8. Where will my data be stored?
This is important for a number of reasons to do with data protection and compliance: you may be obliged to keep certain types of data within the US, within the EU, or within either of these two regions but not, for example, Asia.
That means it’s important to check what options exist for dictating where data should be stored and replicated to, whether limiting the location of your data limits the data protection options, and if there are any circumstances where your data may be moved outside the regions that you specify.
9. What is the procedure for getting my data back if I decide to terminate the storage agreement?
A critical point here is how easy (and quick) is it to get your data back from the cloud to your data center (or move it to another cloud storage provider.)
Bandwidth is a key issue. Even with a 1Gbps link, it would take almost two weeks to get 150TB of data back from a cloud storage provider to your data center. The feasibility of data retrieval became a serious issue for Nirvanix customers when that cloud storage provider went out of business.
Some cloud storage providers allow you to move large amounts of data out of their service quickly by physically loading it on to disk drives. For example, Microsoft’s Azure Import/Export service charges a flat fee of $80 per device to move data in this way.
10. How effectively can you delete my data?
If you stop using a particular storage service you will want your data deleted from its servers. You may also be required to delete certain types of data for compliance or other reasons.
The real question is whether the provider can provide confirmation that the data you specify has been deleted from all its servers, and in what timeframe this can be achieved.
It’s also worth checking if there is a charge for this. In particular, some service providers make a charge for data deletion before the end of some minimum storage period.