Multi-Region Storage

Files.com has servers across the globe and provides the option to configure the geographic region (and by extension, political jurisdiction) where your files will be stored. Once the geographic region is changed, new files will be immediately stored in the newly selected region. Files that were stored prior to the region change will be migrated automatically to the new region in a background process.

Why choose different regions?

Depending on your use case, the Files.com multi-region storage feature might be implemented for a number of reasons:

  • Keeping or restricting files to a specific geographical region in order to comply with legal restrictions like GDPR, HIPAA, company policies, etc.
  • Minimizing network latency for heavily used or large files frequently accessed by users residing in a region distant from the default region
  • Conserving bandwidth in heavy traffic regions by leveraging the presence of servers in the same or nearby geographical region rather than transferring large files across multiple continents

Multi-region pricing and plans

On any Files.com plan, administrators can set their entire site, at the root level, to store all files in any single region. In addition, Enterprise plans can have more than one region active at the same time, and you can set your region choice on any folder.

See complete details here.

Available Regions

The following regions are currently available.

  • USA, Virginia
  • Australia, Sydney
  • Canada, Toronto
  • EU - UK, London
  • EU - Germany, Frankfurt
  • Japan, Tokyo
  • Singapore

Scope

Multi-region storage settings are available only at the folder level. Individual files cannot be configured to be served from a different region. When you change a folder’s storage region, the server storage will cascade down through all subfolders, provided they were created with the default setting of Inherit from Parent Folder.

Since region changes cascade through all nested subfolders and files, care should be taken when designing the folder hierarchy to avoid undesired region changes.

Changing the Geographic Region

Steps for changing the geographic region of a folder:

1) Navigate to the folder to be served from a different region.

2) Click the settings/gear icon to show the configurable folder attributes.

3) Near the top of the list, click on Geographic region for file storage. Click anywhere in the row to open the Geographic region settings.

4) Next to Store files in select a different region from the dropdown list.

5) Save the updated geographic region settings for this folder by clicking the Save region settings button.

Note that if your site uses a custom domain name, migrating your root folder storage location involves also moving the SSL certificate, and this may cause a brief interuption to your service while the DNS change propagates. Your users may lose access to the site for approximately 15 minutes, so please consider initiating the change at an opportune time.

Use Case Example

The first use case listed in Why choose different regions? is self-explanatory. The remaining cases are concerns for organizations with users based across multiple continents.

Organizations with such an international presence are typically on an Enterprise Premier plan.

If a company headquartered in Australia has offices in Singapore, Japan, France, and the UK but hardly any presence in the US, then the multi-region storage feature with proper configuration of the folder structure can really improve the performance of their Files.com site.

This example can be performed with an Enterprise Premier account which provides access to all regions, or with an Enterprise account using only two regions.

The first step should be to identify which content is specific to each region, especially those files that are either frequently accessed or those that are extremely large, like videos or architectural drawings. Once the high-impact content has been identified, a redesign of their folder structure may be needed.

All files targeted at a specific region should be contained in the same set of folders which will need to have their geographic region changed to the one closest to the primary users of this content.

In this example the Training folder is the top-level folder for some training videos which are being produced in different languages for each country where they have offices.

The easiest approach is to organize the videos by language and country into their respective folders. A folder naming convention was chosen allowing trainers to easily identify the language and region for videos specific to their locale.

The parent Training folder was changed to the Australia, Sydney region which cascaded to all its subfolders. The only remaining task now is to change the geographic storage region of the remaining five video folders to their respective regions.

Videos-en-AU is already set to Australia, Sydney.

France and Germany share a long border, so EU - Germany, Frankfurt would be the logical choice for the Videos-fr-FR folder.

Such a simple design with some minor configuration changes like this could noticeably enhance performance and reduce costs.

Global Acceleration Features

The Global acceleration features configuration option affects the file transfer routes between your users and your selected storage region. Files.com recommends letting us connect users to their closest server. However, if you have compliance conditions that require your data never be stored (even temporarily) outside of the closest server to your selected storage region, site administrators should change this option to use your specified file storage geographic region only. In that case, you must connect using your custom subdomain, or custom domain if you have one configured, instead of app.files.com (example: mySitename.files.com or files.MyCompany.com). Please see the Custom Domain article for additional information.

  1. Go to Settings > Security tab, click on Global acceleration features
  2. Select the option matching your global accceleration needs.