"Touchstone: A basalt or slate rock used for assaying precious metals. Before accurate analysis was possible gold and silver was struck against the touchstone to test for quality against a known standard."

Cloud Computing

February 12th, 2010

With the largescale uptake of computer services (be that data centres or more generally the supply of on-line data transaction and management services) the most common questions I get asked relate to data security and recovery of data. 

Most data centres offer high levels of encryption and multi-layer locationing of data (splitting your data into smaller packets to store in different locations thereby giving the hacker less chance of obtaining threads of information) together with multi-duplication of data in different physical locations, so avoiding risks of fire or other physical destruction.  Do ask the supplier whether duplication is within the same facility or within a ten mile radius of the original.   Ensure that you understand how your data is given a security barrier both during the transmission to the data centre and after it arrives there.

As for recovery of data either during or after the end of the arrangement do you have any method for checking the content of the data recovered against the known uplift?  Do you have to demand return of your data at the end of the relationship and if so is there a time limit?  How are data back-ups made and how easy would it be to bring about a total recovery if there was an energy supply failure at the data centre?

Ask the questions and ensure that your terms of supply cover all these points to have peace of mind.  Make sure you are comfortable that the contract terms reflect the promises that have been made.

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