As a business owner, one of the most important things for decision making is real-time access to data. This then begs the question of where this data should reside for easy and secure access.
You will have to make a choice on infrastructure, software, and hardware needed to host your data pipeline and all these decisions can have an impact on performance, security, and cost. Every business owner will inevitably be faced with a choice between a data centre and cloud storage.
These two systems have been in use for years and both offer their advantages and disadvantages. However, to choose what works best for you will require consideration over which system can best suit your business needs.
What is A Data Centre and How Does It Work?
A data centre is a building or a secluded area within a building that is used to accommodate and centralise computer systems and shared IT operations for data storage, processing, and distribution. Data centres are crucial to the day-to-day running of an organisation because they serve as a home for the most critical assets of the organisation. As such, organisations pay a lot of attention to the security and reliability of these data centres.
Data centres provide storage infrastructure, network infrastructure, and computing resources with the help of routers, firewalls, switches, servers, storage systems, and application delivery controllers.
What is A Data Centre Interconnect?
A data centre interconnect, also known as a DCI is a technology that connects two or more data centres for effective and efficient sharing of resources. Many factors influence an organisation’s choice of DCI and some of them include what types of applications they intend to run; the criticality of the functions will determine how latency sensitive the requirement is. This will also have an impact on the required Service Level Agreement (SLA), Quality and Class of Service required network support as well as customer equipment and network security. All of which will make the difference in what type of DCI solution you go for.
By working with a reliable network provider like SPTel for your DCI service, you can benefit from:
- Resiliency: SPTel uses a truly diverse and resilient network provided through unique fibre pathways which reduces your reliance on shared infrastructure and spreads your risk when disruptions occur.
- Optimum Performance: With a network that can deliver <1ms latency island-wide to support improved application responsiveness
- Peace of mind: Knowing that SPTel’s network is monitored 24/7 by an Integrated Operations Centre that combines network with security monitoring.
- Cost-effectiveness: Scale up your DCI requirements as needed to cater for network surges without having to oversize your network unnecessarily.
- Flexibility: Sign up our DCI for as short as a three-month contract.
What is Cloud and How Does It Work?
The cloud does essentially the same thing as a data centre when it comes to accommodating and centralising computer systems and shared data storage, computing, and disseminating. The one telling the difference is that the cloud does this over the Internet, which offers more flexible resources, faster innovation, and economies of scale.
Cloud computing negates the need for an organisation to build a physical computing infrastructure. They can rent access to these services from a cloud service provider.
What Is A Cloud Connect Service?
Cloud connect is simply a connection between a private network and a public cloud. It doesn’t matter if your infrastructure is in a co-located data centre or on-premises, network providers like SPTel can offer you a dedicated and secure connection to the cloud instead of having to go through public networks.
What we offer you is high-level security as you no longer have to go through the public Internet, high-efficiency rate, and cost-efficiency since all business-critical applications can now run smoothly, cutting down unnecessary expenses.
With SPTel’s cloud connect services, your business can get access to all major cloud providers including Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, and more, using a high-performance metro ethernet, or IPVPN.
Debunking Myths about the Data Centre and Cloud
The main difference between the cloud and a data centre is where the data is stored. The cloud is off-premise and on the Internet while a data centre is at a physical location, which can either be on-premise or co-located.
There are, however, certain myths about both methods of storing, accessing, and sharing data that just aren’t true. Some of them include the following:
- Myth 1 – data centres are always more expensive to operate than the cloud: this is not always true as there are certain instances where the costs for operating cloud services will rise and fall, depending on factors like usage level, period, and several others. Ultimately, the cost-effectiveness of either service would depend on your provider.
- Myth 2 – the cloud is insecure: This myth is very prevalent and that is usually because it is common knowledge that the internet is accessible to everyone, leaving your data vulnerable. However, this is not true because Managed Security Providers like SPTel can offer firewalls and other cyber security solutions to help alert, mitigate and minimise your risk of attack.
Data Centre Vs. Cloud
|Security||With data centres, users can only access the company’s data if they are using company-approved devices. With the services of an experienced IT team managing their data centre, companies can fully control and maintain their data infrastructure.||With cloud, the company’s data can be accessed by anyone with any device as long as they have the right credentials. However, cloud service providers do have security measures in place to prevent intrusions.|
|Scalability||Data centres can be scalable. However, their scalability would depend on the infrastructure you have on-site. More equipment would have to be purchased and installed to expand the workload and storage.
Sometimes, the level of customization your business needs may not be available from service providers. In this situation, a data centre is necessary.
|The scalability of the cloud depends on the service plan of your provider. You can deploy more resources efficiently to afford you more storage.
Increase speed and agility as the resources are already available and you only scale up when needed.
|Costs||The costs of building, operating, and maintaining a data centre can be heavy, especially if you run a small business. You would need to invest in equipment and talent to set up and manage your data centre.||Running a cloud server is much cheaper compared to a data centre since you would not be involved setting it up. You simply pay for what you utilised. However, the costs of consuming cloud services will increase as the business grows.|
|Data sovereignty||Data sovereignty is easily achievable with data centres since there wouldn’t be a third-party service provider’s involvement. With this, the data can remain private to the company and meet the legal requirements of the country.||Data sovereignty is also achievable with cloud servers only if they are fine-tuned to meet the country’s legal requirements of not sharing private data with a third party.
One of the most prevalent ways to achieve this is through the implementation of a hybrid cloud strategy. This strategy allows the business to decide which data to move to the cloud and which one to keep on-premises.
Should I Use a Data Centre or Cloud for My Business?
Deciding which one between data centre or cloud to choose boils down to your business goals and available resources. The financial requirement to operate a data centre doesn’t start and end with the equipment you need to build your infrastructure. You would also need to factor in the cost of a technical crew to maintain the system.
It is more cost-effective for small businesses with limited IT technicians to operate a cloud server as it reduces the need to invest heavily in infrastructure management and maintenance.
At the end of the day, whether you opt for a data centre or a cloud service, the reliability and security of your network play a crucial role in supporting business functions. You would need the connectivity services of a trusted network provider that can deliver security, resilience, and scalability whenever you need it.
At SPTel, we offer both Data Centre Interconnect and Cloud Connect, helping you connect to the major data centres in Singapore as well as major cloud service providers such as AWS, Google, Azure, and Alibaba Cloud. Speak with us today to find out how we can enable your data management journey.