Even though cloud computing has quickly gone mainstream, many business owners remain hesitant. One reason is because of the many myths still surrounding cloud computing. We’re examining several of these myths in our ongoing blog series.

One issue with cloud computing is its very name. It sounds vague, ethereal; I guess my data is “somewhere up there.” The image of the cloud serves primarily to communicate dislocation, but seems to carry vague mystical overtones: people often think moving to the cloud means their data is somewhere in the ether, moving back and forth between locations possibly. The term perhaps doesn’t quite capture the true nature of the cloud computing revolution, which is really a shift toward a utility computing model.

This problem was compounded by many first-generation cloud hosting providers, who did a poor job of communicating where the clients’ data was hosted. As with any new development, the processes had yet to become standardized.

Today, however, most cloud hosting providers can provide detailed information about precisely in what data center location, and in which blade server the client data is stored. For many industries, having this precise information is paramount to maintaining security guidelines for their industry. In addition, providers will also be able to provide precise physical security information for their data center, including location, physical surroundings, and access information.

This precise information and ongoing reports may be a huge step up, as industry analysis indicates a full 67% of executives do not know where their sensitive data is located within traditional legacy infrastructures.

Some important questions to ask your cloud hosting provider regarding data location are:

  • Where is my data located?
  • Who has access to the facility?
  • What security measures are in place for the facility?
  • Is my data backed up to a secure secondary location?
  • Is your company data stored at the same location? Why or why not?