Cloud

What's the difference between Cloud Networking vs. Cloud Computing?

Admin November 16 2022

Moving your business to the cloud helps you save costs, provides on-demand scaling, and increases the overall security of your IT systems.

When you start researching cloud computing and its benefits, you will find that cloud computing and cloud networking are often used interchangeably. Let's clear the fog. Cloud computing refers to leasing computational resources for storage, hosting, and using applications over the internet. On the other hand, cloud networking involves renting network resources from a third-party cloud provider.

Before highlighting the differences between cloud networking vs. cloud computing, let's understand what is cloud networking and cloud-based networks.

What is cloud networking?

Cloud networking refers to leasing network infrastructure and capabilities from a third-party cloud provider. Be it routers, firewalls, load balancers, adapters, etc., you can access all networking devices remotely using cloud networking. With cloud networking, you ensure smooth data exchange across your organization by designing, configuring, and managing network resources on the cloud. 

There are two types of cloud networks – Cloud-based networks and cloud-enabled networks. In cloud-based networking, both network management software and hardware are rented from the cloud provider. On the other hand, a cloud-enabled network is a hybrid networking model wherein you manage your on-site network infrastructure using the cloud. Based on the networking needs of your organization, pick a networking model that promises maximum efficiency. If you are confused about which cloud provider you should choose, here are 10 questions you should ask when selecting a cloud provider for your business.

Cloud Computing vs. Networking

Cloud computing involves renting third-party servers for storage, hosting applications, and managing databases over the internet. Whereas, using off-premise servers and network resources to build and manage your IT network is called cloud networking. Both cloud computing and networking eliminate the need to purchase expensive hardware to run business operations. 

Now that we have settled the cloud computing vs. networking debate, let's look at cloud computing use cases. 

There are mainly five cloud computing services:

1. Software as a Service (SaaS) - SaaS refers to on-demand applications hosted on the cloud. Google Workspace (formerly GSuite), Slack, Salesforce, and Dropbox, are some popular SaaS platforms.

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS) - PaaS provides a cloud-based development environment enabling you to build, test, manage, and deploy applications. PaaS services include Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, and OpenShift

.3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - IaaS providers allow you to access computing, networking, and storage resources over the internet. Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, and Google Compute Engine (GCE) are amongst the prominent IaaS providers.

4. Hardware as a Service (HaaS) - HaaS involves renting hardware equipment such as servers, laptops, and networking equipment for your organization. In cloud-based HaaS, you pay for virtual leasing IT equipment.

5. Network as a Service (NaaS) - NaaS is a cloud service model where you lease networking resources from cloud providers.

Benefits of cloud-based networks

Reduced costs 

With cloud networking, you don't need to buy networking equipment or spend significantly on maintaining on-site servers. Such savings when combined with affordable pay-as-you-go pricing of cloud networking services, makes cloud-based networks best suited for small and medium-sized businesses.

On-demand scaling 

Cloud networking provides on-demand scalability. You can easily increase or decrease your network resources depending on your network demands.

Robust security 

Using cloud for your networking needs implies you can automate tasks like updates, deployment, and monitoring. Automation along with the security features provided by cloud services help you secure your IT network from cybercriminals.

Simplified management 

Cloud networking provides remote access enabling you to update, configure, or patch your IT network from anywhere. You can also easily manage permissions, set policies, and gain complete visibility into your network making network management easier on the cloud.

Increased productivity  

When you outsource your networking needs to a reliable managed service provider like Nortriver IT your team can focus on other business-critical tasks. From building your network infrastructure to 24/7 monitoring, Northriver takes care of all your networking requirements.

Things to consider while moving your network to the cloud

After you have researched what is cloud networking and realized its advantages for your business, it's time to adopt cloud networking. To make the most out of cloud networking services and ensure your cloud migration is successful, you need a concise cloud migration plan. 


The first step in moving to cloud-based networks is conducting all the necessary performance and troubleshooting tests. This will help you reduce errors and identify network bottlenecks like latency issues. In the next phase, you will determine your network requirements such as the networking model you will adopt, whether you will choose SaaS, IaaS, HaaS, or PaaS, application dependencies, bandwidth usage, and other network requirements. The last step is to ensure your cloud networking provider follows the security principles of your service-level agreement (SLA) and you are all set to use the cloud for your networking needs.

Build an efficient IT network with Northriver!

The reliability of your data connectivity depends on how you configure your network. To ensure data travels smoothly across your IT systems, your networking infrastructure should be optimally designed and configured. 

Northriver provides end-to-end managed network solutions to build your IT network based on your business requirements. Routing, switching, remote access, 24/7 networking, and secure connectivity for all your communication needs (file sharing, voice, video VoIP, conferencing), we cover all your networking needs under one roof. Tell us your networking requirements and we will help you create the most efficient network!

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