On-Premises Collaboration

By Ramez Rafla
January 9, 2020


Collaboration tools are simply amazing! If done right, you become so much more efficient and productive. Nothing is lost (not just documents, but also messages & history), things are easy to find, and your data is safe and secured.

Some industry verticals have heightened need for on-premises solution (or at least, their own cloud). These industries are stuck using applications on their computer and saving them in a local shared drive (which by the way, increases risk of ransomware). Even if you are not in such a vertical, you may want to improve your compliance and reduce your risk of getting slapped with a big fine (or worse, bad publicity).

In this article we will quickly go through how it works (not too technical) from an infrastructure as well as user standpoint.

Approach #1 - OneOffice cloud

This means we host it for you in a separate server. We create just for you

  1. Your own application URL (e.g. mycompany.OneOffice.ca or app.mycompany.com)
  2. Your own database instance (so you don't mix your data with anyone else)
  3. Your own storage buckets (usually on Huawei Object Storage or Amazon S3)

The advantage of this method is that you still get the benefit of our monitoring and automatic updates, while being compliant (since technically you are separate from others)

If you are looking for maximum compliance without having your own datacanter, this solution is for you as it reduces your overhead while maintaining a strong defensive posture

Approach #2 - In your own managed cloud space

This means you host on Huawei Cloud, Amazon or Azure but in your own virtual machines. We typically don't like to get involved in such cases as we have to manage others' cloud for them. There are less economies of scale for us. So you are likely staring down a higher bill.

A hybrid however, is that we duplicate our infrastructure for you and create your own separate sub-cloud within our infrastructure. You then get the benefit of being 100% yours while having our experienced engineers handling it (And of course, we will not duplicate everything. For example, server monitoring and backup tools will be reused)

This hybrid approach is not that much different from the prior method, which brings no substantial benefit but more costs.

Approach #3 - In your data center

We have optimized deployment technology to make it easier and faster to deploy locally. We can either use virtualized machines or actual physical machines. The solution is made up of (note: at the simplest level -- we may need to setup a load balancer etc.):

  1. One or more application server(s)
  2. A database server
  3. A storage server - or reuse existing storage

You would point your users to a local URL. Access from home is done either through VPN (preferred) or a public https link

Your storage disks are likely backed up already, so only the database needs to be properly backed up (incremental and full)

We recommend a redundant sync-ed install in another location (such as another office). The ideal is double redundancy - i.e. 3 installs, but at the very least another sync-ed copy of your install.


In this article we went through how to securely and easily host your own data. MS 365 and Google Docs do not offer 100% hosted solutions, making them unsuitable for organizations with strong compliance needs or for the desire of cost-effective independence and security.

This is, after all, why we built OneOffice.

Ramez Rafla
Ramez Rafla is the CEO and founder of OneOffice. Having completed a B.Eng, M.Eng as well as an MBA, he considers himself a lifelong learner. When he is not causing too much trouble in the company, he enjoys spending time with his wife and playing with his three kids

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