What is the difference between a data center and the cloud?

To prepare for the future, business leaders must think about new ways to deliver IT infrastructure. Remote and hybrid workforces put pressure on companies making it critical to expand their IT applications and infrastructure as part of their long-term growth and stability strategies.

What is a data center?

Data centers are facilities that businesses like yours use to hold their business applications and data. While not every private or public organization needs to invest in a complex data center, many large enterprises demand it. With so many on-demand cloud service solutions available today, many avoid the expense of building and maintaining servers themselves. A large enterprise will likely have multiple data centers, possibly even in multiple regions. This gives the organization flexibility in how it backs up its information and protects against natural and human-made disasters such as floods, storms, and terrorism.

How do data centers work?

Data centers typically contain the same components. They hold servers, storage devices, cables, and advanced high bandwidth internet connections. Beyond the hardware and the software that lives in the data centers, computers and storage devices require a lot of electricity and proper cooling and ventilation. This is a feat sometimes tricky for individual organizations to maintain on their own.

What are the benefits of a data center?

Where would we be without data centers? As modern life becomes increasingly digital, the need to store all of the data, information, content, applications, and services becomes noticeably more critical. Data is the biggest asset of today's enterprise. As technology continues to change the way organizations do business, the need for data and power increases. As hybrid infrastructures consisting of on-premises and cloud-based systems become more and more common within companies, the complexity of deployment significantly increases. This is why many organizations rely on partners or cloud computing vendors to provide virtual infrastructure for cloud solutions. This alleviates the need to maintain their own data center, which requires significant staff-hours and personnel.

Benefits of Working with a Cloud Partner for Your Data center

Reducing Costs

The cost to power a data center has been growing, and cooling needs have increased significantly in recent years. Using a shared data center will help offset and share this cost with others.

Uptime guaranteed

By outsourcing your computing needs to the cloud, you reduce the worry about unavailable data. Cloud solutions are redundant and have numerous backups. They are more secure than traditional data storage methods. With a cloud partner, you won't have to worry about power failures, natural disasters, or component failures; they handle it all.

Improving efficiency 

Cloud vendors support many computing needs at a time to more efficiently distribute resources among many users. Instead of managing your own power needs, hiring a technician to fix server issues, and maintaining your own data center, you can rely on your cloud partner.

What is the cloud, and where did the cloud come from?

When an organization wants to start a data center migration or "move to the cloud," this means that they want to move their IT infrastructure off site. Before we dive too deeply into moving to the cloud, however, let's start with understanding where the name comes from. As the internet first became popular, the cloud became the metaphor to describe how telephone networks connected. The cloud doesn't exist in one central location, and it isn't just one gigantic cloud. The cloud is the architecture of computing where applications, storage, data, and development tools are made available through the internet. You won't be able to touch the hardware itself in the cloud physically, but you control it remotely via a web interface.

One of the most straightforward cloud computing examples to understand is Microsoft's OneDrive. You can store and access data over the internet while not consuming storage space on your device. This service frees up storage on your device, allows for on-demand access to data and content from any device, and protects your information with passwords, backups, and more.

What is the cloud?

You can think of the cloud as the ability to access services and hardware on demand via the internet. Instead of needing to install and manage your own data center, you can partner with a vendor who can do it all for you.

There are four types of cloud infrastructures:

Public Cloud

Public cloud deployments occur when the entire computing infrastructure is hosted by the cloud provider, who delivers services to its customers over the internet. This type of deployment usually is multi-tenant and allows for easy scalability.

Private Cloud

A private cloud provides the highest level of security and control. It is exclusively used by one organization but can be hosted at their location or a cloud provider's data center.

Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private clouds. Usually, businesses use this type of deployment when they want to maintain their critical applications and data with their own security infrastructure and control but deploy their other applications with the cloud provider.

Multi-Cloud or Community Cloud

The difference between the hybrid cloud and multi-cloud is the use of numerous computing and storage devices connected to the cloud within a single architecture.

How does the cloud work?

type of cloud services: iaas, paas, saas

Sometimes referenced as the cloud computing stack, cloud computing services have four categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). Many other types of "as-a-service” are arising, and you might also see things like applications, databases, information, integration, management, processes, security, storage, and testing as services.

What are the benefits of the cloud?

The cloud makes things simple. Deploying in the cloud can reduce your time to success and improve your computing infrastructure's overall efficiency and effectiveness. The good thing is, you won't have to hire an army of IT folks to maintain and monitor systems or swap hard drives in a data warehouse.

  • 24x7x365 support
  • Substantial savings on capital costs
  • Quicker and easier deployment
  • Ability to increase your storage capacity as needed
  • API access
  • Virtualization
  • Location independence
  • Device independence
  • Online interface and control
  • Multi-tenancy
  • Real-time access
  • Ability to pay per use

Although you might not realize it, you are likely utilizing some form of cloud computing right now. Any time we use things like email, stream movies online, or save files to something like OneDrive, we are using the cloud. For businesses, the cloud has become a critical part of and remaining competitive and facilitating future growth. For more information about the cloud and managing your company’s telecommunications technology, follow the LinkSource blog!

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