No matter your industry, sector or size, your business is driven by data. Having quick, reliable access to real-real time data is critical to determining patterns of consumer behaviour, accurate decision-making and much more. All this data must be stored somewhere, and these days this means choosing between cloud storage or a data centre. Here’s a guide to each option, along with their different advantages and drawbacks.
Understanding Cloud Storage and Data Centres
This choice all comes down to the location where your data is stored, as this is the central difference between these two options. On the cloud, your data is stored fully off-site and is accessible anywhere via the internet. With a data centre, your data is stored on servers on premises owned or leased by your organisation, whether they are on your main premises or at an off-site location owned by another organisation.
The Pros and Cons of The Cloud
Cloud-based solutions focus on storing your data in servers and infrastructure wholly owned by another organisation. This makes it critical from a data security point-of-view that cloud vendors are extensively vetted before you migrate your data to their infrastructure – after all, if they are compromised, your data is vulnerable too. That’s the biggest concern when it comes to cloud-based solutions.
While one of the significant benefits of using cloud solutions is that quality vendors invest a huge amount of time, resources and expertise in hiring staff to maintain, secure and configure their infrastructure, security is still your responsibility to a large extent as you still pay the price if your data is compromised. While having a team of specialists to partner with for your data storage does alleviate much of the resources, administration and cost of setting up your own data centre, some organisations still feel that it is better for them to choose the data centre option for greater control, as they will still be responsible for security.
Another benefit of cloud-based solutions is that they are easily scalable and are very cost-effective as a result. There’s a considerable capital investment in setting up your own data centre and running these resource-intensive operations, and this cost is mitigated by using an outside vendor. If you need more storage, it’s made available at the click of a button. If you need less, you can scale down with immediate savings without wasting money or leaving resources idle.
The Pros and Cons of Data Centres
These are on-site servers purchased and controlled by your organisation. Setting up your own data centre uses up a lot of resources and capital – you need to buy the infrastructure, house it, configure it, secure your data and maintain the infrastructure, as well as hire a team to perform all these duties. This high initial and ongoing cost is one of the biggest disadvantages of having your own data centre, but it does allow you to have complete control over your system.
Another aspect that may become a disadvantage of this option is that it is more challenging to scale. If you require more storage, you’ll need to buy more components and possibly reconfigure your infrastructure or hire more staff, which takes time and money. If you need less storage, then you are left sitting with expensive equipment that you aren’t using.
There are important advantages to consider, however, which may make this the best choice for some organisations. In terms of security, no one will have access to your data other than your organisation, which can be advisable or even required by organisations using sensitive data or where security risks are unusually high.
You also get to design your data centre to your exact needs, using equipment and infrastructure that you choose for yourself, rather than relying on the hardware and software choices of others. This is important for more specialised organisations or those that run legacy systems that require a specific environment.
So, What Option is Best for Your Organisation?
Both options offer great benefits and there’s no single option that is best for all organisations. Instead, making this choice is a matter of seeing how the different advantages and drawbacks align with your organisation’s specific needs. This is where a trusted Managed IT services partner can be invaluable.
As specialists who work in all areas of data management, the team at Milan Industries can perform a comprehensive evaluation of your business data needs and assist you by delivering the solution that best suits your requirements. Not only will we assist you in choosing and implementing a high-quality solution, but our qualified and experienced team will also provide high-quality ongoing support to manage, secure and maintain your system.Contact us today for a confidential discussion.