What is the cloud? Just someone else’s data center

Source: https://xkcd.com/908/

By now, you know that offsite/cloud/online backup is key to a comprehensive data backup strategy. Having local backups is not enough in case of fire, flood, or other natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado. In those cases, having backups stored offsite in the cloud will allow you to restore your data even if your local backups are unavailable.

But even today, many are hesitant about backing up their data to the cloud. After all, what is “the cloud“? Not an actual cloud, obviously, but the whole concept can be a bit foggy for some. The data has to be going somewhere, and it’s smart to know where that somewhere is, especially for your most critical data backups.

Source: http://gwdr.co/sticker

There’s a saying in IT circles that says “There is no cloud, it’s just someone else’s computer”. Although it might sound contradictory, it basically sums up what the cloud is. When someone talks about something being stored in the cloud, they simply mean that the data is being stored in another location remotely. This is beneficial to you for the reasons listed above, but it can also raise concerns about security.

In Gillware’s case, our “cloud” is really one of our highly secure data centers located in Madison, WI or Chicago, IL. These data centers house servers that store your backed up data, ready to be restored if you should ever need it.

Our data center is owned and operated by Zayo (formerly Latisys), a company specializing in providing what’s called “infrastructure as a service” or IaaS to companies like Gillware. This basically means they own and operate enterprise level data centers and allow other organizations to use them for their own applications.

You may be wondering, why doesn’t Gillware own and operate our own data centers? The simple answer is that IaaS allows us to cut down costs. By not having to own and maintain hardware, we save money and pass our cost savings along to you, our customers!

Zayo’s data centers are held to the highest standard of security. These data centers deliver:

  • Scalable high-density 2N power and precision cooling (to ensure the servers run smoothly)
  • State-of-the-art security (to keep the physical facilities safe)
  • SOC 2 Type II and SOC 3 audited controls (rigorous security audits)
  • HIPAA and PCI compliance (regulatory compliance)
  • Continuous monitoring and reporting (so Gillware knows data is being properly handled)
  • 24x7x365 on-site staff (for Gillware’s added accessibility)

For more information on our data center facilities and provider, you can visit Zayo’s website at zayo.com.