Location Matters Even in the Cloud

The idea of going to a Cloud system (aka remote computing) for businesses can either be scary, exhilarating or a mix of both. If you’re moving your business to a clouded solution, there are many things to consider to make sure your most valuable business asset, your data, is safeguarded.

With that in mind, one of the most overlooked but critical criteria that business owners review when considering a clouded solution is the data location.

Here at Solve-IT.ca, we ran into just such a situation while working with a client.

What is Data Location?

When we speak of data location, we’re now moving out of the “cloud” world and into the real world.  We’re talking about the actual physical location where the servers that hold your data sit.  When you deal with a virtual environment, your data could sit literally anywhere in the world.  With most clouded servers you buy these days, that data will probably sit to the south of us in the United States.

Why does physical location matter?

Because most of these remote servers actually sit in the US, we have a unique situation here in Canada that our southern counterparts don’t necessarily consider.  Whenever we store data in a virtual environment where the physical server is located in the US, we are sending our data out of the country.  Depending on the type of data and level of privacy it falls under, legally, the information should not cross the border without the person’s consent.

Furthermore, because the server resides in a different city, province, and country, the data falls under the jurisdiction of the local municipality of that server.  Thus, if there are additional rules or regulations that are applied at the local level, the data must comply with those standards as well.

To further make the situation difficult, Internet laws are becoming more complicated because data actually can pass through multiple countries and locations as it “jumps” from server to server to its final location. Certain countries are putting in regulations that govern data that passes through their countries.  For instance, Canada will be implementing CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation), which governs the use of certain personal data for business anywhere online.

The Situation

We were approached from a client to resolve this very complicated situation.  Because this client retained medical information which needs to stay within this country, we had to investigate solutions from a higher level of consideration.

We worked with many companies and server solutions, questioning them on their server location, backup locations, mirrors and safeguards such as firewalls that they had in place. Using our understanding of remote desktop support and ability to delve deeper into the technical details of the provider’s systems, we found a provider that meets all security requirements AND all their servers are located in Canada.

Conclusion

In today’s technological world advances such as cloud computing are ideal for helping small businesses expand at a pace that is reasonable to them without a large initial investment.  Tackling cloud computing for business is different than simply utilizing iCloud or SkyDrive or the like for your personal needs.

When done correctly and with the right level of technical considerations, cloud computing can be the solution that propels your business to the next level.

Are you ready to take the next step?  Need help?  Give us a call here at Solve-IT.ca and let our experts assist you in picking the right solution to fit your business and industry needs.

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