As Information Technology departments expand, so do the needs of data storage and server hosting. It is a natural progression to consider moving data from your local office to the cloud. Choosing a cloud service provider is important. You also need to know exactly where in the world that data is located. This means that you should understand where your data center is physically located and also have a good understanding of the architectures that your servers employ.

Where Is the Cloud?
Many people already have a rather vague idea of how cloud computing works, and the fact that they can access it from anywhere in the world does not make things any clearer. Although the cloud seems to extend wherever Wi-Fi data access points and cell phone towers are available, different portions of the service can be located in different places throughout the world. Some cloud server hosting providers do house all of their equipment in their own data centers, giving them full control over the equipment and giving clients the piece of mind knowing they are aware of where there data is located.

The various sectors of the cloud are found in the real-world data centres that host servers. If you choose a Canadian cloud service provider, for instance, make sure you understand where their physical servers actually reside. Keeping your data physically in the same country is important for many reasons.

Security and Legal Issues
It is very important and is your responsibility to understand where in the world your data is stored. If legal issues were to arise, you will need to know where your data is located so you can understand the data protection laws in those areas. As an example, if your company is based in Canada and your cloud server hosting provider is located in China, you may have a very difficult time retrieving your data if there is an issue. You will then have to decide what legal actions would need to be taken in order to get your data back. Resolving a legal issue internationally becomes several times more challenging than it needs to be compared to working with a legal firm in the same province, state or country.

Diversifying Data
For the purpose of not having all of your data eggs in one basket, you'll also use likely want to consider data backup services to spread your portion of the cloud to other secure locations. By making a copy of your information elsewhere on a regular basis, you'll ensure that you will still be able to use it if one physical location of data hosting goes down due to a disaster or temporary service outage.

In reality, this is a widely accepted practice, so the geographic location of data usually varies. Many firms duplicate the same data across multiple servers so that they can provide their users with better service relative to their locations.  It is extremely important to know as much information as possible when choosing a cloud service provider, so don't be afraid to ask the tough questions.

Adding a Cloud Server

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Video Tutorial: How to add a Cloud Server.

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