Six Must Haves to Keep Your Data Protected in the Cloud

Have you ever wondered, “Now that my data is backed up, where is it being stored? And how are they keeping it safe from the elements and outside forces?” When trying to find the right vendor to protect your data, here are some must haves that should be on your checklist.

Fire Suppression System
One thing that would kill a hard drive quickly is moisture, and extinguishing fires with a liquid—such as water from a fire sprinkler. This could create more damage than the actual fire. As a result, in the event of a fire you would want the data center backing up your data to use a waterless, gas fire-suppression system much like the one that’s used to protect the original U.S. Constitution at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. The system emits a mix of gasses (nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide), which reduces the available oxygen to around 15%. This allows enough oxygen to survive if someone were in the room but insufficient amounts for a fire to continue.

Two-factor Authentication
You would want as few employees as possible having access to your data.  A data center that is equipped with a two-factor authentication access control system for entry and access to the data center is your best option.  So, how does this work? The first authentication is the use of an authorized badge. The second is a biometric fingerprint scanner. Using biometrics ensures that only authorized employees are able to gain access to service the servers.

Armed Guards, 24×7 Video Monitoring, and Fencing
It sounds pretty serious…because protecting your data is serious business! Find out how the physical building is protected. 

  • Is the data center that houses your valuable information surrounded by high gates
    constructed of metal and brick?
  • When entering the facility is there a “man trap” (it’s kind of like being locked in a revolving door) that ensures no one unauthorized is sneaking in to the building?
  • Is the premises monitored round the clock with motion-sensitive digital surveillance cameras in case an uninvited guest attempts to gain access?

Environmental Controls
Backing up 90 PBs of stored data in hundreds of servers can heat up a room quickly. You want to make sure that the facility protecting your data has the right environmental controls and is equipped with an enterprise-monitoring system. This type of application keeps close tabs on the data center’s temperature and humidity, CRAC (computer room air conditioning) unit status and power generator status. If any of these conditions exceed predetermined thresholds, then notification is quickly sent to a team member.

Redundant Power and Network
Black outs, brown outs, and Internet outages can be a huge threat to your data. Your backup data center should utilize redundant systems for power through backup generators supplied by fuel storage.  As a fail-safe, the data centers should also be serviced with multiple network carriers, so in the event of an outage you are able to access your data through the backup carrier. These systems should be tested regularly to ensure 24×7 availability.

EarthquakeSeismic Safeguards
In the event of an earthquake, can your data center withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake? Be sure that if your chosen data center is located in an earthquake risk zone it rests on seismic base isolators (these look like giant hockey pucks). If an earthquake were to occur, the isolators allow the buildings to move around. In addition, cement slabs at the base of the building break away, allowing the building to move as much as one and a half feet in any direction.

Choosing the Right Data Center
You’ve received a pretty hefty checklist on what to look for when choosing the right data center to back up and protect your valuable data. There is one vendor that covers everything on the above checklist and that is Mozy.  Mozy offers cloud backup as a service for desktops, laptops, and small physical and virtual servers, such as those found at remote and branch offices. Mozy is an essential component in the EMC backup and recovery solutions portfolio.

We Don’t Believe in Shortcuts
As your cloud backup provider, we take no shortcuts in protecting your data. Mozy by EMC is serious about backing up and protecting your data!

About the Author: James Jolley