Microsoft has data centres around the world, but which one is right for you?

With a range of locations available, we’ve put together some guidance to help you understand data centres and how to select one that meets your business needs.

What is a data centre?

A data centre is a centralised, dedicated location, which is used to house networking and computer equipment. Often this is used for collecting, storing and processing large volumes of data and can be referred to as the “public cloud”.

This data comes in many forms, whether it is your email, documents, pictures or applications and is run 24/7 off-premises and is available around the world as needed by your organisation.

How much does a data centre cost?

Each data centre comes with its own pricing model, often underpinned by exchange rates, which means that savings can be made by looking at where your data is stored.

Interestingly, even certain physical attributes can influence the price. These factors can include ownership of the land/building, which has an impact on costs due to the rents and leases that Microsoft might need to pay.

Data protection and GDPR

Price is not the only factor that should be considered when choosing the location of your data centre. GDPR and the Data Protection legislation around the world can have a significant impact on where companies would like to have their data stored, including sovereign territories. Microsoft have always stated that they would never disclose customer data in the Microsoft Cloud to a government or law enforcement agency unless required to do so by law, and they spend over $1 Billion on cyber security every year to keep customer’s data secure.

Having data stored locally can also reassure businesses that any data created and managed in the platform stays in the UK. It also means that they can easily demonstrate regulatory and legal compliance.

In short, whilst it may look like the best option when researching online to move your data into Microsoft’s Dublin (North Europe) centre based on price, it’s worth checking if this meets your industries regulatory and security needs in this post-Brexit landscape.

The UK Government has said it will follow current European legislation around Data Protection in the short term, but consideration should also be given to any long-term changes in this legislation.

So where do I start?

A good place to start is to understand your industry-specific legislation and regulatory demands for data. Making sure you understand exactly what and where your data currently resides is vital. Once you are clear on this, it becomes easier to decide on the location of your data along with who has access to it. Price should not be the only consideration.

Are you looking for expert, jargon-free guidance on selecting the best data centre for your business? Contact San-iT today. Through our Consultancy & Transformation services we offer impartial expert advice on every aspect of your IT, from reviewing your current setup to identifying what will help transform your business.

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