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Storing furniture or data, some things are better left at home

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Many of you may find the title of this post quite odd. Rest assured that hiding behind it are my thoughts on the initial steps toward moving your data to the cloud.

When you move from one residence to another, you sometimes have furniture that you don’t want to put into the new place. In order to decide what to do with these things, you’ll need to sort through all the furniture, which, I’m willing to bet, will take longer than the move itself. Once you’ve gone through everything, you may decide to put some items in a self storage facility. Of course, you’ll want the facility to be relatively near to your house, in case you need to retrieve something.

Moving your data to the cloud is not much different; luckily though, it involves far less heavy lifting.

Just as with your furniture, you’ll want to go through the data you have and evaluate which data you will move to the cloud and which you will not (perhaps for existing system dependency or infrastructure reasons), and the distance to the cloud data center is likely to be important for performance reasons.

Many people live with family or roommates, and the furniture is shared with the co-inhabitants. Imagine coming home and telling your spouse that you have placed the television in self storage, or telling your children that their gaming console is now located at a storage facility! There might be tears, there will likely be shouting and you could easily end up sleeping on the couch for the foreseeable future, even after apologizing and returning the items.

Likewise, the data you have stored might not be yours entirely to control. In many countries there are laws that govern how and where data can be stored, so it is extremely important to make sure that you understand those laws and move only the data to the cloud that is legal to move. For example, there could very well be a law stating that your data has to be stored in Europe, and that traffic to and from it must not pass through any non-European country.

These laws can cover much more than just placement and access to data, and should be thoroughly examined prior to moving any data to the cloud. While moving the wrong piece of furniture to self storage could earn you a stay on the couch, moving the wrong data to the cloud could cost you your job or perhaps even a stay in jail.

Please do with your furniture what you (and your family) like, and feel free to share your thoughts on data in the cloud with me here or on Twitter @CloudyTHA.

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