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Difference between Big Data and Cloud Computing

Difference between Big Data and Cloud Computing

Big Data

Big data simply represents huge sets of data, both structured and unstructured, that can be further processed to extract information. Huge volumes of data are being generated over the internet every second and one machine is not enough to handle all the data which comes in all kinds of formats. It provides keen insights to the prospective business owners who would then gather, store, and organize the data for further analysis.

However, it’s not how much data that goes into the system that matters; it’s what these businesses or organizations do with such huge volume of data that matters. The only problem is that it’s all raw data as it comes from a variety of sources. Storing the data would have been a problem in the earlier days, but thanks to the new technologies, organizing data has become so much easier, especially with computers doing all the hard work.

A few important characteristics define the big data that can lead to strategic business moves. These features are volume, variety and velocity of data.

  • Volume – The data has to be big, of course, for it to be huge in volume and should be collected from multiple sources. Businesses collect lots of data in raw format which isn’t sorted out, so they are put through all kinds of tools and handlers for better business insights.
  • Velocity – The data is all streamed at an unprecedented rate and must be analyzed in a systematic manner. In order to deal with torrents of raw data in real-time, all sorts of technologies are used.
  •  Variety – The big data comes in all types of formats, from structured and streaming data to semi-structured and unstructured data such as text documents, financial transactions, audio, video, etc.

Difference between Big Data and Cloud Computing-1

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing provides the infrastructure for gathering data and information over the internet. Rather than a personal computer or a local server, it utilizes a host of remote servers to manage and process such huge volumes of data. It provides the platform to share computer facilities to run programs. The term cloud refers to the internet in cloud computing, in which the internet refers to a platform to store data and run applications.

As a commercial data center provider (public cloud), cloud computing does a lot for end users and prospective business owners. Few of the main advantages of cloud computing are:

  • Self-Service – Users can leverage all sorts of resources to handle every workload on demand, which in turn, eliminates the need for IT administrators. It offers new means to obtain new technologies on demand without having to invest in the hardware.
  • Flexibility – Cloud gives businesses the flexibility to move their workloads to and from the cloud to ensure keen business insights.
  • Elasticity – It eliminates the need for huge investments in local infrastructure by scaling up and down the computational needs as demands increase or decrease.
  • Pay per use – End users only have to pay a small subscription fee to their cloud provider or pay only for the resources they use.
  • Auto-scaling – Users can have more resources added based on actual usage as the workload demands. It automatically allocates the resources based on your needs at any given time, which was almost impossible before cloud computing.

Cloud computing more than a technology; it’s a system comprised of following services:

SaaS (Software as a Service) – This service mainly involves licensing of software applications to the users via the internet. It’s basically an on-demand service where users are charged on a subscription basis for the software applications, thereby providing access to cloud-based apps through the internet. It’s a delivery model offered by third-party providers to the end users over the internet.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) – It’s mainly a computing infrastructure where external cloud providers provide the hardware on a pay-per-use basis. They provide everything from virtual private networks to operating systems. In simple terms, they provide the raw materials for IT and the users pay for only the resources they use.

PaaS (Platform as a Service) – It’s the most complex layer of cloud computing which shares some resemblance with SaaS, but instead of licensing software to the users, it creates a platform for the developers to deliver hardware and software tools, the basic stuff that’s needed for application development.

In simple terms, the cloud does all the heavy lifting starting from taking data from various resources to processing that data to moving that stuff into cyberspace. All your data and information is now available for the whole world to access via cloud, which in this case, is the cloud. Some of the major players in the corporate cloud computing world include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and more.

Big Data Cloud Computing
It’s a terminology used to describe huge volume of data and information. It’s a technology used to store data and information on a remote server rather than on a physical hard drive.
It refers to structured, semi-structured, or unstructured data that can be further processed for analysis. Cloud refers to the internet which in this case, acts as an infrastructure as a service.
Computers are used to unlock patterns from the data sets that are further analyzed to provide business insights. It utilizes a vast network of cloud servers over the internet to analyze data and information, instead of using a personal computer or local server.
It includes all kinds of data in many different formats. It’s a new paradigm to computing resources.
Big data can exist without cloud computing. Cloud requires big data for computing resources.


Both Big data and Cloud computing are the two most trending terms in the ever-growing IT (information technology) world nowadays. Big data is kind of a buzzword used among the marketers to represent large volume of data so huge that is virtually impossible to process by just one machine – whether structured or unstructured. Cloud computing is like an application that systematically stores data and programs using a network of remote servers over the internet. Cloud is just a metaphor representing internet. For example, if big data is content, cloud computing is infrastructure.

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References :

[0]Smolan, Rick. The Human Face of Big Data. Sausalito: Against All Odds Productions, 2012. Print

[1]Marz, Nathan and Samuel Ritchie. Big Data. Greenwich: Manning Publications, 2012. Print

[2]Sosinsky, Barrie. Cloud Computing Bible. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Print

[3]"Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dionh/7550578346"

[4]"Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cloud_computing.svg"

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