Jon Lucas, Director at Hyve Managed Hosting, discusses some of the key factors which determine the locations of data centres.
With the amount of data being created rapidly growing and affecting businesses of all sizes, here are the ‘four C’s’ that should be noted when deciding where to locate a physical data centre.
Data needs to be able to travel constantly between the data centre and the business using it. Having a hosting provider located nearby means that the data has a shorter distance to travel compared to overseas hosting, for example; this can provide a more continuous connection. Businesses can also base their choice on a data centre’s Internet Exchange points and secure routes to global markets, again guaranteeing strong connections globally.
As a standard, every good hosting provider should hold all of the necessary ISO and security accreditations to ensure that they are consistently providing a secure service. But now that GDPR is in effect and businesses are expected to have a firm grasp on all of their EU customers’ data, data sovereignty – the notion that data must comply with the laws of the country it’s in – also becomes a much more important issue. Data centres in the UK must comply with GDPR if they have EU customers; even after Brexit, this law will still apply and the UK plans to introduce a similar initiative itself.
If a problem with a business’ website occurs, having a hosting provider based further away can become a problem. Having a data centre close by provides a greater guarantee of instant availability, meaning that if a crisis or technical issue occurs, it could be solved in a quick, efficient manner. Being in the same time zone also makes communication easier and customers can benefit from engineers that speak the same language to offer the most effective service.
Though this might seem a trivial aspect, natural disasters can have a direct effect on hosting, particularly if a website is being hosted from a physical location. A business does not want to risk losing its data or website connectivity because there is a weather disaster in the surrounding area – anything from flooding to bush fires to hurricanes. However, disasters can happen anywhere, so a provider with a backup data centre gives customers confidence that they are in safe hands.
It is crucial that data centre locations are selected wisely and keeping these four tips in mind will help avoid a wealth of problems further down the line.