Many a times, clients are not able to distinguish between the cloud and cluster computing because of the similarities in features of both the technologies. Few clients might even end up paying for an obsolete clustering technology sold in the name of cloud computing. Cloud and cluster computing have similar characteristics but the difference lies in the level of service quality, speed, cost and scalability.
Let's first understand the basic similarities as well the differences so that you can make an informed decision and ensure you are actually being delivered with cloud services and not cluster hosting.
Similarities between Cloud and Cluster:
- Clustering and cloud both are the forms of distributed and local computing. In fact, distributed computing started with clustering. In distributed computing, the system components are distributed over more than one computer/server for better efficiency and performance.
- Load balancing is the common feature in both cloud and cluster technology. The resources are locally shared on the networked server/machine and the load is equally balanced.
- Both cloud and cluster computing uses virtualization technology but in clustering there are two or more computers/server together in the network acting as one single computer whereas in cloud hosting, there are multiple servers hosted on the internet, that constitute a cloud.
- Cluster too provide fast speed because but it doesn't match up with the high standards and benefits of Cloud hosting.
Differences between Cloud and Cluster:
- Cluster technology is a passe` whereas cloud server is the newest, advanced and cutting-edge technology. Cloud is more reliable, fastest, remotely accessible, scalable and highly cost-efficient.
- Cloud hosting resources are based on the actual needs of the client while in server clustering, the resources are pre-defined, so no elasticity or flexibility feature comes along in cluster computing.
Benefits of Cloud Hosting Over Clustering:
Reliable: The cloud technology is highly reliable because even the device is lost/damage, it has no impact on data. It remains protected in the cloud servers.
Cost-efficient: Pay-per-use is the payment method followed in cloud, where the user only pays for the resources that he actually used. He does not have to spend stacks of money in buying or renting a server, hardware or other such components. Apart from this, cloud brings the improved business results. It is highly cost-efficient because investment is lesser while performance per penny is very high.
Scalable: With cloud hosting, it's easy to scale the resources- storage, RAM, memory, bandwidth etc. based on the needs of your growing business.
Widely Accessible: The data can be accessible remotely from anywhere, anytime, because it is connected to various remote servers. The user only needs to be connected to internet.