Benefits of Separating Storage And Compute Layers In Cloud Computing

Dec 16, 2021
4 min read

If on a scale of 1-10, your knowledge of cloud computing lies somewhere between 1-5, here is an easy explanation of cloud computing.

Let’s imagine that you’ve started your own business or a start-up. Whatever business it is, you will have to manage and keep track of a huge amount of data. In the beginning, when you have three to four people working in your company, the in-built storage system of three to four computers will be enough to store all the necessary data. But with time and good fortune, your business or start-up idea will grow bigger and you will need to hire more and more employees to work for you. The bigger your business grows, the more employees you will require and the more data you will have to manage and store. By following the old, traditional method of data storage, you will buy external storage like SSDs and HDDs. The problems with these external storage systems are that — a)hardware will cost you money, b) you will have to arrange for a tech team only to manage all those hardware and c) you will have to pay for their maintenance. On top of that, half of the storage system might not be used and your company will have to face the loss.

Now imagine if you had a service to do all the management, maintenance and security of your data. All you had to do was pay a certain amount of nominal fee, and use the service only when you need it. That will be an efficacious game changer. That is what cloud computing is. That is where the cloud computing service providers jump in.

In simple words, anything that involves the delivery of hosted services over the internet is called cloud computing. The main goal of cloud computing is to provide uncomplicated, scalable access to computing resources and IT services.

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

Cloud computing services allow their clients to access data over the internet, from remote servers, databases and other computers.

To properly understand the functioning of cloud computing, divide it into the front-end and back-end.

The front-end authorizes its users to access data stored in the cloud using cloud computing software or via an internet browser. The back-end, however, is responsible for storing data and information safely— i.e. the principal integrant of cloud computing. The front-end and back-end transmissions are supervised by a central server.

There are a certain set of rules, known as protocols, that helps the central server in facilitating necessary operations. It uses software like middleware to guarantee faultless connectivity between the computers and devices that are connected with cloud computing.  

Examples of Cloud Computing

The best and well-known example of cloud computing is Google Cloud. A lot of people with computer devices use this cloud computing service to store their data. People use Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Photos on a regular basis these days.

Another good example of cloud computing is Office 365 by Microsoft. They provide subscription-based services such as Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook.

Other examples of cloud computing services include Slack, Creatio, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services (AWS), iCloud, IBM Cloud and many more.

Advantages of Cloud Computing

By now, one must already have a good idea about the advantages of cloud computing. But one can still be unsure about the benefits or want to know deeply about the topic. Here are a few advantages of cloud computing.

Less costly: The pay-as-you-go option allows you to pay for exactly the amount of space required. Unlike the traditional way of buying hard drives, there is no need to pay for anything extra except for the storage space.

Security: According to RapidScale, 94% of businesses recognized an improvement in security after implementing cloud computing services.

Scalability: The cloud computing service provider can handle the scaling up and down of their clients by providing storage needs quickly to suit the situation.

Business continuity: A business continuity plan requires the protection of data and systems. Businesses, even after facing unpredictable crises need to get back on track and having their data stored in the cloud ensures the backup and protection of their data in a secure location.

Flexibility: Cloud computing offers flexibility to the employees of the company using cloud computing services. They can have the ability to access the data from their home or while using other computers.

Compute Layers

Compute layer outlines the status of cloud computing services and virtual machines. It brings attention to the logs and logs tables that store information related to several events activated on the cloud. Compute layers also helps in finding out the websites that over-utilize the resources that have been administered to them.

Benefits of Separating Storage and Compute Layers

With cloud adoption and separation of storage and compute, businesses can achieve cost savings and greater flexibility.

Any large retailer wanting to enhance the overall customer experience by checking the insights of purchase transactions, service history, social data, customer demographics etc will require the real-time processing and transformation of a huge amount of data.

Separating compute and storage has some additional benefits:


If data is stored in locally attached disks and the requirement of a bunch of database nodes arises to meet performance specifications, databases usually partition the data in such a way that each node owns some portion of the data. This ownership of data makes the scaling of the database inconvenient. On the other hand, when all the storage network is attached, scaling of the system shows significant convenience. With the increase in computes capacity, a new node can be joined and the data can be remastered. In this process, the data node ownership is modified without the movement of any data.


Cloud computing has shown significant changes in the pricing dynamics. Using cloud computing, remote storage is a lot cheaper than buying object storage or buying block storage. Cloud data service providers have strong networking infrastructures which help in remote storage.


When all the data is stored remotely, the failure of any compute node will not cause the loss of the data. It will not even be temporarily unavailable. Also, the recovery of node failure can be carried out promptly using the surviving compute nodes.

In Closing

Several database dealers have come up with novel architectures over the recent years which support separated storage and compute in cloud computing. In the next few years, the separation of storage and compute, and the relocation of the existing database systems to this prototype will become common.