The terms “Data Center” and “Cloud” are frequently used terms in IT discussions. Though understood to perform the same task of storing data and provide centralized applications/compute, both differ significantly.
While a Data Center is essentially a part of on premise IT infrastructure of an organization, Cloud is an off-premise resource for data storage that is accessed over internet.
Data Center vs Cloud
Detailed differentiation between Traditional Data Center and Cloud Data Center is shared in the below table –
|Infrastructure & Applications||Dedicated to one customer or organization||Shared across customers|
|Services model||Dedicated team of the customer/organization||Shared services across customers|
|Location||The physical location of data center can be within or outside the organisation’s premises||Cloud Data center is located off-premise in service provider location|
|Accessed via||Dedicated and reliable WAN links like MPLS, P2P connections.||Primarily accessed over unreliable Internet|
|Security||More secured and better security can be implemented based on respective companies IT policy||Less Secured than traditional Data Center|
|Setup and upgrade time||Data Center takes much longer to be provisioned and high on operational cost||Almost available immediately based on subscription/payment by respective customer.
Cloud systems can be built within moments and can be de-commissioned instantly.
|Implementation and operating cost||High since dedicated servers and supporting infrastructure needs to be provisioned.||Low since shared applications and servers are provisioned which multiple customers leverage.
Hence the cost is shared across customers.
|Scalability||Low on scalability. Capacity expansion of Data center requires to spend the significant amount of money to match increasing workloads||Cloud facility is highly scalable and quickly adapts to your business needs. Cloud offers unlimited capacity expansion based on vendor’s products and service plans.|
|Reliability||Data Centers are generally less reliable than Cloud Data Centers||Cloud servers use multiple data centers in different geographical locations with appropriate backup. This provides safety from unwarranted downtime|
|Performance||Traditional Data Centers are built to handle various types of simple and complex application workloads. Hence high on application performance||Cloud environment is generally a best effort based service and may not offer the performance equivalent to traditional data Center|
|Control||High control since owned and managed by company IT team or under strict control of 3rd party.||Very limited control because it is owned and managed by 3rd party|
|Management||Completely performed by internal IT team.||Managed and provisioned by cloud service provider|
Download the comparison table: Data Center vs Cloud