There are many serene places that your data can reside such as lush farms, large lakes, and different kinds of clouds. When licensing software applications, it’s important to know all of the places where the data may reside and how the data may get there. Data has to live somewhere, and businesses should be familiar with the data real estate market.

Server farms or server clusters is a large group of servers (like thousands) in one location. All the servers are networked. A server farm is really just another name for a data center but will typically be dedicated to data of similar types or functions. Server farms allow for more control over data than other large scale domains.

Data lakes are usually located in a large data center made up of servers to retain all elements of data in an unorganized form. Data lakes are used as a repository for big data. Such repositories require special visualization tools to analyze the data because current SQL database applications cannot handle the volume of data. Hadoop is a popular processing framework with the ability to process big data.

Of course, data may sometime evaporate to the cloud. The difference between the data residing in a cloud or a data center is that the cloud data is stored off premise and usually hosted by a third party. If the cloud data results from the use of cloud services, the data most likely resides alongside data from other customers. Sometimes the cloud can burst.

A cloud burst is when data moves from a local environment to a private cloud, or even from a private cloud to a public cloud. This is an application deployment model that allows applications to free up resources in peak demand times.

Data is not always happy in one place, or even if it is, data may still get evicted. It is important for business to understand the real estate market for its data to comply with internal policies and data related laws, as well as managing data security. Important factors to consider when looking at data real estate is how much data are you working with, how much control is needed over the data, what policies must the data comply with, what laws govern the type of data and locations, what are the privacy requirements, and how much security does the data need.

Storage agreements may contain provisions that permit undesirable locations for a business’s data. Other provisions may allow for data to move without notice. Some agreements even discuss arrangements where data may collocate with data from another company like a large data apartment complex.

Agreements involving data can be tailored to clarify the proper location and security for a business’s data. When considering software services, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney familiar with matters concerning data laws and the complex business issues related to data real estate.