Hardware is being continually phased out in the world of technology. Instead of storing data on physical servers or disks, a definite and ever-growing shift towards virtual data storage has been seen among businesses and the average consumer.
Of course, you’ll always need a computer or the like to access your data (until we all have chips in our brains) but the era of servers, memory cards, and hardcopies is coming to an end.
You’re no doubt aware of this, what with “the cloud” having become a common term in modern society’s lexicon. But what exactly is cloud computing or storage? How does it differ from a virtual data centre?
In truth, the differences are fewer than the commonalities. To the average consumer, virtual data centres are basically cloud data centres and are used for the same function. That’s probably what has caused such confusion between the two. Large companies know regular consumers aren’t all that concerned with specifics, so they use the term “cloud” quite liberally. In many cases, a network management provider will advertise a “cloud data centre” when it’s really just a virtual data centre.
Again, to the average consumer, being sold one for the other probably won’t be the biggest travesty to ever occur. For a business, whether it’s small or large, the specific differences between cloud and virtual data centres are a bit more meaningful.
To help you make the most informed decision and decide what type of network storage management and storage tool you need most, let’s break down what makes cloud storage unique from a virtual data centre.
Virtual data centres are basically just an old-school physical server, but digitized. This allows for increased accessibility from users and a wealth of other benefits. But there are key functions of a cloud data centre that makes it unique.
As defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, “cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”
Now that’s a fairly complex definition. Put more simply, for a cloud data centre to be a cloud data centre, it must provide on-demand service, rapid elasticity, access to a shared pool of resources, and a pay-as-you-go service.
Another major feature that differentiates cloud storage is its automated service. A true cloud data centre will allow you to change features and usage without the need of an IT person because it’s all automated. Cloud data centres allow you to change your rate of service whenever you want and based on your current needs, which can be a serious money-saving tool.
That isn’t to say a virtual data centre will cost you more money than a cloud data centre. Both will virtualize your servers and increase accessibility, thus increasing efficiency and saving on costs. True cloud data centres just provide a certain amount of elasticity in service without the need of human intervention. Most virtual data centre providers will allow you to augment your service as you see fit, but again, the major difference is that you can’t do it entirely on your own.
So that’s a fairly simple breakdown of what makes a cloud data centre unique from a virtual data centre. Which option you choose to go with depends on your needs, and it’s worth looking into what a network management provider will include in either service.
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