Key Difference Between The Cloud And The Data Center

There is usually so much confusion that surrounds the idea of cloud computing and data centers. People are visibly confused about the difference between both terms. The confusion prevails because of the noticeable interchangeability between the terms. Is cloud computing just another term for data centers? Is it the same? Is it different? How is it different? Well, stop right there and allow your mind to rest now because we are answering your last question: How are cloud and data centers different? Jump onto the bandwagon to find out more!
What are the cloud and data centers?
It is wise to begin from the core of the idea. Hence, we begin by briefly explaining what cloud computing and data centers are, individually.


Datacenter, just as the name suggests, is a reference to an in-house setup that involves a team of professional IT experts who are involved in running the house proficiently. The in-house settings are enhanced with physical and virtual elements that are helpful for the management and storage of all data.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing, to begin with, is not a physical setup. In fact, it is non-existent if not for the aid of the internet. Hence, cloud computing is a data storage service that is virtually available online to users. The Internet is mandatory for these services.

Cloud Computing VS Data Centers - Major distinctions

When talking about what cloud computing and data centers are, we somehow managed to highlight its fundamental difference i.e. architectural. The key difference between cloud and data center is that one is a physical setup whilst the other is an off-premises virtual service. There are some other major distinctions between both as well.
  1. Architecture
    Whilst the purpose of both is the same; storage, management, and maintenance of data – there is an evident architectural difference between both. So the first key difference is that a data center is land-based, in-house, and has a physical setup with a physical presence of IT professionals working together as a team. On the other hand, a cloud is more like a virtual, physically non-existent store that is dependent on the internet and is accessible only by the user over the internet.
  1. Security
    There is a notable difference between the security that both offers. Of course, understandably cloud computing is less secure than data centers as the latter is an in-house setup and is liable to protect your security. On the contrary, cloud computing is internet-based which puts you at an increased risk of data leak and privacy invasion threats. Moreover, you are responsible for your own security with cloud computing because the third-party operator of the cloud is not liable for your data. However, there are companies like HostNoc which claim server security and monitoring on C Panel. These kinds of companies have actually advanced protection software.
  1. Costs
    The cost of data storage varies for different business setups. Smaller business setups might find solace in cloud computing because it is a cheaper data storage option. This brings us to the third major difference between cloud computing and data centers: cloud computing is cheaper in cost and data center costs are higher. It is fair enough too because data centers have to take care of capital investment for physical setups, maintenance, and all other physical administrative expenses that cloud computing is not bothered with.

Other factors to consider

In addition to the big guns that have been highlighted above, there are definitely a few other factors that one should take into consideration to understand the key differences between cloud computing and data centers.
  • Capacity
    The storage capacity of data centers is limited. There is always a certain amount of data that you will have to subscribe to for upload/download. However, clouds offer unlimited data storage capacity to users.
  • Access
    Access to the data that is stored by the data center is not direct and easy. If you want to access your own data, you will have to undergo a process of verification first and this can be time-consuming. On the other hand, cloud computing is direct and accessible by the user at any hour of the day via any device.
  • Management
    The data at data centers are managed by IT, professional teams. Hence, there is no direct involvement of the user whereas on clouds, there is no third party involved and the user is responsible to manage his data online.
  • Control
    At data centers, you will be given administrative rights to have control over your data but it will always be supervised by experts. Cloud computing will give you control over the data but the third-party authorizer will have control over your data with or without your prior knowledge as well. Also, clouds are synced with public forums which can give unnecessary access to a third party.

What do businesses need?

Based on the differences and similarities of both cloud and data centers, it is often overwhelming to decide which service is more suitable for your business. As per the general analysis, it is strongly urged that small-scale businesses with limited capital and resources opt for cloud computing. However larger companies that are more extensive and widespread should opt for in-house data centers as they promise greater security and complete control.

Similar Articles