You have most likely heard the quote “location, location, location” a million times. This quote, coined by Harold Samuel in 1944 when he founded Land Securities, continues to be relevant today, even beyond the real estate market. Mr. Samuel was, of course, talking about the location of a property and saying that you can’t go wrong if you purchase property in the right location. I am oversimplifying this a bit since there are a lot of other variables to consider when purchasing property, including price, but I bring this up because the foundational theory behind this quote is now being challenged. In this new “Data Age” where everyone and everything is connected, does location really matter anymore? Let’s take a macro to micro look at connectivity, data and location.
Location of the End User and Application
The expression “tipping point” refers to a point in time when an idea or social movement evolves into a group radically changing its actions or behavior. Well, the World has collectively and radically changed their behavior in regard to location for: healthcare, education, entertainment, commerce and just about everything else imaginable. This tipping point is sure to impact the youngest generations the most and will likely lead to some amazing innovations. Gen Alpha and Gen Z will not be constrained with the notion of needing to go to a physical location for medical care, school, work or entertainment. They will grow up knowing that wherever they can be connected and have access to data is where they (for the most part) can be productive, engage in social activities or be entertained. What does this mean from a data perspective? All data must remain online, searchable and accessible for end users and applications. And that leads to another important question: Where should all that data be stored?
Where should all that data be stored?
Location of the Data Storage Facility
The answer to “where should data be stored?” is the same as just about every other technology centric question…it depends; and, in this case, it depends on your budget and requirements. If you are designing products and services with a remote workforce for end-users that are also geographically dispersed, then the location where you store data must be accessible via HTTP.
This requirement has led many to evaluate cloud-based storage services. Cloud storage services check the remote access requirement box; but, for larger data sets, the cloud often strains budgets and presents unpredictable costs. From a data location perspective, where your data resides must meet both your budget and the requirements for accessibility (in addition to all your other requirements). The next logical question is, how do you optimize data storage, protection and access?
Next week, we will publish Part 2 of this blog, where I’ll take up the aforementioned question. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions. I also urge you to save your seat now for episode 11 of our Brews & Bytes webcast, Storing Data: When Does Dense Make Sense?