Cloud Networking Vs. Cloud Computing: the Main Differences

Cloud Networking Vs. Cloud Computing: the Main Differences post image

The adoption of cloud technology can simplify your company’s digital transformation. The cloud provides you with computing systems and information technology over the internet, removing the need for on-premises computer services. This saves your business time and resources, while also boosting scalability.

However, it’s important to understand and recognise the different components and ideas associated with the cloud – namely, cloud networking and cloud computing.

Although frequently used interchangeably, these terms are two distinct concepts. Cloud networking refers to the connectivity and infrastructure of cloud-based services, while computing is used to describe individual cloud services – such as software, storage, and intelligence.

In this guide, we’ll take a comparative look at cloud computing and networking so you can better understand the meaning of each. 

How does cloud networking work?

Cloud networks are Wide Area Networks (WAN) that consist of virtual components. These components include the likes of virtual firewalls, networks, and routers. By having these in a digital form, you don’t require physical hardware equivalents.

The components work together to create a digital infrastructure from which you can perform cloud-based activity. How this infrastructure is created depends on the type of cloud network you use – whether it be public or private.

You don’t need a cloud network to use cloud computing. However, having one in place holds several business benefits, such as better traffic flow and increased scalability.

The cloud network can be seen as the backbone of your cloud set-up, handling data connectivity and management to support cloud computing on-site. A cloud network connects the required devices and enables communication between them.

Public or private?

When using a public cloud network, a third-party will provide you with resources to create a virtual network. These resources will likely include virtual routers, bandwidth, firewalls, switches, load balancers, and network management software. Public clouds are adjustable depending on your company size and needs and can provide you with additional resources if necessary.

If you’re setting up a private cloud network, you’ll have to use on-premises resources to build your cloud network. By keeping the network onsite, you can keep your sensitive data more secure. However, it means that your IT department will need to be more hands-on to support and maintain this network.

Cloud networking types

In terms of different cloud types, you have the following:

Hybrid cloud network

As aforementioned, you get both private and public cloud networks. A “hybrid” cloud network is a flexible mixture of the two. Hybrid cloud networks can also involve on-site data centres and more traditional network models.

Multi-cloud network

Multi-cloud networks connect and streamlines multiple cloud networks. If a company’s needs are not being fully met by one public network provider, they can use multi-cloud networking (MCN) to combine this network with another. This network type typically involves two cloud networks but can, in some instances, involve several.

The Advantages of cloud networking

  • Better traffic flow – This digital infrastructure allows you to better manage traffic levels and optimise traffic flow by providing you with more bandwidth.
  • Cost – You don’t need to pay for the upfront cost of hardware. You also don’t need to cover the costs of storing and maintaining any physical components, as everything is on the cloud.
  • Scalability – Applications, storage, and data can be added and built upon the cloud network easily. With a virtual network, you don’t need to invest in or make room for new physical infrastructure. Capacity can be added quickly and whenever necessary, meaning your cloud network can adapt as your business operations expand.
  • Easy set up – If you opt for a public network option, you don’t need to worry about setting up or configuring – this will be handled by the providers. Plus, updates to the cloud network are also controlled by the providers, so maintenance is also easy.
  • Increased productivity – With less time spent maintaining the cloud infrastructure, your IT department can get to work on more critical issues.

How does cloud computing work?

Cloud computing, on the other hand, is an umbrella term for the cloud services that are accessible through the internet. While cloud networking includes logical components such as routers and firewalls, the term “computing” refers to computing services and resources such as virtual machines, storage, software, and databases.

The use case of computing is huge, with every type of business utilising cloud systems in their own way. At a glance, computing can be used to store data, develop software, test, develop, communicate, collaborate, and much more.

Most businesses, at some level, have integrated the cloud in their operations. In 2024, worldwide business spending in cloud computing is expected to exceed $1 trillion.

Public or private?

Public cloud services are hosted externally. The hosts oversee the maintenance, security, and development of the cloud platforms. When using these services, users can access and store data on them remotely, removing the need for private datacentres and local hard drives. This is the most common cloud deployment type as anyone can access the public cloud.

Private cloud services, on the other hand, aren’t open to the public. The usage of this cloud type is reserved exclusively for the single company who owns it.

You also have hybrid clouds, which can consist of various public and private features.

Cloud computing types

Cloud computing service types include the following:

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS platforms are best described as end-user applications. These are complete applications that are delivered via the internet and hosted on the cloud. Examples of SaaS include Slack, Dropbox, and Zoom.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

A PaaS gives you the tools and resources you need to build your own applications. With these, you can create and deploy your own sophisticated business application via the cloud. PaaS examples include Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

An IaaS provides you with infrastructure and computing resources via the cloud. These resources can include networking features as well as storage. IaaS examples include DigitalOcean and Amazon Web Services.

The advantages of cloud computing

  • Collaboration – With your data stored on the cloud, you’ve made it easily accessible – all you need is a supported device and an internet connection. This means you can easily collaborate on projects with employees working from home and even overseas teams.
  • Streamlined operations – By investing in the likes of cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, you can integrate and streamline your operations far more easily than you could with hardware.
  • Increased security – Cloud software comes equipped with advanced security measures such two-factor authentication, data encryption, data backup, and much more. Centralised cloud security also means you can respond and react to threats as and when they happen.
  • Environmental benefits – Having your data stored on the cloud is far more environmentally-friendly than having it backed up on traditional data centres.

Check out our full guide on the benefits of moving to cloud computing for more information!


Should you get a cloud network for your business?

Investing in a cloud network can totally transform how your business operates. If your company produces a massive amount of data daily and you would like to boost productivity, mobility, and scalability, you should consider investing in a cloud network.

Due to the wide range of benefits that cloud networks provide, there’s no one industry that they’re best suited for – in fact, cloud networks work great in all industries. They can support a high volume of transactions in banking and finance and provide the bandwidth necessary to deal with the high volume of customers shopping on retail sites.

Cloud networking is also being adopted widely in such industries as manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare.

How YourShortlist can help

Whether you want to adopt a full cloud network for your business or simply want to implement new cloud computing solutions, YourShortlist are on hand to help.

We simplify the procurement process by reviewing your business needs and matching you with cloud solutions that are a perfect fit. We’ll present you with a list of cloud providers from which you can pick your new partner.

Don’t delay – get in touch and kick-start your new phase of cloud computing today!