Data centers form the backbone of the digital economy. They contain all the essential components undergirding cloud computing, which despite its name is actually tangible, with real servers, storage devices and network switches that enable every on-demand service from ridesharing to disaster recovery planning.
In 2018, any effective data center or cloud strategy must prioritize the scalability, security and compliance of the applications hosted there. New regulations along with challenges in data loss prevention make it essential to find the right managed service provider for navigating these possible difficulties. Here's how to ensure you get a data management strategy that will serve you organization well in the long run:
1.Check your hosting partners for certified secure data centers
The viability of any hosted service/app ultimately hinges on the security of its data center. Look for sites with operators that have been certified under standardized frameworks such as SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type II. Such distinctions provide assurances that security controls are in place to defend assets against theft and misuse. Also be attentive to any contractual language about security liability.
"A Tier 3 data center won't be down for over 1.6 hours annually, plus it has built-in redundancy."
2. Verify uptime and performance characteristics
Data centers are often categorized by tier. For example, a Tier 1 data center is typically used by small businesses and may exhibit more than 28 hours of downtime per year. That might not sound like a lot in the abstract, but it's an unacceptably high number for companies running mission-critical applications in off-site facilities. In contrast, a Tier 3 data center won't be down for over 1.6 hours annually, plus it has built-in redundancy.
3. Cover all your bases when it comes to compliance
Regulations about data retention and preservation are always changing. One of the most significant recent developments was the European Union's General Data Protection Rule (GDPR), which is set to take effect May 2018.
The GDPR applies to any data center processing information for customers in EU nations, meaning its scope extends far beyond Europe. Similar regulations could follow in the EU and elsewhere, so be sure your data center provider is up to speed – it's not only good legal practice for them to comply, it's also beneficial in terms of the technology they use, since compliance is often easier after abandoning fragile backup media such as tape.