Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2017

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

Issue link: http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/810339

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12 PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE OF ILTA | SPRING 2017 BEST PRACTICES How To Narrow Down Your Data Center Choices Implementing DR has become common enough that most firms understand the principles. Now that moving your data center off-premises to an outsourced vendor is more accessible than ever, many firms don't know where to start. Location, Location, Location Consider geography. Quality facilities are available almost anywhere. Decide where you want your data center, and you will quickly narrow your options. Latency is key. The greater the distance between primary office and data center, the higher the latency. While technology has improved enough to provide an excellent user experience even over a high-latency line, such a line might require additional investment and fundamental configuration changes to systems. This creates a complex infrastructure that must be maintained by someone with a sophisticated enough skill set. The lower the latency to firm offices, the less this proves to be a concern. Low latency also solves many common user experience issues. This is why Microso has seven data centers in the United States alone and is building four more. If your office is in a big city — one facing continuous construction and poor electric grids, fiber connections and water options — or somewhere else prone to disruption, such as a coastal hurricane zone, a co-location will decrease your chances of an outage. Some firms look for facilities far enough away from their main offices to be unaffected by the same event. Even if your data center is close, it is still beer equipped to deal with an event that would take down systems in your main office. Manhaan co-location centers stayed running during Hurricane Sandy. However, the firms with on-premises data centers suffered. Co-locations have more redundant power, cooling and onsite generators and are beer organized. Co-locating your primary site allows you to achieve what would be very difficult in a commercial building. (Remember that a single data center — on-premises or in a co-location — does not make a DR solution.) A common misconception is that the data center should be within driving distance of your IT team. A properly set up data center in a high-quality co-location facility does not require visits. Focus instead on latency. Lines of Communication Get a list from your wide-area network (WAN) vendor of locations it serves to use as the next criterion. Having the same company provide the service is a great way to avoid a faulty connection. A bad connection from a data center affects your whole firm, whereas, in an office, it only affects that office. Moving critical production systems outside of the office means a larger reliance on your communication infrastructure. Choose Before evaluating providers, you must reflect on why you need a data center, and then decide on the purpose of your data center setup. The most popular reasons for moving to a data center are disaster recovery (DR) and primary site co-location. While there is some overlap — a primary site co-location will help you with disaster avoidance and therefore business continuity — they are not the same thing. by Chris Owens How To Narrow Down Your Data Center Choices

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