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Data Residency: Is Your Website Really Hosted Locally?

Data Residency: Is Your Website Really Hosted Locally?

In Case You Missed It —

The following is the text of a newsletter we recently sent to our clients and subscribers. If you aren’t on the list already, you can subscribe below; you’ll find the messages are not over-frequent and the list is not shared.

I have made the claim that we are the largest website host in Manitoba. The claim goes undisputed, but if you know of another, then let me know.

There are some very large corporations that operate in Manitoba who also host websites. Even the one that was founded in this province has not hosted websites here for over a decade. They have outsourced to other providers in other areas, including in the U.S. Large web hosting companies have seen major amalgamation phases to place a number of well-known web hosts under a single umbrella, leaving fewer truly independent hosts in the marketplace.

“Data residency” means where exactly your data goes to be stored when it’s “in the cloud.” Does it go somewhere in California, or in Texas, Toronto or beyond? Those are some of the most common locations. Very little data is actually kept in Canada unless you ask for it. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are significant hubs in Canada, but so is Winnipeg.

For most businesses, local data is only about convenience, speed, and latency. Fewer “hops” from the consumer to the server means better performance. It also improves localized searching. Google understands the mapping of IP addresses and it knows where customers are when they search, offering local results with priority.. Google knows the distance between the person browsing and the website, and the business that the website represents.

Some industries such as health care have legal requirements about data residency. Health records for Canadians can’t legally be stored outside of Canada.

There’s another benefit to having your site hosted by a local service provider: better support. Amalgamated hosting firms, handling the customer bases of multiple firms, face greater support challenges. If a support technician for one of these firms seems unhelpful, sometimes it’s because he’s not working for the company that controls the hosting platform

100% Webhost was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba and continues to operate from there, working with a world class datacentre partner who manages the physical space. Our servers share a room with some large corporations such as Google, YouTube, IBM, CIRA and others. Our datacentre is home to 44 independent network providers. There are direct connections to Chicago, Toronto, Saskatoon, Montreal and many other cities.

The datacentre is also 1 hop from rural Manitoba. Customers living in a remote location might only have as few as 4 or 5 hops to reach our servers. For rural Canadians, that’s a bridge over the Digital Divide.

Did you know that the main cost of website hosting is electricity? Much of that electricity is used to cool the buildings that house the servers, which all generate heat. In Winter, our datacentre can use cool outside air rather than A/C, which would be necessary in facilities in warmer zones. Winnipeg is a green place to host, with sustainably produced hydroelectricity.

Our harsh weather comes in the form of cold, not hurricanes or earthquakes, providing a much more stable power situation than some areas. Manitoba is famous for producing cheap, efficient, and consistent power.

We are providing hosting in Treaty 1 Territory, home of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, OjiCree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and homeland of the Métis Nation.

Our primary datacentre is powered by clean hydroelectricity generated by Manitoba Hydro, largely on lands in Treaty 5 Territory, the homeland of the Pimicikamak people.

We serve our customers with a neutral hosting approach, working with all service providers, designers and consultants, at our customers’ direction. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of hosting here at home.

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Data Residency: Is Your Website Really Hosted Locally?

by Scott Toderash Reading Time: 3 min