for merchants, wherein, store owners had to rely on a dedicated IT team, a server, and a scalable storage capacity to ensure the smooth running of the eStores. Then came the cloud-based eCommerce platforms, where merchants could break free from this headache and instead rely on a cloud solution to do all the heavy lifting. 

Here is a basic breakdown between an on-premise and a cloud-based eCommerce platform. 

Location of serverNecessitates server hardware within your business premises, preferably at your business HQ location.Much like storing your data on the cloud, there is no physical presence (at least within your business premises) for a server. 
Setup and configurationRequires manual setup and configuration of hardware and software.Cloud-based eCommerce platforms offer several off-the-shelf solutions where you can choose which solutions you need from the widely available pre-made products, empowering you to easily set up your eCommerce stores and the host takes care of the rest.
Maintenance and managementFrom maintenance and storage expansion to security issues & patching and platform updates, with an on-premise eCommerce platform, you have to take care of all these aspects to ensure the smooth running of your online stores. With cloud-based eCommerce platforms, you can break free from worrying about maintenance, storage expansion, security, updates, etc. The only concerning factor is to stay current with your payment plan.
CostsInvolves costs for server hardware, software licenses, IT teams, and integration capabilities. Costs can quickly spiral up.Typically involves a subscription-based model with predictable, often lower, costs.
Data securityPreferred for businesses in highly-regulated industries for greater control over data.Data security is managed by the host, and it may be perceived as less controllable.
ScalabilityScalability may be limited by the capacity of your on-premise hardware.Offers more flexibility for scaling resources up or down based on demand.
Accessibility and mobilityAccess is typically limited to your business premises unless additional configurations are made.Accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, promoting mobility and remote work.
Upgrades and new featuresYou need to plan and execute upgrades and feature additions manually.Regular updates and new features are often provided seamlessly by the host.
DowntimeDowntime may occur during maintenance or hardware failures.Hosts often guarantee high availability and minimal downtime.

To succeed in this competitive digital landscape, you must build solutions to meet scalable demand rises and pivot as customer needs change. In response, retailers and merchants are making informed decisions when choosing the right platform to build their stores. This usually means moving to the cloud because running free versions like Magneto open source can be time-consuming, and on-premises can be costly and difficult to scale, often requiring a significant investment in infrastructure as well as IT staff to deploy Open Source software with new releases, upgrades, and security patches. When merchants opt to initiate or transition their business to Adobe Commerce, the subsequent choice they face is whether to select Adobe Commerce On-Premise option or Adobe Commerce Cloud. 

Here we will discuss the differences between Adobe Commerce On-Premise and Adobe Commerce Cloud when you should consider switching to Adobe Commerce Cloud, and the business value of upgrading to Adobe Commerce Cloud.  

#1. Adobe Commerce On-Premise 

Adobe Commerce On-Premise presents a robust platform designed to empower eCommerce businesses with exceptional flexibility and scalability. It equips retailers to effectively oversee, personalize, and optimize commerce experiences across various touchpoints and customer journeys. Tailored to meet the demands of mid-size and enterprise-level enterprises, this paid on-premises solution from Adobe offers comprehensive features like live search, product recommendations, customer segmentation, visual merchandising, B2B capabilities, cutting-edge marketing tools, intuitive dashboards, gift card management, content staging, customer loyalty tools, and more. Also, Adobe Commerce streamlines the management of essential aspects like checkout processes, payment methods, shopping experiences, and marketing endeavors, all within a unified interface.

When contemplating a transition from Magento open-source to Adobe Commerce On-Premise, you gain the advantage of choice and a wealth of features. However, it's essential to keep in mind that on-premises solutions also entail challenges, including additional hosting platform costs and associated risks.

#2. Adobe Commerce Cloud

Adobe Commerce Cloud, formerly known as Magento Commerce Cloud, stands as an enterprise-grade, self-hosted eCommerce platform that boasts a wealth of powerful, ready-to-use features. What sets Adobe Commerce Cloud apart is its inclusion of AWS hosting and Azure, features that are not part of the standard Adobe Commerce license. This platform essentially combines the comprehensive functionalities of Adobe Commerce On-Premise with the advantages of cloud computing, underpinned by a cloud-native and highly extensible architecture.

Adobe Commerce Cloud streamlines the entire eCommerce setup, offering hosting infrastructure, servers, email services, SSL certificates, and more, all within a secure and reliable self-hosting environment. Furthermore, Adobe Commerce Cloud seamlessly integrates with Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe Target, Adobe Sensei, Adobe Analytics, and Adobe Experience Manager, to ensure top-tier customer experiences, efficient digital asset management, and dynamic content personalization. Businesses that opt for Adobe Commerce Cloud benefit from heightened agility, fully integrated systems, and advanced features like headless commerce through PWA Studio, making it a prime choice for a comprehensive eCommerce solution.

Now you have understood the basic difference between the on-premise and Adobe Commerce Cloud edition, let's cover the key differences between the two eCommerce platforms: 

Key differences between Adobe Commerce On-Premise and Adobe Commerce Cloud 

Features Adobe Commerce On-Premise Adobe Commerce Cloud 
License Costs Adobe Commerce On-Premise license costs are tiered and based on Gross Merchandise Value and features. It ranges between $22,000 - $125,000Adobe Commerce Cloud license cost is also tiered and based on GMV and features. It ranges between $40,000-$190,000.
Hosting Adobe Commerce On-Premises allows you to choose hosting from a third-party while providing features of Adobe Commerce. Adobe Commerce Cloud is a cloud-hosted and managed solution; the license software covers the costs. Adobe takes care of the infrastructure, server maintenance, security, and upgrades, allowing you to focus on your business.

Adobe Commerce has several built-in advanced features, including reusable dynamic blocks, business intelligence dashboards, advanced marketing tools, content staging & preview, customer loyalty tools, visual merchandising, product recommendations, AI-driven live search, customer segmentation, BOPIS, gift cards, and more. 

Most of the extensions on Commerce Marketplace are free with Adobe Commerce On-Premise edition.

Adobe Commerce Cloud includes features of Adobe Commerce along with advanced features that enhance shopping experiences like performance monitoring tools, Cloud onboarding Magento support, Cloud availability SLA, DDoS services and Fastly WAF, streamlined updates, and testing worldwide availability. 
Scalability Adobe Commerce is designed to keep your scalability needs in mind. It easily supports mid-to-enterprise business needs with large & complex catalogs, high transaction volumes, multiple storefronts, and peak traffic. Adobe Commerce Cloud offers a scalable solution that brings all the benefits of Adobe Commerce On-Premise as a platform. Its infrastructure monitors your applications and can adjust capacity to maintain steady, predictable performance, and converting to cloud architecture helps to mitigate problems such as latency or large spikes in traffic. On scaled architecture, horizontal auto-scaling on the web tier is available for Adobe Commerce Cloud customers.

In Adobe Commerce, on-premises merchants are fully responsible for system security. 

Adobe Commerce has features like a Read-only file system, two-factor authentication, password managers, malware scans, a site-wide analysis tool for commerce, and enable and verify settings for admin actions logging. This reduces the common vulnerabilities of security breaches. 

With Adobe Commerce Cloud, merchants are only responsible for application security, such as platform patches and extension upgrades. In Adobe Commerce Cloud, you can audit all admin user account access, enable advanced multi-factor authentication (MFA) controls, preserve critical logs, and review security upgrades. Adobe Commerce Cloud complies with regulations and provides Fastly services to secure and optimize content delivery operations, SSL/TLS certificates, image optimization, and Content Delivery Network(CDN). 
Support Adobe Commerce On-Premises comes with proactive support solutions, a dedicated account manager, and technical assistance 24*7 to troubleshoot all store-related issues. You can also access Adobe Commerce Rapid Deployment Packages, making it easy to set up and launch any feature. With Adobe Commerce Cloud, you gain access to a skilled team of expert developers who are dedicated to assisting you in maintaining and improving your online stores. They can provide ongoing technical support, ensuring your website is always up-to-date with the latest security patches and performance optimizations.
New RelicAdobe Commerce On-Premise does not include New Relic capabilities.Adobe Commerce Cloud includes access to New Relic to help manage, monitor, and troubleshoot your applications and infrastructure by collecting, viewing, and analyzing data. The cloud edition has three categories: New Relic, New Relic APM, New Relic infrastructure, and New Relic logs. You can track applications and transactions encountering slow responses, customer comments about issues with your site, applications with high transaction time, and traffic to transaction time. 
Time to MarketAdobe Commerce consists of several leading-edge functionalities, all of which help deliver robust experiences but take longer than Adobe Commerce Cloud. With on-premises, you are responsible for setting up the infrastructure, installing and configuring the software, performing customizations, and managing server maintenance. This process can involve more time and effort. Adobe Commerce Cloud provides a faster time to market as the cloud version offers a managed environment where Adobe takes care of the infrastructure setup and maintenance. The cloud platform is installed and configured, which allows you to focus on customizing and configuring your eCommerce site, reducing the time required for infrastructure management and initial setup and deployment. 
MonitoringWith Adobe Commerce On-Premise, you are responsible for setting up and managing the monitoring infrastructure. You can choose from various monitoring tools and solutions available in the market, such as server monitoring tools, Application performance monitoring tools, or log monitoring setups based on your specific requirements and preferences.Adobe Commerce Cloud offers built-in monitoring capabilities as part of the cloud-based solutions. Adobe monitors the infrastructure, server health, and overall performance and identifies any potential issues.
PerformanceWith Adobe Commerce On-Premise, you have more control over the performance optimization of your storefront. You can customize the infrastructure and server configurations to meet your specific performance requirements. However, ensuring optimal performance in an on-premise environment requires technical expertise and ongoing monitoring and optimization.Adobe Commerce Cloud provides a managed infrastructure and server configurations to meet your business requirements. The Cloud edition manages to provide the underlying infrastructure, including server resources, load balancing, and caching mechanisms, to provide a high-performance environment for your eCommerce website. The cloud infrastructure is designed to handle fluctuations in traffic and ensure scalability during peak periods. This relieves you from the responsibility of infrastructure management and allows you to focus more on your business and customizing the eCommerce platform.
Fastly Integration Adobe Commerce On-Premise does not facilitate Fastly integration by default. But you  implement it for image optimization, caching capabilities or a CDN for static assets.Adobe Commerce Cloud seamlessly integrates Fastly to launch content updates instantly, managing site traffic effortlessly, and elevating loading speed. Fastly's standout feature lies in its ability to leverage cached information to serve website pages, even personalized ones like shopping carts and product recommendations. As a result, users enjoy a smooth and responsive browsing experience, regardless of any potential delays in loading times.

The business value of upgrading to Adobe Commerce Cloud

The powerful capabilities of Adobe Commerce Cloud play a pivotal role in elevating the digital commerce presence of organizations. Adobe Commerce Cloud has helped enterprises win new business opportunities in highly competitive markets, unlock latent demand, and increase customers' interest in their products. Whether it's streamlining merchandising tasks, driving lead generation, executing effective marketing campaigns, or swiftly generating compelling content, Adobe Commerce Cloud has proven to be a game-changer.

According to research conducted by IDC, Adobe Commerce Cloud has enhanced conversion rates by more than 50%, significantly boosting mobile conversion rates and elevating the average order value by 5-10%. Moreover, bounce rates have substantially decreased 10-15%. Adobe Commerce Cloud empowers enterprises to craft distinctive shopping experiences tailored to their brand, accommodating various business models from direct-to-consumer (D2C) to business-to-business (B2B), all within a single scalable platform.

Adobe Commerce On-Premise vs Adobe Commerce Cloud: Which to choose? 

The preference for cloud-based eCommerce applications over on-premises solutions is evident due to their significant advantages in internal processes and enhancing the digital customer experience. The shift from on-premises and cloud software has been marked, with the proportion projected to evolve from 38.9% in 2021 to 18.8% by 2026 for on-premises, while cloud solutions are expected to rise from 6.11% to 81.2%. This transformation underscores the importance of delivering personalized and engaging content and ensuring a high-performing and reliable eCommerce site.

Choosing the right eCommerce platform that is secure, scalable, reliable, and agile is crucial for businesses. Adobe Commerce Cloud emerges as the right choice, harnessing the advantages of contemporary cloud computing underpinned by a cloud-native and highly extensible architecture. It provides enterprise-grade scalability and availability, facilitating exceptional commerce experiences across various brands, sites, currencies, and global regions.

Additionally, Adobe Commerce Cloud offers robust functionality with the capacity for customization and seamless integration within the Adobe ecosystem. When considering a transition from Magento Commerce on-premise to Adobe Commerce Cloud, several key benefits come into play:

  • Customization: Adobe Commerce Cloud empowers you to tailor your eCommerce sites to suit your unique needs.
  • Managed iInfrastructure: Hosting, security, updates, and maintenance tasks are expertly handled by Adobe, allowing you to concentrate on your core business operations.
  • Development support: The platform provides an environment that eases development efforts and resources.
  • Cost efficiency: You can significantly reduce capital expenditures and ongoing costs.
  • Scalability: Benefit from improved scalability and elasticity.
  • Time-to-market: Experience accelerated time-to-market for your offerings.
  • Security and compliance: Enhanced security and compliance measures.
  • Source control: Managed source control for streamlined operations.
  • Operational insights: Gain transparency in operational insights.
  • Continuous development: Avail continuous integration and continuous development and deployment services.

If your organization lacks strong development operations or is unfamiliar with their Platform as a service (PaaS), retailers should switch to Adobe Commerce Cloud from on-premises. 

The way forward with an Adobe Commerce Specialized Partner

Whether you want to upgrade from on-premise to Adobe Commerce Cloud or want to build an Adobe Commerce Cloud storefront, Ranosys can be your growth partner throughout the process. As an award-winning Adobe Gold Partner with a specialized Adobe Commerce badge, we have assisted several leading global brands upgrade from on-premise to Adobe Commerce Cloud. 

We help you choose the right eCommerce platform.


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