Every business in the modern arena needs some way of managing their important data. If you’re not all that clued-up when it comes to tech, you may think that the terms “data centre” and “cloud” are interchangeable buzz words, but there’s a world of difference between the two systems. If you’re mulling over which one your business should lean on more, here’s a brief guide to both systems.

Cloud vs Data Centres

By Global Access Point [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What’s the Difference?

Cloud vs Data Centres - Differences

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The main thing that differentiates cloud storage from data centres is that the cloud is off-premises and stores data using the internet, whereas data centres are on-premises, hardware-based, and stores data within the business’s local network.

While you can use both systems to store your business’s data, only a data centre can store equipment like servers. Cloud service providers use data centres to house their resources and services. Many vendors also own several different data centres in different geographic locations, in order to protect their data availability in the case of outages and other technical failures.

When you’re weighing up whether to use cloud computing or opt for data centre building, the main things you need to consider are the relative costs and your security needs.

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What’s More Secure?

Due to the cloud being an external computing system, it can often be less secure or take more work to secure than a data centre. With a data centre, you’ll have direct control over your own security measures, whereas cloud computing means relying on a third party to mitigate any kind of threat to your data. Each data

Each data centre in each location will need its own security measures, and you’ll need to ensure that they’re all working under the most modern and reliable cybersecurity certifications. Because a data centre will be hooked up to your business’ local network, it will be much easier for you to restrict access, and make sure that only people with the right credentials get access privileges.

The cloud allows access from any device with an internet connection, and while this is certainly more convenient, it also opens up far more access points. These all need to be secured if you want to make sure all your data transferred to and from these points are safe.

What’s More Expensive?

Cloud vs Data Centres - Cost

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By and large, cloud infrastructures are the most cost-effective solution for any business.

Due to the fact that you’ll have to build a data centre completely from scratch, and that you’ll be responsible for your own admin and maintenance work, data centres take much longer to get up and running and can end up costing your business millions a year to operate.

On the other hand, cloud systems take minimal time and money to set up and start using. Most providers will offer you a range of affordable packages, one for every kind of budget and scale. If your business is relatively small and resources are stretched, then the cloud is almost certainly the best option for you.

Cloud vs Data Centres - Infrastructure

By BalticServers.com (I took this photo) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

If choosing between the cloud and your own data centre was making your head hurt, I hope this post has cleared the issue up!