Today’s world runs on data. There’s a vast, complex infrastructure of connected devices. From financial records to entertainment, all this data must be kept safe and available to those that need it. Even medical records, manufacturing processes and social media services require the flow of reliable data. As our world comes to depend more on information stored in massive data centers, new technology springs up to make the whole process simpler.
Safety from hackers
In our quest to make data available at everyone’s fingertips, we sometimes compromise on safety. Recent data breaches at Equifax, FEMA and JP Morgan Chase demonstrate how vulnerable we all are. These are places that consumers believed were 100 percent safe from intrusion. History tells us otherwise. Hackers from Russia, China and other countries seemingly have no problem breaking through our best firewalls.
Is the cloud safe?
Most of the world has accepted the “cloud” as a safe place to store data. There are many pros to cloud storage. It’s cheaper, it’s easier and information is available anytime and from any location. With cloud storage, you don’t have to worry about upgrading your servers. But is it completely safe? Many business owners believe that they must go ahead and accept the risks. The risks are worth the rewards. Others are saying that they will lose control over their data.
To deal with the issue of control, large corporations like Facebook are building their own data centers. A 900,000-square-foot data center built in Ohio was the first for Facebook. It cost $750 million to build. Two others are planned for New Mexico and Virginia and these will cost at least one billion dollars each. Though Facebook does receive huge multi-million dollar tax breaks, these data centers are top-of-the-line and represent an enormous investment of time and money.
Natural disasters on the rise
What happens in the event of a major disaster? The data center could be damaged or destroyed altogether by a hurricane or typhoon. This could leave your business in trouble. What if you lost valuable customer records or financial information? Some of this stuff is crucial and it’s irreplaceable. In the end, you must decide whether it’s a risk you’re willing to take.
Today’s cloud services are all about colocation. Third-party data centers house hundreds of data servers in the same location for a wide range of businesses. While this is very convenient and offers numerous benefits to company owners, it’s also dangerous. One big tornado could wipe out the entire installation. Of course, these data centers have their information backed up in other locations, but it’s very likely that you will experience some data loss and/or work slowdown.
In spite of the dangers, many experts believe that colocation is the way of the future for most businesses. They provide all the necessary bandwidth, equipment and space so that a business can grow to whatever size it needs to. Most companies do not have Facebook’s unlimited funds to work with, so they must make sound economic decisions.
At the end of the day, data centers are a necessary tool for enterprise users. They make sense for business owners. In spite of the drawbacks, there are simply too many benefits to ignore the convenience and financial upside of colocation.