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Cloud vs. Data Centres: What’s best for your business?

A few years ago we didn’t know what the cloud was but now it’s become the norm to operate pretty much all of our applications from it, as has the use of data centres. There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to making the decision about which platform is best suited for your business needs, which is made more challenging when you realise that both data management solutions are just opposite sides of the same coin. Both consist of many of the same benefits, but differ in terms of their functionality and intended purpose. In this blog we investigate the different aspects of making use of a public cloud service or a private data centre to store and manage business-critical data and run applications.

So what is the difference between the cloud and data centres?  

As mentioned above, the two data solutions are essentially the same; extensions of virtualisation technology. While both the cloud and data centres are scalable, secure and ensure business continuity, it’s the control and ownership of the two that separates them. When opting for a data centre you rent physical storage space from a data-centre provider that controls the space, the equipment and the software required to operate the centre. Alternatively, when storing data in the cloud it can be done both on or off site and you are in control of the application hosted on your cloud network. Cloud providers are also responsible for the management of the software and hardware required to run online applications.

The importance of security

When it comes to making the choice between investing in the cloud, or making use of data centres, cost and security are the biggest deciding factors. Concerns of online security and comprehensive protection from cyber attacks and data breaches as well as data loss and recovery are at the top of the list. Entrusting your data storage and management to a data centre provider ensures that there’s restricted access to the physical servers along with comprehensive physical security barriers. Premium data centre providers are also able to provide all of the necessary infrastructure to ensure that the servers are well-maintained and safeguarded against power outages and environmental effects. When employing the services of a cloud provider, you hand over your data to a third party vendor, and while you don’t need to worry about the physical hardware, you need to ensure that you choose a provider that will run regular updates and the necessary end-to-end internet security software to protect your business-critical data. You are also responsible for ensuring that the provider has reliable backup redundancies should they experience any hardware complications on their end.

When should you use data centres?

Data centres are best suited for businesses seeking a complex and tailored environment for their IT equipment. The structure of a data centre allows you to control where and how your data is stored according to the different functions they fulfil. If you require an intricate IT system to run and store your business operations and applications, a data centre will provide you with the best infrastructure and flexibility to do so. With data centres, you also have ultimate control over the security of your data by limiting access to authorised personnel.

When should you use the cloud?

In essence, every business regardless of size makes use of the cloud in one form or another. The cloud does provide a more flexible growth model and is easier to scale. But when it comes to the need for the storage and management of complex operations, the cloud doesn’t offer the same level of modification as data centres do. When using a third party cloud provider you also don’t have as much control over IT resources and are reliant on the strength and availability of their data network - which might limit access to your data.

Ultimately, deciding between the two data management solutions comes down to each business’ unique requirements. At Internet Solutions, we provide all of our clients with a truly bespoke data centre solution that gives them the freedom to control and tailor the management of their data. Our data centres are secure and offer state-of-the art technology to ensure that all business operations - no matter how complex - can be carried out safely with the greatest of ease. To find out more about the inner workings and benefits of data centres, download our eBook.

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