Cloud Computing vs Traditional Computing [Detailed Guide]

So, which is better, cloud computing vs traditional computing? That can be a difficult question to answer if you don’t have a lot of experience in the field.

Cloud computing helps companies all over the world lower their data storage and bandwidth costs. Though it has many benefits, there may be some use-cases in which traditional computing makes more sense. 

Essentially, cloud computing delivers computing services, such as databases, servers, analytics, storage, and other computer resources over the Internet. Traditional computing, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on the internet. Traditional computing relies on locally installed hardware to perform the same actions that would be delivered via cloud computing.

In this write up, we will compare cloud computing vs traditional computing. We will explore the strengths and drawbacks of each, and we will go over a few use-cases as examples. 

There’s more than one type of way to leverage cloud computing. 

Cloud Deployment Models

There are three main types of cloud computing environments. The three types are private, public, and hybrid clouds.  

Private Cloud

The end-user owns a private cloud infrastructure. A private cloud offers the best cloud deployment model in regards to control over your data. The owner of the private cloud infrastructure controls who has access to which IT resources. 

You can either host private cloud software yourself, or host it externally. on a leased virtual or dedicated server). Private clouds provided the most flexible options in terms of storage, networking, and other key factors.

Public Cloud

A public environment is the more traditional cloud deployment model. The cloud provider owns the infrastructure in this model. Many users at once can access a public cloud through the internet. 

This type of cloud setup lets businesses save money on their IT costs by using cloud services and infrastructure. In this model, the cloud provider is responsible for cloud’s creation, maintenance, and upgrades.

Understanding just how cloud computing is different from traditional computing requires a little bit of background networking knowledge. These days, a website can see literally tens of millions users per day. At scale, it is not very profitable for a single organization to host their own services. At a certain point, you for your power and bandwidth needs hit a limit.

What is cloud computing?

The term cloud generally means ‘the internet’. The need for an internet connection for computing is the most significant difference between cloud computing and traditional computing. Traditional computing takes place on-site. The hard drives and CPUs are running locally. In contrast, cloud computing runs on remote servers. Third-parties host these servers.


Cloud software is delivered as an on-demand service. So, if you need a piece of software deployed, you won’t have to manage the physical hardware that is running those services. That is all taken care of in the cloud. This saves you time and money while making your software highly salable. Another great thing about cloud computing is the ease in which it can be expanded or reduced.


Cloud computing is, in general, lower cost than traditional computing. This is mostly due to the fact that cost of server operations and maintenance is shared among many parties. This reduces the cost of compute services. Corporations can lower their up-front cash expenses because there is no expensive equipment to purchase.


Cloud computing takes place over the Internet. So, it’s important to have a fast and reliable internet connection. The thing is, though, as long as there is some connection to the internet, generally, everything is going to work, albeit possibly a little slowly.


Cloud computing has some data security concerns. In some ways, it can be a little unnerving to have all of your data stored on someone else’s servers, somewhere. To know the physical location of your data is almost impossible. It’s important to keep in mind that although out of your control, your data is in good hands.

Traditional vs. Cloud Computing IT Infrastructure

In traditional computing, the server is installed on-site. Here, it provides users access to hardware and a set of stored applications and various data. At some point or another, businesses that use traditional computing have to buy upgrades, and at some point, will have to replace their entire infrastructure. This can be extremely expensive. 

In stark contrast, cloud computing offers a much more flexible solution. There is no need to pay for servers, or their power bills. You also don’t have to pay for the staff to run a large server operation.

In cloud computing, you can focus on the work you are trying to do rather than how you are going to do it. With cloud computing, user information is secure. Also, storage capacity can be added or removed, as-needed. On top of all these benefits, the cost of cloud computing is much lower than traditional computing.

Cloud Computing Is Flexible and Resilient

If you are storing confidential information in the cloud, it is important to understand that your information will be distributed to many servers all over the world. This is done so that if one or even multiple servers experiences a failure, your business will not slow down and you won’t lose information. 

Also, cloud computing offers vast amounts of storage space and CPU power compared to traditional computing. So your software will run faster and better when it’s on the cloud.

Cloud Computing Is Easily Accessible

Cloud computing provides a level of elasticity which is totally unheard of with traditional computing technologies. Everything you can imagine, from virtual on-demand storage to practically unlimited storage space is what you get with cloud computing.

Cloud Computing Saves Money

In traditional computing, a company has to constantly purchase additional computing hardware in order to increase growth. That can cost a lot of money. When using cloud-based services, a business pays for only the services that they need.

Advantages of Traditional Computing

Although cloud computing has its clear economic and scalability advantages, there is still a place for traditional computing. With traditional computing, you are in control of your data.

In this computing model, you own and maintain all the hardware infrastructure required to run your software. This comes with its added costs, but it also means that you have full control of your platform. Top to Bottom, Software to Hardware, In and Out.

Another great thing about traditional computing is that if you are just creating a prototype or getting a project running for the first time, the cost could be $0.

It’s 2021. By now, most people in the developed world have a computer (or two) in their garage, attic, or basement. All it takes to get custom applications up and running in a traditional computing environment is an old PC and an internet connection.

Conclusion: Which is Better

As far as which one is better, cloud computing vs traditional computing, that all comes down to a matter of opinion and your use-case. If you favor cost effectiveness and performance over anything else then cloud computing is this choice for you.

If the benefits of cloud computing are not enough to lure you away from having physical control over your own hardware and your own data, then you are going to want to go with traditional computing.