iPaas or not? Options for moving ETL to cloud

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Like moving house, shifting your ETL to the cloud can come with equal amounts of excitement and trepidation.

To plan your shift effectively, and ease your nerves, you'll want to understand your options so you can make the right decision.

Let's explore the landscape and look at the advantages and drawbacks of iPaaS.

What is iPaaS?

Here is a definition of iPaaS:

iPaaS is a term coined by Gartner and stands for “integration Platform as a Service”. It is a cloud service that enables the development, execution and governance of integration flows. These flows connect all your apps and data whether they are on-premises or in the cloud. iPaaS is an alternative to self-hosted data integration.

What to consider when looking at iPaaS vs. self-hosted

So you can better decide between iPaaS and self-hosted data integration, let's break down the subject into different topics. For each topic we'll look at the pros and cons of each approach.


With self-hosted data integration, you have more flexibility and more options — you can choose VMs, containers or go serverless.

iPaaS comes with less flexibility — you have limited choice around customization and configuration. However, iPaaS is faster to set up, and your service provider will take care of everything. For example, you don't have to worry about hardware and databases.

Pricing model

The pricing for iPaaS and self-hosted varies. There are a few important differences to consider:

  • There are three main pricing models: fixed price, by data volume, or per user.
  • iPaaS is usually more usage-based (by data volume or per user).
  • Pricing will include two components. First, the price of the hardware, and second the price of the license/software. iPaaS will have the hardware pricing built-in, whereas self-hosted won't.
  • Typically, self-hosted comes with fixed pricing, which will help you streamline the budgeting process.

iPaaS or not? Options for moving your ETL to cloud - watch now


For both iPaaS and self-hosted, support is crucial. There are also some differences between the two to consider:

  • With iPaaS, you will rely on your vendor for support on nearly all technical issues or software bugs.
  • You need to pay attention to SLAs, as well as the times (and time zones) of support for both methods of deployment, but especially for iPaaS.
  • If you choose self-hosted, you’ll need to do it yourself - you need all the in-house skills to keep everything running.
  • Ultimately, with self-hosted you are not relying on a third-party. However, that means more work for you.

Data location

Data location is crucially important to consider. There are data residency laws and privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA. And, as costs for data regulation breaches run high, you won't want to skip over this topic lightly. For some companies, data regulations could rule out the option of an iPaaS solution.

You'll have greater flexibility (as well as greater responsibility) if you take the self-hosted route. However, it really depends on what sector your organization is in and where it does business; for many, iPaaS will be fine.


Finally, let's take a look at security.

  • For iPaaS, your data security depends on your vendor and their infrastructure. This means you have less control over your permissions, but also less first-hand responsibility.
  • For self-hosted, you'll have greater control to dictate your own policies and permissions, which means your own IT team will need to make sure your environment is secure and handle any arising security issues. Also, consider that the software you use, or its dependencies, might have known exploits that the vendor will need to patch - make sure your vendor is transparent in how they do this.

So, which is best?

Ultimately, iPaaS and self-hosted each come with their own benefits. If you're thinking about moving your ETL to cloud, you'll need to consider each aspect and decide which is right for your organization based on your requirements and your available in-house resource.

With iPaaS you'll enjoy a simpler experience that's easier to deploy and configure. With self-hosted data integration, you'll have to use more of your own team's time, but you benefit from greater control and flexibility over your environment.

Choosing iPaaS does typically come with higher costs as you pay for the convenience. So that is something else to consider.

How CloverDX can help

If you do go down the route of self-hosted data integration, you can use CloverDX. The platform offers VM-based installation along with containers. What's more, you can configure CloverDX to run in a serverless environment if you need it to.

Other advantages of CloverDX include:

  • Flexible deployments. You can deploy in the cloud or on-premises.
  • Create an enterprise data backbone. Regardless of the scale of your data challenge, CloverDX can help.
  • Tackle messy data. Data cleansing, simplifying, restructuring, and enriching data is straightforward with CloverDX.
  • Meet tight deadlines. The software coupled with an expert consulting team will accelerate your data projects.

If you'd like to talk with our team to see if we could help solve your data needs, just get in touch.

Watch the full webinar that this blog is based on here: iPaaS or not: Options for moving your ETL to cloud

iPaaS or not? Options for moving your ETL to cloud - watch now

Posted on March 28, 2022
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