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Difference Between Cloud and Data Center

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Most organizations rely heavily on data for their respective day-to-day operations, irrespective of the industry or nature of the data. This data can have a wide range of applications ranging from making business decisions, identifying patterns for either improving the services provided or analyzing weak links in the workflow, and much more.

In this article, we will look into the difference between storing data in the cloud versus a physical data center.


A cloud can be described as a term used to describe a group of services either a global or individual network of servers, which possesses a unique function. Cloud is not a physical entity, but they are a group or network of remote servers which are arched together to operate as a single entity for an assigned task.

In a nutshell, cloud is a building with lots of computer systems. We access the cloud via internet because cloud Providers provide cloud as a service.

One of the many confusions that we have is whether cloud is same as cloud compute? The answer is no. Cloud services like compute run in the cloud. The Compute service offered by cloud lets users to ‘rent’ computer systems in datacenter on internet. Other example of cloud service is storage. Now, what exactly is cloud computing? AWS says, “Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).”

Types of Cloud: Businesses use different methods of cloud resources, mainly there are four of them : 

  • Public Cloud: It is a cloud methodology that is open to all with the Internet on the pay-per-usage method.
  • Private Cloud: It is a cloud methodology used by organizations to build their data centers that are accessible only with the permission of the organization.
  • Hybrid Cloud: It is a cloud methodology that is a combination of public and private clouds. It serves the different needs of an organization for its services.
  • Community Cloud: It is a cloud methodology that provides services to a group of people in an organization or a single community. 

Data Center 

A Datacenter can be described as a facility/space of networked computers and associated components(like telecommunications and storage) which helps business and organisations to function a large amount of data. These Data centers allow the data to organise, process, store and disseminate upon the application used by businesses.  

Types of Data Center: Businesses use different types of data centers which include : 

  • Telecom Data Center: It is a type of data center which are operated by telecommunications or service providers. It requires high-speed connectivity to function.
  • Enterprise Data Center: It is a type of data center which is built and owned by a company that may or may not be onsite.
  • Colocation Data Center: It is a type of data center that consists of one data center owner place which provides cooling to multiple enterprises and hyper-scale their customers.
  • Hyperscale Data Center: It is a type of data center which are owned by and operated by the company itself.

Difference between Cloud and Data Center :

S.NoCloudData Center
1.Cloud is a virtual resource that helps businesses to store, organize, and operate data efficiently.Data Center is a physical resource that helps businesses to store, organize, and operate data efficiently.
2.The scalability of the cloud required less amount of investment. The scalability of Data Center is huge in investment as compared to the cloud.
3.The maintenance cost is less than service providers maintain it.The maintenance cost is high because developers of the organization do maintenance. 
4.Third-Party needs to be trusted for the organization’s data to be stored.The organization’s developers are trusted for the data stored in data centers.
5.Performance is huge as compared with investment.Performance is less than compared to investment.
6.It requires a plan to customize the cloud.It is easily customizable without any hard plan.
7.It requires a stable internet connection to provide the function.It may and may not require an internet connection.
8.Cloud is easy to operate and is considered a viable option.Data Centers require experienced developers to operate and are considered not a viable option.
9.Data is generally collected from the internetHere, data is collected from the Organization’s network.
10.It finds use in scenarios where security is not a critical aspect. Hence, small web applications can be hosted easily.It finds use in scenarios where the project requires a high level of security. 
Last Updated : 01 Aug, 2022
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