Choosing a Cloud Service Provider is no easy decision. In fact, there are several factors to consider when choosing a service provider to meet your company's data storage and protection needs. Chief among those factors should be where your data is being stored. Not only does it have major data sovereignty implications, but it can also impact your organization's overall performance and functioning. When researching potential service providers be sure that where your data is located is an asset and not a liability. Here are a few things to consider.
1. Partial Residency
Many clients are shocked to find out that their service provider is storing their data outside of their country or region. They assume that because their provider has a data center in their region that this is where their data is. This assumption would be incorrect. Ensure your service provider has directly specified and included in your service level agreement (SLA) where your data will be held. This has huge implications for data residency, latency, and performance, as well as significant legal implications. Think about where your data is located and how this will affect your organization. You should choose a service provider who is able to meet your specific needs.
2. Performance & Latency
Where your data is stored can have a big impact on your user experience. Having your data stored 2000 miles away can add latency to your application stack, these latency effects will depend on the application. If latency is a concern for your organization you may want to consider having your data stored within the same region as your users. Experts suggest that if your users are located across multiple regions, then you should opt to host your applications in a load-balanced way across those regions. This will decrease the latency and ensure your user experience is optimal.
3. Access to Regional Support & Engineers
Service providers all have different support and service policies. Some provide 24/7/365 technical support whereas others operate 9-5, Monday through Friday. Many service providers offer their support based on the type of plan you have purchased. For example, the basic plan with Amazon offers no support and their developer plan offers support but only via email and during business hours. Where your organization is located in the world will determine if you fall into the same time zone as your service provider. Coordinating with technical support during business hours with a 10-hour time difference may be difficult. To ensure you have the help you need, when you need it, choose a cloud service provider that offers 24/7/365 support and if possible includes support for free.
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