Choosing the right data center location to house your virtual infrastructure and data can be crucial to avoiding the debilitating costs of unplanned downtime. To the same token, choosing the wrong data center location may lead to serious issues. Here are four things to keep in mind as you evaluate a cloud service provider’s data centers and where they are located.
Latency in the cloud is critical. Low latency is necessary for superior application performance and fast access to data. On the other hand, high latency leads to frustration, delays in standing up VMs when you need them the most, and slow application performance. Geographical distance impacts latency; the greater the distance that the data has to travel, the higher the latency. That’s why many companies continue to house production data on-premise where their main office is located, so that data travels no more than a couple of miles.
Ideally, latency can be reduced by accessing production data at the edge or on-premise, but there are concerns with these models. Edge computing is used by companies who have very specific low latency requirements, such as YouTube. We all know the frustration of a slow-buffering video; to avoid this, YouTube has micro-data centers that service the public at a very close proximity, dramatically decreasing the distance data has to travel. Yet, there are also downsides to edge computing and limitations to on-premise computing. What happens if there is a regional disaster that takes out your on-premise infrastructure and your edge micro data center infrastructure? This is why location and geographic redundancy is so important.
Data center best practices would say to move a copy of your data at least 500 miles off-site to create geographic redundancy. This is because latency can become a concern if data is too far away from your on-premise operations, but at the same time, regional disasters are unlikely to span more than 500 miles.
Redundancy in IT is extremely important. If your on-premise production environment is down due to a natural disaster, human error, or cyber-attacks, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place to failover operations to a different data center. This is where Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) can allow your business to meet those critical Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) after unplanned downtime. For example, we have many customers in the Southeast who, due to fear of natural disasters, utilize our Disaster Recovery as a Service solutions to replicate data to our Atlanta data center.
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Data center compliance can be the difference between passing an audit and being slapped with a huge fine. Healthcare providers dealing with sensitive patient data need HIPAA compliant data centers. Any organization that handles the exchange of credit card information needs to meet PCI-DSS compliance. Even government agencies require special compliance standards to assure the protection of data, especially Personally Identifiable Information (PII). NewCloud’s data centers are all PCI-DSS, SOC 2 Type 1, and HIPAA compliant. It’s important to check with your cloud provider to learn more about the compliance ratings of their data centers before making a final selection.
If you need lightning-fast connectivity to major telecommunications providers, look into a cloud provider whose hubs are located in data center co-locations that also house the leading telecom providers. Need to be close to your largest customer base? Select a data center that is geographically closest to them. Our cloud hubs are strategically located for backup and disaster recovery solutions, but are also in the best co-locations for high connectivity to other businesses. We even own the fiber in the ground that connects our data centers (and we don’t share it with anyone), meaning we control bandwidth, latency, traffic, and connectivity speeds. This allows your business to move data extremely quickly in and out of our data centers.
The Bottom Line
Many ask, “does it matter what data center my data gets stored in?” In the current market with public cloud giants like Azure and AWS, many customers have no idea where their data is stored. Not to mention how hard and expensive it is to move data around once stuck in these public cloud giants; get in touch with NewCloud and ask about our cloud hubs, where you’ll never pay ingress or egress fees to move your business’ data.