In this post: Explore the topic of cloud’s geographic availability in this installment of ADAPTURE’s “Clearing Up the Cloud” series.
In recent weeks, we have helped prepare you for cloud discussions with clear-cut definitions of common cloud terms. So far, we’ve drawn on our extensive industry experience and a few leading authorities, NIST and Cloud Security Alliance, to “clear up the cloud” for terms such as flexibility, agility, and scalability. The terms we have defined prior to this installment have been characteristics and benefits of cloud that apply within any single cloud environment. Today’s discussion still includes the advantages of virtual machines and scalable virtual resources; however, we are going to bring a bit more of the physical world back into the conversation.
Cloud is an extensive topic, so it’s fitting that the next topic on our list involves an extensive global reach: geographic availability.
The Geographic Benefits of Cloud
When asked to define cloud’s geographic availability (or “geographic coverage” as others could refer to it), the cloud experts at ADAPTURE, first illustrate the global network of data centers that public cloud providers have established over the years. This aggregate cloud coverage divides into geographic regions and further subdivides into availability zones inside each region, and reveals a broad infrastructure that you can leverage all over the world.
Whether you are a single entity or a multi-location company, cloud’s geographic availability enables you to leverage your choice of data center for the best services and resources at each site. The closer the data facility, the more efficient your processes. If you need better proximity to a new site or a particular client base, you can establish nodes in the closest data center, thus increasing workflow and decreasing round trip times.
Let’s bring a little physics into this geography lesson.
You Can’t Break the Laws of Physics, But You Can Take Advantage of Them
Within cloud architecture, data transfer speed is only as fast as its carrier. Because cloud providers use fiber optic networks, your instances are literally limited to the speed of light. And as fast as that rate is, (299,792,458 meters per second to be exact), light can only traverse from eu-central-1 to east-us-2 in so much time. In the end, physics gets in the way, so the best way to mitigate that limitation is to use cloud’s geographic availability to your advantage by moving closer to your users.
However, speed is not the only benefit to cloud’s global coverage.
Geography Enables Compliance
If your company deals in any way with sensitive client information (e.g. credit card, banking, healthcare data, etc.), then you face the challenges of remaining within PCI, DSS, or HIPAA compliance. Moreover, if you are an international company, then you must take into consideration each country’s local policies as well. Often, when operating in other countries, you must house their citizens’ sensitive data in-country or within highly specific regions—even if you have contracted with a vendor in a different part of the globe entirely.
Thanks to cloud’s geographic availability, you can spin up workloads in almost every major region in the world. If you have clients in the EU with regional storage requirements, you can replicate and spin up the necessary applications in an EU-based data center to meet compliance standards. In the same way, if you have contracted with a healthcare conglomerate in South Africa that operates under the stringent privacy protocols of the Protection of Personal Information Act, you can meet those standards by spinning up virtual machines in a ZA-based data center to support online patient portals.
Virtual Benefits from the Physical World
In short, we recommend that you let cloud do the legwork for you. Because no matter your location, no matter your clients’ country of origin, cloud’s intrinsic geographic availability enables you to support your local workloads, provide necessary services, and maintain compliance protocols better and faster than ever before.
Click here for the next installment of ADAPTURE’s “Clearing Up the Cloud” series: Geographic Resiliency.