Manoj Dhanda, is the Founder and CTO of MicroHost Cloud and has more than 12+ years of experience in cloud computing. He was instrumental in launching India’s first cloud platform to help businesses reduce their heavy reliance on expensive, inflexible cloud providers. He has managed to transform more than 9500+ businesses worldwide to the cloud and made their infrastructure scalable and simple.
Our society uses the cloud as the standard terminology today. Still, the term mostly remains cloudy for many people. Although the acronyms and solutions form cloud technology, it is challenging to keep everything straight. Most individuals use the cloud without fully understanding it, as it is prominent in different contexts, like cloud services, cloud platforms, cloud computing, and cloud storage. But they are mainly confused between two specific cloud concepts- cloud storage and cloud computing. Even if they fall under a single cloud umbrella, there are distinguishable differences between them.
We need to remember that cloud storage is equal to data storage, and cloud computing represents processing to understand the terms. First, let us know why it is called the ‘cloud’ for a deeper understanding.
Why is it called the ‘Cloud’?
The cloud symbol represents the internet in technical diagrams and flowcharts. Interestingly, this symbol is a metaphor for the internet and its ubiquity in the modern world. This practice of indicating the internet has led to cloud storage and cloud computing popularity. As we see clouds everywhere, we can simultaneously access the data and resources in the cloud anywhere via an electronic device and stable internet connection. Now that we understand the reason behind such terminology, here’s a brief look at the striking differences between the two.
The contrasting unlikeness between cloud computing and cloud storage
As the name suggests, cloud storage allows us to store data and files and perform backups in the cloud/virtual server, i.e., external location offsite. It is one of the most uncomplicated and remarkable cloud technology applications, immensely beneficial for personal and business-level use. Common examples of cloud storage include Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive personal storage, Photo uploads to social media, etc. Cloud storage ensures keeping the company’s data safe & secured and readily available if onsite data is lost/stolen/destroyed by an unexpected disaster.
The benefits of cloud storage are endless as it offers improved access & agility, enhanced security & collaboration, and better backup & disaster recovery in a cost-effective manner. Moreover, the stored data gets fully protected against external failures, including hard drive failures, drive corruption, power outages, etc. On the other hand, cloud computing is a general term that refers to more than just software and primarily aims at business applications. It harnesses the power of the internet to outsource computational tasks to a third party. Such charges include everything that people perform on their computers, such as backing up data and files to an external drive or complex processing by businesses with a network of computers. The data and backup get stored securely in a cloud environment. Although cloud storage is a type of cloud computing, not all cloud computing is cloud storage. Examples of cloud computing are the Google Doc app, iChat, Photo viewer app, Social media apps, Outlook online, etc.
Companies can enjoy numerous benefits by moving their large portion of IT solutions to the cloud computing model. Some key benefits are improved scalability & mobility and no special hardware requirements. Businesses can also roll out updates, upgrades and patches in an easy, simple, fast, and affordable way. They can perform them on a virtual server and not on every employee’s computer or other devices. We can divide cloud computing into three broad categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and the most demanding Software as a Service (SaaS). Besides distinguishable features, they have certain similarities listed below for our clarity.
The similarities between cloud computing and cloud storage signify several factors. For example, they both need an internet connection & monthly fees to access, are more resilient to outside damages like hardware failure and natural disasters, and both can scale up & down with changing needs. Moreover, they take place on computer systems owned and controlled by other companies and take maintenance costs out of our hands. Now that we achieved 360 degree clear concepts of the similarities and differences between cloud computing and cloud storage, it’s vital to understand which one is best suitable for us.
Which choice suits you- Cloud computing or Cloud storage?
This decision is immensely personalised, and it highly depends on our specific business and situation. Organisations functioning with remote/work-from-home workforce should choose cloud storage when they want to store a vast amount of data in a remote backup location and access it anytime and anywhere.
Businesses need cloud computing when they have specific tasks to accomplish with a cloud platform with a limited budget. These are primarily email, HR tasks, office applications, and other critical services provided by cloud providers. Cloud computing is also enormously beneficial for companies working with largely remote or work-from-home employees who can access the system at any given time.
The points mentioned above mark that cloud storage and cloud computing have steadily made their way into business and professional industries, and there are no weighing options for them. They are undoubtedly critical to match the pace of today’s rapidly changing tech environment. So, for most organisations and individuals, understanding what defines them is quintessential for planning or buying the appropriate fit for their business, as cloud usage involves safe and secure storage and computing.