SharePoint 2013 On-Premise vs Office 365 Online

27 November 2015


  • Purpose
  • Disclaimer
  • Overview
  • Key features
  • Pros and Cons
  • Summary


The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of SharePoint 2013 Cloud vs On-Premise.


Information provided in this document is for reference use only. Information in this document is prepared based on prior projects experience,, and web research. The information in this document does not guaranty full accuracy of the items explained. For any questions or concerns please contact Nagaraj Yerram at


Key features…


 On Premise


Infrastructure deployment & maintenance

Internal IT Support team maintains the SharePoint farm on premise, and regularly applies Microsoft patches and updates.

Microsoft manages the environment and ensures all updates and patches are deployed.

Availability & Business Continuity (BC)

Varies by company's internal capabilities and SLAs.

Microsoft’s SLA ensures 99.9% availability. Data protection services are provided to prevent the loss of SharePoint Online  data. Backups are performed every 12 hours and retained for 14 days.


On premise, Active directory is used for authentication.

Can be configured to authenticate with on premise Active Directory.

Look and feel customization

Full support.

Full support.

Custom App Development

Development of custom app has more control and take less time to develop.

Development of custom app is different form on premise, and could take more time to develop.

Cost Involved

Purchase/Maintain Hardware, Software licenses etc.

Annual subscriptions for Office 365 Plans billed on a per user basis.

Information Security

Dependent on internal capabilities.

Information in MDS meets industry-specific security standards

Compliance Standard

Dependent on internal capabilities.

Verified by third party authors

Storage needs

Expensive storage devices, Site Collection -More than 100GB, Scalable  Storage Size

Cheap storage cost, Site Collection- up to 100Gb, Maximum content in single tenant -O365 plan based


Product features compared 


On Premise


 Product Features

Support for complete enterprise features.

Office 365 cloud version missing some    features.

 Content features


Supports most of the Content features.

 Site features.


Supports most of the Site features.

 Search features


Supports most of the features.

 Social features


Supports full Social features.

 Insights features


Does not support all Insights features.  Missing features such as  Business Intelligence Center, Performance Point Services, Dashboards & Scorecards, and SQL Server reports integration.

For complete feature comparison visit: SharePoint Online Services Description.


On-Premise Pros and Cons 



Control Performance

Cost of internal resources (staff, hardware, software, etc.)

Scale Up and Scale Out

Additional Geographic redundancy costs

Reduces Bandwidth requirements

Disaster Recovery dependent on internal capabilities

Fully Customizable

Scale Up/Out Cost(SW/HW)

Full Server and SQL Database

Patching Servers/farms

Migrate as Needed

Extra configurations for External Collaboration

Uptime 99.99%

More ISP Bandwidth

Multiple Data centers

Limited Customizations

Geographically redundant

Possible Storage Costs

Shorted release cycle

Recovery SLAs

Managed Services (SaaS)

No Server access

Pay as you go (Low Cost)


Reduced impact on internal IT resources






SharePoint Cloud option was first introduced in 2010. In the past, there have been some major differences between SharePoint Online and SharePoint On Premise. Since then, Microsoft has been working towards release parity, meaning that SharePoint Online will be the equivalent of SharePoint On Premise. With the release of SharePoint 2013 that gap has come down significantly. With that said, there are still integration points and advanced functionality that are only available with SharePoint On Premise.

All Office 365 plans include the SharePoint Online service, but not all plans support all SharePoint features. E3 and E4 plans support most features. Cloud option is missing SharePoint’s some of the Business Intelligence features.

Could and On-Premise options come with its own advantages and disadvantages. Most of the information has been summarized in this document for reference purpose only.


Categories: SharePoint


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