This blog has been sponsored by Singtel.
Traditionally, businesses set up their IT infrastructure such as server rooms on-site, and generally tucked away in the corner of the office. However, the 21st century has seen the advent of off-site, managed data centres as well as use of the cloud as an infrastructure service.
These technology solutions offer companies ways to manage capital expenditure, increase the reliability and efficiency of IT requirements, and to offload some IT management tasks.
Understanding the differences between data centres and the cloud will help you determine which solution best suits your company's needs.
Isn't a Data Centre the same as the Cloud?
Aside from the fact that data is stored on both, the two computing terms mean very different things. Data centres lets your company rent a physical space to install the IT equipment required for your business in a highly secure facility. Your company's data is stored on the systems in these centres. Management of the equipment can either be done by your own IT team or by external staff provided by the data centre.
Compare this to the cloud where data is stored on-premise or off-premise systems of networked computers, You can define which applications to host on the cloud and scale your computing resources as your business grows for enhanced agility and savings. All the back end and hardware requirements are managed by the cloud providers, who also perform necessary software updates and ongoing maintenance.
Data Centre or Cloud? Which to choose?
If your company requires customised, dedicated systems and full control over your mission critical data and equipment, a data centre ticks the right boxes. It's more suitable for organisations that run multiple types of applications and complex workloads. While you can also scale a data centre, you will need to buy, upgrade and install equipment as required to meet your needs.
On the other hand, with the cloud, companies are able to access potentially unlimited capacity and scale easily based on the vendor's service offerings. As it's managed by a 3rd party cloud provider, they take care of the hardware and software for you so you can enjoy greater peace of mind. The important decision to make is whether to employ a public, private or hybrid cloud solution; each one has its benefits and you can find one that suits your needs and budgets.
What about security on the Cloud versus a Data Centre?
IT security concerns over cyber-attacks or physical damage through fire, break-ins, or even hardware failure are things to consider when employing either a cloud or data-centre solution.
A data centre is physically located on an accessible site, which makes it easier to ensure that only those with company-approved credentials and equipment can access company data. Further, a reliable data centre will offer robust environments with first-rate physical security, highly reliable power supplies and air-conditioning systems with in-built redundancy.
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