Cloud Computing vs Big Data: Detailed Comparison

About Cloud Computing
Features of Cloud Computing
About Big Data
Features of Big Data
Role of Cloud Computing in Big Data
Comparison Table

There are two mainstream technologies in focus or center of IT – Cloud computing and Big data. The combination of both lead to beneficial outcomes for the organization. Both technologies’ combination leverages scalable and cost-effective solutions. 

Today we look at major differences between Cloud computing and Big data – their features, advantages and disadvantages etc.

About Cloud Computing

Cloud computing offers services to its users on Pay-as-you-go basis and offers majorly three services. Cloud computing technology is used to store data and information on a remote server instead of a physical hard drive. It uses servers hosted on the internet for storage, management and processing of data instead of storing on a local system. 

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – offers entire infrastructure along with maintenance of associated tasks.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) – cloud offers resources such as object storage, runtime, queueing, databases etc. The responsibility and configuration and implementation lies with end user.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – is one of the most complex and sophisticated service which provides all required settings and infrastructure 

Features of Cloud Computing

  • Hierarchical arrangement of organization structure
  • Support resources pooling
  • On demand self-services
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Pay as you go services 
  • Economies of scale

About Big Data

Big-data deals with massive structured, semi-structured or unstructured data for storage and processing for analytics purposes.

There are five aspects on which Big data is based:

  • Volume – amount of data
  • Variety – types of data
  • Velocity – flow rate of data
  • Value – value of data based on information it contains
  • Veracity – data confidentiality and availability

There are tools available in the market which break hidden patterns and algorithms in Big data and these data sets are further analysed to get business insights.

Features of Big Data

  • Self-service password reset , registering new devices support
  • Data processing in robust manner
  • Predictive applications 
  • Reporting and analytics 

Role of Cloud Computing in Big Data

Using Iaas, Big data services enable access to unlimited storage and computing power. A very cost-effective solution for big organizations where physical hardware costs are borne by service providers.

Using PaaS Big data services eliminate the need for dealing with complexity of single software and hardware elements management which could be a major concern where data sets can be as large as terabytes.

SaaS platforms give excellent platform for conducting the analysis and that is what Big data is all about gathering and analytics.

Comparison Table: Cloud computing vs Big Data

FunctionsCloud ComputingBig data
ConceptStorage and retrieval of data from anywhere and at any time geographical boundaries are immaterialLarge set of data processed to extract useful information
Popularized byWith Amazon release of EC2 (Elastic compute cloud) in year 2006Mike Cafarella and Dough cutting released Hadoop in year 2005 at Yahoo
PurposeStorage and processing of data on remote servers and can be accessed from any place. It provide computer resources and services with the help of network connectionsOrganization of large volume of data and solve problems where huge data sets are involved in gathering and processing
CharacteristicsProvides services over the Internet such as Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and Software as a service (SaaS)Led to strategic business moves – velocity, variety and volume
AccessibilityUniversal access to servicesSolves technical problems and better results are achieved
PricingEconomical as low maintenance costs , centralized platform and disaster safeHighly scalable, robust ecosystem and cost effective
Job roles and responsibilitiesCloud users are developers or office works in an organizationBig data analysts are responsible for analysing the big data and predict future outcomes
Types & trendsPublic, Private, Hybrid and community cloudHadoop, MapReduce and HDFS (Hadoop distributed file system)
StorageData is stored in servers maintained by a service providerBig data will break large data sets and distribute them across computing systems where data will be analysed and processed
BenefitsLow maintenance costs, centralized platform, redundancy with provision for backup and recoveryCost effective , scalable and robust
ChallengesAvailability, transformation, securityData variety, data storage, data integration, data processing and management of resources
VendorsGoogle, Amazon web service, Microsoft , Dell , Apple, IBMCloudera, Hortonworks, Apache and MapR
Use caseRapid deployment and scaling of applicationsSolve specific problem statement related to larger data sets
Comparison by:

Download the comparison table: Cloud computing vs Big Data


Cloud Computing and Big Data Analytics both had a lasting impact on the way organizations are functioning and humans are operating. Cloud computing benefits fits all sizes of businesses and individuals. Larger data sets are perceived as a resource and organizations are trying to adopt Hadoop services to exploit this resource. With the current trend we expect more growth in Cloud Computing and Big Data Analytics in the way ahead.

Quick fact!

As per “IDC prediction the global datasphere will reach 175 zettabytes by 2025”

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