Cloud-hosted vs. Cloud-based: What’s the Difference?

July 19, 2022 | 3 min read

Technology is changing rapidly. Hewlett Packard and Dell have pulled consumer-based hardware (e.g., in-office servers) off the market. Meanwhile, Microsoft is phasing out on-premise software. These developments are just the tip of the iceberg. Moving to the cloud is no longer a question of "if" but "when."  But what does it mean for dental practices?

If you haven’t already, it’s time to invest in cloud dental software. But where to begin? Not all cloud platforms are created equal, and you must understand the nuances to make the right decision and invest in the right technologies to pave the way to long-term success.

Let’s start with the basics by understanding the difference between cloud-hosted vs. cloud-based platforms.

Cloud-hosted vs. Cloud-based Dental Software: What’s the Difference?

A cloud-hosted solution is an on-premise software hosted on a dedicated (single-tenant) server managed by a vendor. Remote users can access the systems and applications through a virtual private network (VPN) connection or web browser.

It’s essentially a hosted version of an in-office server in the cloud. Similar to on-premise solutions, update roll-outs on single-tenant systems are tedious and inefficient because they inherit the same coding limitation as legacy systems.

On the other hand, cloud-based (or cloud-native) solutions are hosted in a cloud infrastructure (e.g., Google Cloud Platform) and delivered in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. These multi-tenant systems are highly efficient, flexible, and scalable.

We can think of cloud-hosted (single-tenant) solutions vs. cloud-based (multi-tenant) solutions this way: 

A cloud-hosted solution is like a single-family house within a community. You need to take care of all the maintenance, upgrade, and utilities. A cloud-based solution is like an apartment in a condo building. You have a fully-customizable private space, but you don’t have to worry about the upkeep of shared amenities.

Why You Should Use a Cloud-based Dental Software Solution

Cloud-hosted solutions require substantial maintenance and cost more. They’ll eventually fall behind in innovation because they can’t evolve at the same computing rate as multi-tenant/cloud-based applications.

Initial implementation times for cloud-hosted software are longer because you need to set up the server, install the software, and configure the solution. If you need to scale up, you may have to purchase and set up additional hardware—which takes more time and money.

On the other hand, cloud-based solutions are designed to help you realize the promises of cloud computing. Since you don’t need to purchase hardware or install software, the implementation time is much shorter. You can use the platform as soon as you start your subscription. 

A shared codebase allows the vendor to deliver upgrades much faster. You don’t have to do anything at your end to access the latest features and updates. Meanwhile, the dynamic expansion of computing resources means you can scale up as quickly as needed without hitting a snag.

For example, most practices have to store a lot of dental images. You have to purchase additional hardware if you run out of storage space in an on-premise server or cloud-hosted solution. On the other hand, a cloud-based platform can provide the storage space instantly to accommodate your needs.

Moreover, the SaaS model of cloud-based dental practice management platforms allows you to access all the features and functionalities for a flat monthly fee. You can better control your budget without worrying about unexpected capital expenses (e.g., replacing a broken server) or hiring a large IT team for ongoing maintenance.

A Cloud-based Dental Software For Growing Your Practice

Practice management is a long-term investment, and you must evaluate solutions through that lens. Partnering with platforms that align with your values and are committed to innovation is the key to realizing the benefits of technology.

tab32 is a cloud-based dental software that allows you to take advantage of all the benefits modern cloud computing offers. From practice management functions and patient communication features to imaging capabilities and data warehousing—we’ve got you covered.

Request a demo to see tab32 in action.

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