Choosing between the cloud storage and a data center can be dilemma for a business. Cloud storage is a scalable solution that involves redundancy and flexibility to access the data from anywhere, at the same time, this option makes the organizational data vulnerable to cyber threats.
Another concern that the businesses have, despite of being the fact that a data center is a fully customized data storage option, it is costly for a small and medium business. Also, it can only be accessed by the corporate network and not by any other networks or outside of the organization.
In some cases, the businesses remains restricted from using the cloud storage as per their industries and government policies and regulations.
So before you make the decision to choose between a cloud storage and a data center, let us first understand the difference between the two.
What is a Cloud Storage Service?
It is type a data center which is not located on your company’s physical premises, but on the internet. The service gives access to your business data through the internet. All the maintenance and updates are carried out by the cloud provider. Also, the cloud provider owns multiple data centers at several geographic locations to keep you data safe in the case of an outages and other failures.
What is a Data Centre?
If a server hardware is installed and maintained in a company to store data, it is said to be its own data center. All the server hardware is maintained by the company and in its premises. All the data can be accessed by the local network. In most of the cases, the data center is maintained by an in-house IT department of the company.
Making the Decision between the Cloud Storage and Data Centre
Making a decision between the cloud platform and setting your own data center, you should first consider three important factors to consider, along with the pros and cons of each storage solution.
- Customization over Scalability:
If you need a dedicated system that are able to grant them a total control over data and hardware, a data center is the right option to go for. The reason is, only the company uses this hardware infrastructure on a local network. This option is more suitable for a business that manages several types of applications and complex workloads.
It should be noted that a data center has limited capacity. A business is only responsible to purchase and install any additional equipment as well as the latest technologies if it wants to expand its data center’s storage and workload.
On the other hand, a cloud-hosted data system has unlimited storage capacity. Also, this is dependent on your vendor’s offerings and service plans. One of the disadvantages of this approach is, the business has less control over the hardware which is located remotely. The reason is the cloud vendor owns and manages the entire data center system.
If you are using the services of a cloud storage provider, you will lay all your trust about the security to them. It is now the duty of the cloud provider to make sure that is offers the most up-to-date security certifications. Further, if your cloud resides on several data centers that are present at different locations, each of these locations will need a proper set of cybersecurity measures.
When all your data is online, anyone who has the right credentials can access all your cloud data from anywhere, the only thing that is needed is an internet connection. This feature is convenient, however, it opens a wide array of access points. Thus, protection of all these points is important to make sure that all the information shared through them is secure.
On the other hand, a data center is physically connected to the local network of your business. This feature makes more secure as only people who have company-approved credentials and devices are able to access stored apps and information. The business becomes responsible for its own security.
If a business builds its own data center right from the scratch, it takes a lot of time. Also, all the tasks related to maintenance and administration are the sole responsibility of your company. If the business plans to have a large data center, it can cost a company up to $10 million to $25 million each year.
Thus, a cost effective way is to use the cloud services for the small businesses. The reason is, a cloud service do not require as much time or money to set up and run as the data center. Also, the cloud service can be used almost immediately upon registration and any time. The best part is, as you change your data expansion needs over time, the cloud service provider will be able to scale your service up.
Pros of the Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is preferred by most of the businesses as it has a lot of benefits. On the other hand, there are several disadvantages associated with it. Some of them are discussed below.
- Capacity: Cloud data storage services offer unlimited storage capacity and it all depends on the offerings of your vendor along with the service plans. Also, you can easily increase or decrease your storage capacity by only a few clicks.
- Third Party to Manage Security: You will share all your data with a third party if you are using the services of a cloud vendor. You do need to worry about having a complete control over your data security. It is the responsibility of cloud vendor to take care of all the data security. Also, the cloud provider is responsible to maintain up-to-date security certifications for the business.
- Access from anywhere: Anyone who has the right credentials is able to access all your cloud data from anywhere. All you need is a stable internet connection. This also gives your employees the authority to access business data from their mobile devices. But, sit is also important that your team is well trained to meet the remote cybersecurity needs and best practices if they are accessing data and information from their smartphones.
- Low Cost: A cloud storage service is cost-effective, especially for small companies and it can scale the storage services up or down quickly as needed by the business. Most companies offer a range of subscription plans to account for this.
Cons of the Cloud Storage
- Limited Access Control: one of the biggest drawback of the cloud storage is absence of control on the hardware that is located remotely. The business will be dependent on the cloud service provider to offer any customization options for your storage system.
- Dependency on Internet Connection: You will need a reliable broadband internet connection if you are planning to use cloud storage for your business. Because, if your internet stops to work, all your business operations will stop operating abruptly.
- Online Cyber Threats: Personally handling the task of network security is not required when you are using cloud storage. On the other had, another concern is lax security. The reason is, cloud storage is entirely web-based and is able to give access anywhere and anytime. Also, it has a number of access points that needs additional protection to make sure all the data is transmitted through them. Unfortunately, all your data is under the threat of cyber-attack once it is online.
Pros of data centers
- Full Control: If you want a dedicated system that gives you a complete control, a data center is the best option to go for. You have the hardware as well as the software at your control.
- Secure: Being physically connected to your company’s local network, the data center is highly secure. Such an arrangement makes it easier to make sure that only people authorized by the business gets the access to all the data and information at the data center.
- Increased Productivity: A data center that is located in the organization gives quick and easy access to the information for the employees. Streamlined information sharing improves the overall workflow and enhances the processes. All this boosts the productivity for the overall organization.
Cons of data centers
- Limited Capacity: There are several benefits of having a data center at the business location. But, the fact is, they have a limited capacity. To add more storage, the business has to purchase more equipment and also spend money to add the latest technology.
- Limited accessibility: The corporate network can only be used to access the data warehouse. If you are outside of your location, accessing the data center becomes difficult.
Which one to Choose between the Two
Making a choice between the data center and an online storage service depends on the type of business you are dealing with. Choose the one as you need to use your resources for the business. For most of the businesses, cloud storage services is the best way to go for.
So you need to consider the both the pros and cons for both the services before making your final decision.
Source – Business News daily