All clouds are not created equal. Each cloud service provider’s environment is bound to be different from the next, even when the base offers appear to be similar.
For example, different cloud providers will use different types of data centers, which can have a direct impact on your security and ability to meet compliance standards. WHOA.com isn’t in the “data center business”, but we are in the business of ensuring the highest levels of security for our clients, which is why we partner with Tier IV data centers and let them do what they do best.
Do You Know Where Your Data is Stored?
Two of the IT Industry’s most respected governing bodies established a series of Tiers describing the requirements for infrastructure and availability of data. Tier I is the least demanding – basically just a server room. Not a viable option for business-critical computing demands. On the other end of the spectrum, Tier IV is exceptionally rigorous, with requirements such as:
- Full redundancy of subsystems.
- Compartmentalized security zones with biometric access controls.
- Independently dual-powered cooling equipment.
- Fault-tolerant electrical power distribution.
At their most basic, data center tiers reflect the amount of redundancy present in the systems of the data center. The higher the number, the more redundancy is present, and the more uptime is guaranteed under that center’s services. Most in-house infrastructures only meet Tier I or Tier II standards.
However, uptime isn’t the only benefit of using a higher-tier data center. As the tier numbers increase, so do the security measures employed by the data center.
For example, as mentioned in the bullet above, a Tier IV data center has compartmentalized security zones that use biometric access controls. Biometric controls help ensure that not just anyone with a key can waltz into the building, they have to have the right fingerprints, retinal patterns, or other unique biological identifier.
If your business has specific security standards that it has to follow, such as PCI, HIPAA, or other compliance requirements, the security measures put in place at the data center level can have a direct impact on your compliance.
This is why WHOA is very discerning when choosing data centers to partner with. By partnering with only Tier IV data centers, this ensures that any data center used by WHOA follows strict security protocols to keep unauthorized personnel from getting near your company’s secure data. Each data center uses armed security patrols, security checkpoints, CCTV monitoring, and keycard access system to prevent a hacker from gaining direct physical access to the hardware that hosts your cloud environment.
Going Beyond Physical Security
Using a Tier IV data center is a great way to ensure that the physical hardware your data is stored on remains safe and available. But, there’s more to cloud security than the measures taken at the data center.
Premium cloud service providers such as WHOA build on this physical security by deploying our cloud on infrastructure that was purpose-built with the highest levels of security in mind.
For example, WHOA’s basic firewall for all of its cloud environments uses Palo Alto Networks’ industry-leading firewall solution for the perimeter firewall, and additional per-user and per-app based firewalls from solution providers such as Alert Logic and Vormetric to ensure that all data is compartmentalized.
WHOA.com ensures both strong physical security measures by partnering with only Tier IV data centers, and purpose-built our infrastructure with security in mind to ensure the utmost levels of security for our clients.
Security of your business-critical data is just one advantage of the cloud. Download our Multi Layered Approach to Security Ebook for more ways to benefit from Tier 4 Data Centers and Cloud Security.