In a time of technological progress, businesses are unable to thrive without adapting to new technology. As companies grow, the need to remain operationally efficient and achieve economies of scale becomes a must. Additionally, the prerequisite to store along with a quick access to information is just inevitable.
Companies now have a choice to either store information at a Data Centre, or on a cloud platform. A cloud is an ‘off-premise’ facility that stores data on the Internet, whereas, a Data Centre is an ‘on-premise’ facility that stores data on the company’s local network. We will start by introducing Cloud Computing and Data Centre and then move on to comparing their security, cost and performance in order to assist you in making an informed decision.
Cloud Computing allows users to store and access computer programs, storage facilities, and numerous IT resources placed on a virtual cloud platform on the internet. Users simply need to rent space from cloud platforms in order to access data online which is remotely stored on the cloud. Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are a few of the popular and reliable platforms used by customers all over the world.
A Data Centre is a principal repository that consolidates a company’s data, IT operations and hardware to ensure operational efficiency. A centre usually consists of a single server, or a collection of servers, which host multiple users within a local area network. Data Centres are managed by in-house technicians, contrary to cloud facilities which are outsourced to third-party cloud service platforms.
The greatest benefit of keeping data on a cloud is that in case of an accident (fire, physical break-in, flooding, etc.), data on the cloud will remain unharmed. However, since data will be stored externally on a third-party server, it may be less secured compared to at a Data Centre. Unlike at Data Centres where the company itself is responsible for keeping information safe, trusting a third-party cloud supplier that may not have the appropriate security measures in place is a potential concern. Owing to a constant fear of cloud suppliers locking-in their clients, Cloud Computing yields another drawback as businesses cannot retain as much power over their data as they would at a Data Centre.
A Data Centre is physically linked to the company’s local network, which guarantees that only trusted personnel can access these resources. On the other hand, information on the cloud is more vulnerable to hacking. Therefore, cloud service providers need to implement advanced anti-malware and firewall systems to be well-equipped with resources and skills to fend-off hackers.
Setting up and maintaining a cloud does not demand the amount of time or capital that Data Centres require. Most cloud providers showcase a diverse range of payment plans to suit a company’s budget, and allow users to optimise service according to their needs. The Cloud may be used instantly after setting up, contrary to Data Centres that may take longer to optimise.
For smaller businesses, the cloud is a more economical choice compared to a Data Centre. Since a Data Centre requires building infrastructure from scratch, including buying hardware and software, it will take much longer to set up and may cost up to $25 million per year to maintain.
Storage and Performance
Storing data on a cloud is relatively more flexible as changes in capacity needs can be easily managed. Whereas, once the Data Centre is set up, capacity alterations require more capital expenditure.
Data Centres are optimal for companies that necessitate tailored, dedicated systems, giving them complete control over resources, facilities and infrastructure. In comparison, public clouds may experience performance deterioration since it is a shared platform, unless companies shift to private clouds. Moreover, stable and speedy internet connection is required for operations to run smoothly on clouds, which is not the case with Data Centres.
Table 1: Comparison Summary
Companies usually prefer Data Centres over clouds due to better performance and fulfillment of bespoke requirements. However, clouds are far more flexible and budget friendly. To aid your decision further, we recommend you take this quiz.
Some companies are also using Data Centres and Cloud Computing systems in conjunction, by placing sensitive data at the Data Centre and sharable resources on the cloud. At Rezaid, we offer both; we assist you in choosing the best course of action to help keep your data secure.