The decision to host your SharePoint implementation On-Premise or Online largely depends on your goals.

What content will you have? What integration points are needed?  To help with your decision, here are some pros and cons of each.


Pros: SharePoint On-Premise

Cons: SharePoint On-Premise

  • You may have already invested in a nice farm and have plenty of On-Premise resources
  • Easier to code internal solutions to utilize server resources (Event Handlers, Timer Jobs)
  • Full, robust versions of 3rd party tools can be implemented
  • Connections to other on premise data sources are simpler to create
  • You have the ultimate control of your data
  • You can control file types and storage limitations
  • 4 TB Content Database (Site Collection Limit)
  • Most limits are hardware based limits
  • Ability to use Multiple Managed Paths and Host Named Site Collections
  • Takes time and resources to keep servers maintained
    • SharePoint Updates/Releases/Security Updates/Patching
    • SQL Updates/Patching
    • Office Web Apps/Patching
    • Certificate Implementation and expense
    • VM Management
    • Storage Management
  • More cumbersome to allow external access – external users may need AD Accounts, VPN
  • Solution deployment requires system downtime
  • SharePoint Updates/Upgrades required to implement new features
  • Your internal or datacenter solution may not be as secure as Microsoft’s. See the Office 365 Trust Center for details

Pros: SharePoint Online (Office 365 Enterprise Subscription)

Cons: SharePoint Online (Office 365 Enterprise Subscription)

  • No patching, updating necessary
  • New features rolled out quarterly which will eventually take SharePoint Online from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016
  • Easy to enable external sharing without a need for VPN or AD Account Creation
  • No need to manage SQL Servers or Office Web Apps Servers
  • No need to manage certificates
  • Guaranteed uptime
  • Regulatory compliance reports – ISO 27001, EU model clauses, HIPAA BAA, and FISMA.
  • Connections to internal data sources more difficult (not impossible)
  • No ability to affect code on the server level – Timer Jobs or Event Handlers
  • Solutions deployed at the site collection level instead of the tenancy level
  • Little control over updates – features rolled out
  • Typically 3rd party tools for SharePoint Online are less feature rich
  • Must adhere to Microsoft’s blocked file types
  • No managed paths other than /site
  • Cannot control the CNAME url (
  • 1TB limit per site collection*
  • Storage allocation may require additional storage be purchased

    (10 GB + 500 MB * x users)

  • Always reference SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business: software boundaries and limits for the most up to date information