What to Consider When Migrating to ServiceDesk Plus On-Demand (Cloud) from ServiceDesk Plus On-Premise.

By Nigel Arnold, Set3 Solutions

What should you consider when migrating to ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus on-demand (cloud) from ManageEngine “servicedesk plus” on-premise edition? The two solutions are functionally very similar, with some exceptions, please see here for a comparison.

However, because of the architectural differences it’s not simply a case of exporting your on-premise configuration to the cloud edition. Hopefully this article will shed some light on the considerations for clients looking to ‘make the switch’.

Pros and Cons

With on-premise you have complete control over the application deployment. As such, you have full access to the backend database and more control over the customisation of the application space. The integration of ServiceDesk Plus with local services, such as Active Directory and any other on-premise applications is also simplified. Asset and network scanning of local and distributed networks is easily achieved.

With the Cloud edition of ServiceDesk Plus there are no equipment requirements and no requirement for on-going maintenance. Also, the application is immediately accessible from anywhere in the world with internet connectivity. However, you cannot access the database directly and customisation options are limited to those available via the GUI. Some on-premise software is still required for asset and network scanning and on-premise Active Directory integration.

What to Consider When Migrating to ServiceDesk Plus On-Demand (Cloud) from ServiceDesk Plus On-Premise. 1Public or Private Cloud?

It’s not always the case that you need to migrate to the full ‘public’ cloud edition of ServiceDesk Plus. There is an alternative option for your existing on-premise solution of ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus in the shape of ‘private’ cloud services such as Azure or Amazon AWS.

With these cloud services you can move your physical or virtual instance of ManageEngine Service Desk Plus into your own ‘private’ cloud space as a virtual server. Depending on your requirements this ‘cloud’ instance can be made publicly accessible and even linked to your existing physical locations using VPN services.

If you already run a private cloud space this approach may prove more beneficial than making the full switch to the cloud edition of ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus.


For on-premise the most common authentication method is via on-premise Active Directory with the option for Single-Sign-On so users can login directly to ServiceDesk Plus by simply clicking on a given URL link. Synchronisation with Active Directory can be scheduled to detect new user accounts.

With ServiceDesk Plus On-Demand (Cloud), as with most cloud systems, the critical issue is adding users to your system. This can be achieved via integration with Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite but user synchronisation is performed manually. On-premise Active Directory can still be used to populate your user database and provide user authentication (via SAML/ADFS) but you will need an on-premise software utility to access Active Directory , either manually or periodically as a scheduled Windows task.

It is important to note that any domains you wish to use with ServiceDesk Plus On-Demand must be verified in the cloud configuration. If not, Zoho user account invitation emails will be sent to new users.

Asset Management

The same range of capabilities, in general, exist in ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus On-Demand (Cloud) as there are in the on-premise edition. However, in order to achieve interactive network and asset scanning from the on-demand (cloud) edition you must install scanning probe software on suitable windows host devices in relevant parts of your physical network infrastructure.


It should be noted that the range integrations for ServiceDesk Plus On-Demand also differs from the on-premise edition, being more focused on cloud systems and services such as Office 365 and Teams for example. As such, it currently lacks some of the ServiceDesk Plus On-Premise integration capabilities with other ManageEngine on-premise solutions.

Data Migration Limitations

Data from an existing ServiceDesk Plus On-Premise instance can be transferred to the cloud edition as a one-time migration process but there are some limitations to be aware of.


All requests, with their conversations, resolutions, attachments, notes, and notifications.

The Resolved Time field is currently unavailable under Request Details on the cloud, but it can be viewed under the request list view. You can also generate a report for this field.

Solutions (Knowledge Base)

All articles will be migrated, but they will be available under different IDs.

Other Data Modules

Contract, Asset, Change, CMDB (Configuration items, CI Relationships) – these modules are not covered by the migration process but can be exported as a report and imported into the cloud edition.

Admin Configuration

No Admin configuration such as Business rules, SLAs, POs, category subcategory, items, problems, changes, etc. can be migrated from On-Premise to Cloud and these must be recreated manually.

Other Data Unavailable for Migration

The following data cannot be migrated:

  • Inline images
  • File attachments from request resolution
  • Worklog
  • Request history
  • Archived request
  • Request trash
  • Requests older than 3 years
  • Archived requests or requests in Trash
  • Reports

If you need more information with migrating your application, or have any questions please contact us here.

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