Cloud data centers are off-premises facilities that host data and applications which are internet accessible to anyone with proper credentials.
Use of a cloud data center involves the “leasing” of infrastructure managed by a third-party provider with access to cloud data resources accessible via the internet.
Cloud data centers offer nearly unlimited and immediate scalability as well as anywhere accessibility with internet access and have grown increasingly popular in recent years.
Cloud data centers allow users and organizations to offload the responsibilities of maintenance and regular updating of data center infrastructure, as well as a majority of security. Cloud service providers assume all responsibility for meeting service level agreements (SLAs) for all data center components under their control.
Public clouds are supported by collections of data centers and applications utilizing data center resources from a cloud provider. Cloud providers often own data centers in multiple geographic locations to safeguard against outages and other potential local failures.
Data and applications are currently hosted by a wide variety of private and public cloud services providers including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), and IBM Cloud.
Multicloud data centers refer to cloud services provided to a single user or organization from two or more public cloud providers.
These data centers offer specific architectures that allow an application to use the same service model across multiple cloud providers, such as combining on-premises data centers with colocation facilities.
Cloud data centers offer many unique benefits relative to more traditional, on-premises data centers.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of cloud data centers is their ability to be provisioned or scaled with redundancy simply and instantaneously. This optimized scalability makes cloud data centers a natural fit for large enterprises, web-based businesses, and any other rapidly expanding small- and medium-sized businesses.
This style of data center is extremely cost-effective, especially for smaller companies, as cloud vendors can scale their services depending on a business’s changing needs.
Within a cloud data center, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings can generate whole systems on demand, while Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and other container technologies can provide instant, optimized environments to support the creation of new applications or more effectively host data.
Meanwhile, the lease-based, shared use of cloud data centers resources means that organizations essentially pool the cost of operating and maintaining a data center’s resources.
And because cloud providers manage data storage and hardware, organizations have no need to keep highly technical IT teams on payroll.
Cloud providers also handle security, including maintaining all current, necessary data center security certifications. These service level agreements protect cloud data center availability.
Because of their inherent scalability, cloud data storage systems offer potentially unlimited storage capacity, and most capacity plans can be easily adjusted by service providers.
Cloud data centers offer true anywhere access, with data and applications accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
This accessibility also means seamless, reliable, and simple data recovery when necessary. Files can be updated, adjusted, and downloaded from any device with an internet connection.
There are also some considerations potential cloud data center user should be aware of before deciding to implement the use of these systems.
The off-premises nature of cloud data centers means users have less control over remotely located hardware. The hardware systems that support these data centers are owned and managed by the service providers, which means customization options are limited.
Cloud service providers handle the management of data center resources, and customization options must be approved and most often provided by the service provider.
Because the most common cloud data center use arrangement entails organizations paying for private clouds within a vendor network, hardware resources must be shared with other cloud users.
Because cloud data systems rely on an internet connection, they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and outages.
Users of cloud data systems must trust their valuable and sensitive data to a third-party cloud provider.
Some industries, government policies, and regulations restrict the use of cloud-based storage. Certain businesses and organizations may require on-premises data centers that meet additional, advanced security requirements.
The choice of a cloud data center depends on making the best use of your business’ available resources.
Through the use of pooled data center resources, cloud service providers can offer flexible compute power, data storage, and security environments at extremely cost-effective prices. Utilizing shared data center resources means that organizations don’t have to build data centers themselves, saving significant time and money.
The features of a cloud data center are the perfect match for businesses looking to prioritize accessibility, scalability, and flexibility.