The Difference Between Data Centers and The Cloud

We live in a world of progress. Not only that, but we live in a world where progress is fast. Just a few years ago, smartphones were nothing but a luxury and the reliance on search engines was much less prominent. These are now such integral parts of our lives that we almost take them for granted. With that said, technology is still developing at a pace that can leave us almost uncomfortable. While some of us are still figuring out how to use a smartphone, others are thinking about how they can integrate their phones with their self-driving smart cars or how they can increase the performance of their virtual reality goggles.

Another aspect of modern society that people are still getting used to is the idea of data centers and what is known simply as “the cloud”. These two aspects of technology are very similar to each other, but they also differ in specific ways. This article explains some of these similarities and differences, as well as how they relate to your business.

Data Centers - CCI Technology

Characteristics Shared by Both

In order to understand how data centers and the cloud are similar to (or different from) one another, we must first understand what they are. Data centers are library-like spaces where information is stored on a collection of computers and digital storage units. The cloud is similar, but while data centers are usually located in a singular space, the cloud is spread over multiple systems.

Both are used to store large amounts of information. When information is collected by your business, it needs to go somewhere. If it is simply a small amount of information, like a list of names or a two-page document, it can be stored on a computer, and it would not take up much space. In reality, much more information than that is collected by businesses every day, but it still needs to be stored somewhere. This is why data centers (and the cloud, to an extent) exist – to store the massive amounts of information a business collects in any given period.

The Key Differences

A major difference is network ownership. With the cloud, the network is owned by a third party like Amazon or Google, while ownership of the network falls to the business owner or shareholders where data centers are concerned. This brings us to the next difference, which is that the cloud requires an internet connection to be used, while data centers do not. Since data centers are local networks, a business can connect to them directly (if the infrastructure is on the physical premises of the business).

If you are a business owner and looking into this kind of technology, you are probably wondering about costs. You know that your business needs one or the other, but you are still not sure which one would be the best choice. Unfortunately, it is still not that simple. Operational costs for the cloud are significantly lower, but this is offset by possible security concerns and connectivity requirements. Since the cloud is owned and operated by a third party, a business that uses it has no guarantee that their information is safe other than the word of the third party in question. Digital security breaches can happen and can be potentially disastrous. In addition, the cloud requires a consistent internet connection – as soon as the internet is down, none of that information will be available to the business and the company is negatively affected until connectivity resumes. The latter problem does not happen often, but it can happen often enough to affect the bottom line.

Contact us if you want to know more about bespoke data center solutions for your business.

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