More On

Mapping and collecting data stored in an IaaS environment

Sure I know where my data is…it’s right here on my “S” drive

In part one of this three-part series, we discussed some of the basic concepts and advantages when organizations abandon the traditional concept of data storage and move their IT infrastructure to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers. However, once the data is in the hands of the IaaS providers, is it really where you think it is? The answer is a resounding “maybe.”

If you take a few minutes to peruse the service-level agreements for Amazon’s various service offerings, you will find that Amazon operates its data hosting/providing services out of data centers in eight distinct regions across the globe: U.S. East (located in Northern Virginia), U.S. West (located in Oregon), U.S. West (located in Northern California), EU (located in Ireland), Asia Pacific (located in Singapore), Asia Pacific (located in Tokyo), South America (located in Sao Paulo) and a separate environment for the U.S. government. Therefore, when you sign up for Amazon’s services, you would naturally assume that your data will remain housed at that one particular location within that particular region. As it turns out, that both is and is not the case. 

Contributing Author

author image

Jonathan Fowler

Jonathan Fowler, EnCE, ACE, is the Director of Forensics at First Advantage Litigation Consulting. He can be reached at

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.