Cloud Computing and Cloud Storage – How Do They Differ?

Over the past decade, the production and consumption of data have continued to increase exponentially. In 2022, the world of big data will exceed $275 billion, with this market showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. From individuals producing data and companies using data-driven insights to get ahead, data is everywhere in 2022. This means there’s huge job growth in data analytics and an influx of data scientists and other professionals, which in turn breeds more adoption and innovation in the field.

Out of this phenomenon, a range of tools that manage and handle data has become vital across business industries. Two of these, cloud computing and cloud storage, are often lumped into the same category. However, both actually service very different functions and work differently.

In this article, we’ll move through cloud computing and cloud storage, examining their differences and main benefits for businesses.

How Does the Cloud Come Into It?

Both cloud computing and cloud storage rely on a data infrastructure known as the cloud. When discussing how technology works, there are three main places tech can be located. These are on-premise, off-premise, and on the cloud. The first two of these relate to a company’s location, with on-premise storage, for example, being within their building, while off-premise might be at a remote location.

On the other hand, the cloud is a series of servers that absolutely anyone can access online. The cloud is a service that certain companies offer, providing a completely remote data system that people can use. Both cloud computing and cloud storage are examples of renting this external system. 

While both use the cloud, they do so differently, providing distinct benefits to companies that use them.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a way of hosting projects and applications on the cloud. Instead of having an application on local computers, a business might develop it on the cloud to provide access to all of their employees. 

Over the past few years, SaaS, a cloud computing deployment, has become incredibly popular. Software as a Service allows individuals and businesses to access a new platform or digital tool through the cloud.

In short, cloud computing is all about accessing digital services over the cloud. 

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage is often the cloud service that people are most familiar with. Even individuals often rely on cloud storage in the form of Google Drive or iCloud to manage their files and photos.

Quite simply, cloud storage is about renting digital space on a remote server from a business. At the lowest level, cloud storage is what we mentioned above, with an individual buying extra storage room online. 

Yet, cloud storage has further deployments, with whole cloud data warehouses being available for companies. A cloud data warehouse is a large-scale cloud storage deployment allowing businesses to construct complicated databases.

Leading cloud data warehouses are often used by businesses due to the extra functionality they provide. For example, when comparing Databricks vs Snowflake, we can see that these data warehouse companies outperform their competitors by offering faster processing speeds, more functionality, or a larger set of data analysis tools.

Businesses can use cloud data warehouses for additional storage while bringing further utility to their company through data analytics. 

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Storage for Businesses?

Cloud storage is widely used across businesses, one of the central elements of success. Considering the importance of data, the ability to effectively manage and scale data analysis is vital for businesses that want to grow with a data-driven strategy.

When incorporating cloud storage into businesses, there is a range of benefits companies are set to reap:

  • Access – No matter where an employee is, if files are stored on the cloud, they will be able to access them. In the age of remote working, accessing files on the go is a fantastic way of driving productivity and empowering the workforce.
  • Collaboration – Cloud storage ensures that all employees work on the same file version. If employees all worked on separate local files, changes could be made several times, complicating progress. Working on the cloud ensures up-to-date files and boosts forward momentum. 
  • Backup Strategy – Creating backups and storing them on the cloud is a fantastic anti-ransomware technique, with the availability of backups creating a create defense. If a security event does occur, businesses can simply revert to a previous version, helping to keep their operations flowing.

Cloud storage is a huge asset, with the collection, processing, and analysis of data helping businesses to grow intelligently.

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing, unlike cloud storage, has more than a handful of applications. With the power of cloud computing technology, businesses can easily access seemingly endless SaaS solutions.

When a business starts working with a cloud computing solution, it can access the following benefits:

  • No special hardware – As cloud solutions are located online, employees can access and run them on their computers without needing specialized hardware. As they’re actually running on the cloud, this provides access to employees despite the current system they’re using. 
  • Unified updates – When a cloud computing platform is updated, all versions across the company follow this current version. This updating strategy ensures entire companies are on the most recent update of an application, providing a stable base for cyber defense tactics and overall security. 
  • Scalability – SaaS solutions provide a range of user platforms and tools that can help businesses to grow. Nowadays, businesses can turn to various solutions, with the diversity of applications making cloud computing the perfect solution for those looking to scale their business. 

Cloud computing streamlines current processes, provides accessibility, and unlocks new powerful tools for businesses. 

Final Thoughts

While cloud computing and cloud storage are commonly mixed up, they are far from the same thing. Although they rely on the cloud, they do so in distinct ways. While cloud storage is all about providing additional space for individuals and businesses to keep documents, files, and databases, cloud computing is about providing extra services.

SaaS applications and cloud data warehouses are two common deployments of cloud computing and cloud storage. Each of these represents exactly what the former does, demonstrating the power of the cloud. For businesses, the cloud is a new frontier that brings additional utility and functionality and streamlines existing processes.

As the importance of data continues to grow, the cloud will only become more prominent in businesses.

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