Part 5 of a five-part series on what to keep in mind as you transition to the cloud: Storage Location.

In part 1 of this series we took a look at security and vendor lock-in as possible concerns in moving to the cloud. In Part 2 we looked at how cloud computing affects the bottom line. In Part 3, we considered how cloud computing protects you in case of emergency. Last week we took a look at how the cloud can help you through streamlining. This week we’re examining the importance of storage location.

Although security concerns are among the biggest obstacles CEOs cite preventing cloud computing adoption, when they do make the decision to migrate to the cloud, often, businesses fail to ask a few simple questions about the storage location that could end up preventing larger problems.

One issue here is often marketers generate a list of main features regarding the server storage location in the provider’s web and brochure copy. In poorly coordinated companies, the features may be exaggerated in relationship to the actual data center characteristics. You want to make sure the hosting provider also has detailed documentation regarding location security features, as well as a detailed Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP).

Although moving to a utility computing system has obvious advantages for companies across the board, some industries, especially in the public sector, may require the storage location to be in-state, or at least in-country. Having your hosted service provider verify that their storage location is in compliance with your industry guidelines is paramount.

When considering storage location you want to ask some of the following questions:

  • Do you have multiple Data Centers to maximize security and failover solutions?
  • Who has access to the Data Center?
  • What physical protection systems are in place for the locations?
  • What happens if the data center is compromised?
  • Can we have a copy of your Disaster Recovery Plan?
  • Can you verify the data center location is in compliance with my industry’s storage guidelines?

This is a good opportunity to gauge the provider’s quality of service. Are they responding to your requests in a timely manner? Are they thorough and forthcoming in their responses? Do they display professionalism at all times.

At True North, we aim to provide business leaders and IT pros with useful insight into the dynamic field of IT Solutions, consulting, and Managed Services and hope you found this information helpful.

Please check in next week for Part 1 of our four-part series on Cloud Security.