Storing data in the cloud has become the norm for many businesses around the world, as has the use of data centres.
The investment and adoption of these technologies have increased substantially in Africa. It is estimated that the continent’s cloud market will double in size over the next five years, while global tech giant Microsoft opened its first data centres in Africa earlier this year.
There are several factors to consider when you have to decide on the type of platform that’s best suited for your business needs. Both consist of many of the same benefits, but differ in terms of their functionality and intended purpose.
The difference between cloud storage and data centres
As mentioned above, the two data solutions are essentially the same — they are extensions of virtualisation technology. While the cloud and data centres are scalable, secure and ensure business continuity, it’s their control and ownership that separates them. If you choose a data centre, you rent physical storage space from a data centre provider that controls the space, the equipment and the software required to operate it.
Alternatively, storing data in the cloud can be done on- or off-site and you are in control of the application hosted on your cloud network. Cloud providers are also responsible for managing the software and hardware required to run online applications.
The importance of security
When it comes to choosing between investing in cloud storage and data centres, cost and security are the biggest deciding factors. Concerns of online security and comprehensive protection from cybersecurity are at the top of the list, especially for West African businesses where there’s an increase in the complexity and prevalence of attacks.
Entrusting your data storage and management to a data centre provider ensures that there’s restricted access to the physical servers. Premium data centre providers also provide all the necessary infrastructure to safeguard against power outages and environmental effects. When employing the services of a cloud provider, you need to ensure that they will run regular updates and the necessary end-to-end Internet security software to protect your business-critical data.
When to use data centres
Data centres are best suited for businesses seeking a complex and tailored environment for their IT equipment. The structure of a data centre allows you to control where and how your data is stored according to the different functions they fulfil. If you require an intricate IT system to run and store your business operations and applications, a data centre will provide you with the best infrastructure and flexibility to do so. Data centres give you ultimate control over the security of your data by limiting access to authorised personnel
When to use cloud storage
Every business, regardless of its size, essentially makes use of the cloud in one form or another. The cloud does provide a more flexible growth model and is easier to scale. But when it comes to the need for the storage and management of complex operations, the cloud doesn’t offer the same level of modification as data centres do. When using a third-party cloud provider you also don’t have as much control over IT resources and are reliant on the strength and availability of their data network, which might limit access to your data.
Ultimately, deciding between the two data management solutions comes down to each business’s unique requirements. At Internet Solutions, we provide our clients with solutions that give them the freedom to control and tailor the management of their data. Our data centres are secure and offer state-of-the-art technology to ensure that all business operations, no matter how complex, can be conducted safely with the greatest of ease.
To find out more about the inner workings and benefits of our data centres, download our guide.
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