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Location, location, location 

With the digital transformation boom well underway, storing company data on-premise is fast-becoming a thing of the past. More and more businesses across all industries are shifting their business-critical data and infrastructure to the cloud, unlocking benefits such as cost savings, flexibility and enhanced security.

Whilst there are many considerations when choosing a hosting partner – from support and maintenance to SLAs, security and beyond – one often overlooked aspect to think about is where your data will actually be physically located. Whether its a website or an application, it is easy to forget that it exists on a physical server somewhere in the world.

A data centre can be built anywhere with power and connectivity, but the location has an impact on the quality of service it can provide to its customers. We take a look at why considering the location of your data is important when choosing a hosting provider. 

Connectivity 

One factor that can be heavily influenced by the physical location of your server is connectivity. Whilst the internet may travel at the speed of light, the distance between the data and the end-user plays a big part in the overall performance of your website or application. A server stored close to you could give a response in milliseconds, but it could take 3-4 seconds if it’s further away. Whilst that may not sound like a long time, research suggests that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less before abandonment.

Put simply, connectivity somewhat relies on proximity, so the closer your data is to your customers, the better the performance will be. This is because the further the data has to travel, the more “hops” it has to do on the network, which can slow down response speeds.

Choosing a hosting partner with data centre locations that are near your customers will minimise the risk of issues with latency. Good connectivity relies on multiple redundant fibre connections to major bandwidth providers that effectively cluster together at major peering points. Data centres that are located in close proximity to peering points and Internet Exchanges will benefit from low latency and excellent connectivity. 

Privacy

Different countries will hold different compliance laws and regulations when it comes to data protection. By allowing data to trivially cross physical borders, the internet challenges the very notion of jurisdiction, so it’s important to do your research on local laws before deciding on where to house your data.

For example, Europe has GDPR, Canada has PIPEDA and the United States has DCMA – so while you may be a UK-based company, if your data is being stored elsewhere, you’ll need to abide by the laws of that country. 

In some countries, specific authorities, such as government bodies, will have access to your servers and the ability to monitor the information related to any websites they host. For example, the US government have a lot more access to data than anywhere in Europe, so this is something to bear in mind when choosing your location.

Security

One of the most important factors when considering the location of your data centre is security. After all, the physical security of the data centre is crucial for safeguarding your critical data within it.

Firstly, it’s important to ensure that the country itself is not at risk of being compromised, for example by political unrest or high crime rates that could risk unauthorised individuals gaining access or causing damage to the data centre itself. 

When you choose a hosting provider, it’s important to look at the data centres they use. For example, Hyve uses tier 3+ locations with stringent physical security measures in place, such as 24/7 CCTV, biometric scanners, card readers, video monitors, and mantraps to prevent unauthorized access and keep our customer’s data safe. 

You should also consider whether the location is at risk of natural disasters, such as tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, which can impact the availability of your services or lead to data loss. In fact, the British Chambers of Commerce found that 93% of companies that suffer data loss for more than ten days file for bankruptcy. Data loss is not only costly, but it can also be damaging to your reputation as consumers quickly lose trust in brands if they don’t think are doing enough to protect their data.

Hyve have a global presence in over 35 locations worldwide. If you’re interested in moving into a secure, reliable environment, contact our team of experts today on 08006122524 or email sales@hyve.com

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