Cloud Computing vs. Data Centre

It doesn’t matter the size of your business or what industry you are in, you will gather data about your customers and suppliers. All data needs to be kept somewhere and it needs to be stored securely. You can either store it on your premises in a data centre or rely on a third party cloud for your data storage. So you need to know, which is the right solution for your business?

The Cloud

Cloud-based solutions mean you are storing your data in another companies data centre. Even though reputable cloud hosting vendors ensure their employees undergo background checks, some companies just aren’t happy with someone else handling and possibly accessing their data that they are responsible for. If data is compromised, your company will be the one who ends up suffering the consequences. There are companies that feel that if they are going to be responsible, then they are going to be the ones to take on the responsibility of security. Additionally, there is the issue of accessibility. If your Internet connection goes down, you can’t access your remote data and that can cause big problems.

Security is also seen as an advantage for a cloud-based host. Reputable companies utilise highly trained, experienced staff members to make sure that their data centre is configured properly, constantly maintained, and (at the very least) adequately secured. Other benefits that are associated with cloud-based data is cost and scalability. Because you aren’t laying out any up-front costs to purchase hardware and infrastructure that will be outdated, you see instant savings. Also, with cloud computing vendors, you only pay for what you use. This leads to the issue of scalability. When you need additional space, it’s readily available. It can be a bit more expensive, but it is there when you need it. Similarly, if your data-storage needs to be reduced you are free to do so.

The Data Centre

There are a number of advantages to using your own data centre. For one, you have complete control over your data and equipment which means no one, other than the people you allow, will have access to either. Because you own the equipment, you also control exactly what hardware, and software, you are using, making customizations much easier, because you don’t need permissions from anyone else like a cloud provider. In addition if you want to run any legacy systems, you can set up an environment that will cater to your unique requirements. This gives you flexibility when it comes to migrating to a newer system on your own terms.

On-site data centres are made up of equipment that you purchase and keep on site to serve your data storage needs. This can be seen as a disadvantage; you have to purchase the server hardware along with networking hardware, but it will allow you to customise your system to suit your needs. Along with the cost of purchasing all of this equipment, you will also need to hire a staff to configure, customize, manage, maintain, and secure it all. These staff need to be highly trained, and the staff members need to have their skills kept up to date. Finally, some people see this model as limited when it comes to scalability, you need space to grow your data centre, but also the capital to invest. With some planning in the initial design of the data centre, you can mitigate scalability to a degree, with space for expansion and future-proof systems.

There isn’t an easy answer of whether you should use your own data centre or the cloud.  It comes down to what you require from it, what you have the budget for, and what will benefit your business the most.

If you have questions on whether you should move on to the cloud or use your own data centre, why not contact us!