Five questions to ask cloud storage providers Amazon and Nirvanix before trusting your data to them
What security measures do you offer?
Customers typically are expected to encrypt their own files. Don't assume the storage provider will do it for you.
Will I have access to logging and auditing data?
Such access lets you find out whether anyone other than you is modifying or changing your data, says Joel Snyder, senior partner with Opus One and a Network World product tester. Amazon.com and Nirvanix offer this service at no extra charge.
Can I choose where my data will be stored?
In some cases, customers may need to know the exact location of their data for purposes of regulatory compliance. Nirvanix offers the option of locking data into specific physical locations, but Amazon does not.
What kind of downtime can I expect?
Customers of Amazon's Simple Storage Service suffered a service outage for several hours one morning last February. Still, cloud services may be more reliable than a customer's own data center. In addition, Amazon and Nirvanix give service credits to customers if monthly uptime falls below 99.9%.
How would you recover from a disaster?
Like it or not, catastrophes happen. Make sure your cloud-storage provider has a plan in place, should major data centers get knocked offline.
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