Menu Close



CLOUD vs. On-Premise

See the difference side by side.

Considerations TOPS Expert Cloud (SaaS) On-Premise TOS

Cost and Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)

Pay-as-you-go, per month, variable cost. With ZERO up-front CAPEX costs.
High CAPEX due to up-front investments for hardware, software licensing, server room, air conditioning, IT staff, etc.


TOPS Expert Cloud is hosted on AWS servers and can be easily accessed through a device with a web browser.
Installed locally on a company’s computers and servers hence requires higher costs.

Infrastructure Required

Practically, zero investment in infrastructure required, customers just need a device with Internet access. The cost for using the infrastructure is included in a monthly fee.
The required infrastructure depends on the type of software and the database, the number of users (desktops), preferred network and other related infrastructure issues such as server room, air conditioning, licenses, IT staffs, etc.

Implementation Time

Minutes/Hours – faster start-up time as cloud computing environments are entirely set up right from the beginning. RBS needs to configure the system for the terminal through AWS, and it will be fully operational within minutes-hours.
Weeks/months – lead time is required for installation, setup and configuration. Implementation considers the infrastructure, people and decisions involved.

Installation Costs

Installation services are provided by RBS; included in a monthly fee.
High installation costs because hardware needs to be installed and staff/contractors need to be paid.


SaaS provider controls and maintains the service and is entrusted with customer data (need to have a clear security policy).
Full control of own systems and data.


Access to SaaS applications is via Internet, which is encrypted by Transport Layer Security. Also, AWS obliged to strict security standards.
Customer needs to take care of their security and insurance. So, there is no guarantee of data recovery in the case of a local natural disaster.


Local customization and interface via Web services.
Specific customization must be done directly to the core modules which can take some time and money to complete.


Hardware and software reside at the AWS site.
Customer must provide hardware/infrastructure and system platforms to run applications.

Remote Access

Accessible via browsers running on multiple platforms or OS’s
Limited access to business applications via browsers running on mobile devices.


Integration possibilities via Web service.
Integration with existing software is common practice.

Maintenance and Updates

RBS does software updates, so terminals will always be up to date with the most recent updates, as well as little to none downtime.
Updating features may need to be repeated many times, depending on the architecture of the on-premises solution. Upgrades or feature enhancements can take months or even years and can involve additional costs.


Resources can be easily scaled up or down automatically.
Human intervention is needed to add hardware and software for an increase in scale.

Economies of Scale

Economies of Scale for all organizations no matter the size, as cloud computing provides cost advantages and improved productivity
Mainly provides economies of scale for larger companies only.


Note that all these costs are estimated and are in US Dollars and for an example terminal with an annual throughput of 500,000 TEUs for a 3 year period.

Costs TOPS Expert Cloud On-Premise TOS


  • TOS Software License
  • TOS Software M&S
  • Other Software License(s)
  • Database/RDBMS
  • Security (Software/Hardware)
  • Facilities Costs (Space, Power, etc...)
  • Server Room
  • Air Conditioning
  • Server Racks
  • Server(s)
  • Network/Switches
  • Storage/SAN/Backup
  • IT Infrastructure Maintenance


  • Admin Staff
  • IT Staff
  • Maintenance Staff


$$$$ (Millions)


EXAMPLE: Terminal with an annual throughput of 500,000 TEUs for a 3 year period. Note that the estimated costs are in USD.

Considering on-premise includes:

  • 1 x Server for TOPX Application

    2 processors; 8 cores; 64GB memory; 200GB HHD storage)

  • 1 x Server for TOPO Application

    2 Processors; 8 cores; 64GB memory; 200GB HHD storage

  • 1 x Server for EDI/REPORT Application

    2 Processors; 8 cores; 32 GB memory; 500GB HHD storage

  • 1 x Database Server for TOPS Application

    2 Processors; 8 cores; 32GB memory; 500GB HHD storage