Data centres are facilities comprised of networked computers that store and process large volumes of data. Businesses can choose to deploy their own data centres, but many are turning to offsite data centre services because they cut costs and minimise downtime.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a data centre provider, including their services, reputation, and most importantly, location. Where a provider’s data centres are situated is vital because it has a massive impact on the quality of the facility and the region’s data compliance regulations. If you run an Australian-based business, you’ll have to decide between local and overseas data centres, and there are strong arguments for both.
Australian data centres
Australia has 238 data centres, the majority of which are located in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. There are also 724 service providers across the country, and the top players include Telstra, PIPE Networks, and Vocus Communications.
According to a recent report, Australia’s data centre market is expected to skyrocket, reaching revenues of up to $955 billion by 2021. This is likely due to the popularity of massive-scale providers like Telstra and increasing demand for local services.
Additionally, a significant portion of data centre facilities in Australia have uptime and ISO certifications, which demonstrate they provide state-of-the-art solutions, holistic security systems, and robust business continuity protocols that ensure maximum uptime and connectivity.
Data transfer rates and latency
The geographic location of a data centre plays a crucial role in data transfer rates and latency. For example, hosting applications in a US data centre means the data has to make a round trip whenever it’s accessed by your Sydney-based employees. Keep in mind that data travels between several networks, routers, and switches, which drastically increases latency. By contrast, data will reach company devices much more quickly when you opt for a local data centre provider.
Convenient local service
Having a data centre facility within close proximity of your business also means you never have to worry about:
- time zone issues,
- travel costs,
- conference calls,
- routine check-ups,
- cultural or language barriers, or
- operational issues.
Streamlined data compliance
Another major benefit of Australian data centres is their compliance with data regulations like the Privacy Act 1988 and the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme 2017. This means they use cutting-edge encryption protocols, threat detection software, and surveillance systems to minimise the risk of data breaches.
Overseas data centres
An overseas data centre can be an attractive option for companies that need additional sites for data backups. Australian facilities take considerable measures to prevent any disruption to their services. However, there’s still a risk of wildfires, storms, and power outages, especially during summer. Deploying a data centre in low-risk regions may help you avoid such disasters.
Certain offshore data centres can also have lower utility rates, labour costs, and maintenance fees, which is great for businesses on a tight budget. However, there are some complications with overseas data centres.
The biggest problem is Australian businesses not only have to comply with local data laws, but also the specific laws of the country in which the data resides. For instance, if you store data in Singaporean data centres, you must make sure the data centres adhere to the country’s Personal Data Protection Act 2012.
Data sovereignty is a major concern in countries like the US. If your company collects and stores highly sensitive data, it would be unwise to host it in the US because authorities can subpoena and inspect your data under the Patriot Act. What’s more, according to the Australian Privacy Principles, businesses must disclose what information is being sent overseas, which can cause even more security and management headaches.
Another problem is you’ll have much less visibility over your data. Although overseas data centres offer cheaper rates, their services may not be as transparent as they are in Australia. After all, staying in sync with service providers is more difficult when they’re on opposite sides of the globe.
Despite the downsides of overseas data centres, it’s important to remember that not all data is created equal. Non-sensitive files can be stored anywhere in the world without any risks, but confidential information may be safer in an Australian data centre.
If you’re worried about where to host your data, Empower IT Solutions will give you peace of mind. We’re one of Australia’s leading managed services providers, and we ensure your data is stored in heavily fortified facilities. We can help you find the right type of data centre to meet your business needs, give us a call today.