Before you’re ready to get your business up and running, you need to make one major decision: will you utilize a data center or the cloud? Or maybe you already have a strong data center and are curious about how the cloud differs. Read on to see some key comparisons of the two, and see which one is best for you!
Table of Contents
1. What is a Data Center?
A data center is a physical location where a business’s important data and infrastructure are stored. It includes servers, firewalls, and routers and is typically used for file sharing and storage, CRM, ERP, and large machine data. The average data center costs $45 to $300 per U per month to rent (via Digital Service Consultants).
2. What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing, on the other hand, is when all those services listed above are delivered virtually over the web. Cloud computing also offers a pay-as-you-go model, so instead of renting an entire center you may not need, you only pay for the services you actually use.
3. Data Center Pros and Cons
Unsurprisingly, data centers are the traditional method of storing data, so they are a tried-and-true method that customers can rely on. Here are some additional pros and cons:
Pro: 24-Hour Monitoring
A monitoring team has the challenging but necessary job of keeping an eye on the facility in real-time. That way, if a problem arises, it can be fixed as soon as possible. They also have a computer program called Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) that records everything utilized in the center, such as power usage and IT info.
Con: Security Threats
Naturally, data centers are an ideal target for criminals due to a large amount of information stored. This requires a 24/7 security team (in addition to the monitoring team) and advanced security programs, but even those aren’t foolproof and can be costly. Many centers also require security clearances for an extra layer of protection.
Physical data centers allow for complete control over the systems in place. Cloud computing, on the other hand, is somewhat limited to what the provider offers. However, control over your data center does make for more responsibility when things go wrong.
With a physical data center, you are required to pay full price for all of the infrastructure offered. For some large companies, that is not a problem, but for smaller ones, they may be paying for services they don’t need. In that case, a cloud computing system may be the better option.
4. Cloud Computing Pros and Cons
Cloud computing is a much newer method, but it is increasingly growing in popularity. In addition to the pay-as-you-go model, pros and cons include:
While a physical data center requires you to be on-site to receive information, cloud computing allows for the info to be transferred no matter where you are. This could mean at home or with personal devices at work. It also means that you can hire employees to work with your system from all over the world, thus expanding diversity and expertise in the workforce. Virtualization must be starting to look pretty good!
Con: Security Threats
Unfortunately, cloud computing shares a con with data centers, which can make it difficult to decide which is better. Both are targets for security threats but in different ways.
While the security infrastructure for cloud computing is the best in the business, it is still susceptible to hackers—even major companies have fallen victim in recent years. You and your cloud provider need to be on the same page with backup plans and encryption in case of a cyber-attack. A good cloud organization will have these implemented already, but it is still important to do your research to make sure you’re with the best one.
If you need a new application installed, it can take weeks or months for the IT team at your data center to get it ready. With the cloud, you can actually start using CRM Software for your business in just a few minutes. Automatic upgrades are also a common occurrence. Clearly, the cloud saves abundant time and money.
Con: Transferring Data
Perhaps don’t think of this as a con, but more of a challenge. If you have a data center and would like to transfer to a cloud computing model, you need to implement Data Center Migration or the process of moving information from one data center to the other. This requires a lot of planning and time, even years, which is a huge jump from the speed of installation after a cloud computing model is already implemented. While the transfer is usually worth it, the amount of effort is something to consider.
4. Is there a Hybrid Model Option?
Think both options look good, or can’t you weigh the pros and cons? You’re in luck—you may be able to switch to a Hybrid Data Center. This colocation type combines on-premise data centers with cloud-based infrastructure. It has the pay-as-you-go model of a cloud with complete control of renting a data center, among other pros. After reading about the differences between data centers and cloud computing here, a hybrid model may be something to consider.
While neither model is perfect, both data centers and cloud computing systems are viable options for your business. Simply weigh the pros and cons of each, and you’ll be ready to decide if a transfer is right for you! Need more information? Check out Coloco, the best place to find your perfect data center.