Regional 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.

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, Power 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 on our Pricing page.

Available Regions

The following regions are currently available.

  • USA, Virginia
  • Australia, Sydney
  • Canada, Toronto
  • 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.

A Note About Sync/Mount Remote Connections

If you use Files.com's Regional Storage features in conjunction with its Sync or Mount features that enable direct connections to 3rd party platforms such as Azure, S3, Box, Dropbox, etc., please be aware that, by default, network traffic will travel through Files.com's servers in the USA when transiting to and from these platforms, even if the data in your Files.com folder is ultimately stored in another region.

This default setting is because performance, throughput and efficiency is superior in our USA based cloud. Refer to the Changing the Geographic Region of Data Routing section for details about how to configure this setting to use a different geographic region.

Changing the Geographic Region of a Folder

Web

Steps for changing the geographic region of a folder using a web browser:

  1. Navigate to the folder to be served from a different region.
  2. Click the button containing a flag icon, at the upper right of the page, to show the configurable folder attributes.
  3. Select the Geographic region on Files.com servers option.
  4. Select the desired Region from the available choices.
  5. Save the updated geographic region settings for this folder by clicking the Save button.

API

The geographic region of a folder can also be configured programmatically using the Storage Region Behaviors API.

Command Line Interface

You can also configure the geographic region of a folder from the command line using the Files.com CLI App:

files-cli behaviors create --path "path/to/folder" --behavior "storage_region" --value "VALUE"

Replace VALUE with one of the following values:

  • USA, Virginia: us-east-1
  • Australia, Sydney: ap-southeast-2
  • Canada, Toronto: ca-central-1
  • UK, London: eu-west-2
  • EU - Germany, Frankfurt: eu-central-1
  • Japan, Tokyo: ap-northeast-1
  • Singapore: ap-southeast-1

Custom Domain Notes

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 interruption 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.

If you are using a custom domain and change the primary region where files are hosted on your Files.com site, we will issue you new IP addresses in the new region and release your old IP addresses.

Changing the Geographic Region of Data Routing

These settings are only available when your top-level, or root, folder is set to a non-USA geographic region.

There are two methods for restricting data routing to a geographic region. You can apply a global restriction to your site so that all data routing is restricted to a geographic region, enforcing a "one size fits all" methodology, or you can apply individual restrictions to each remote server, allowing you to configure individual remote servers to use either the default USA geographic region or the geographic region of your top-level, or root, folder.

Steps for globally enforcing the geographic region of your data routing for your site:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Integrations > Remote Servers > Remote servers data regional routing
  2. Click the slider toggle to enable.

Steps for enforcing the geographic region for the data routing of a specific remote server:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Integrations > Remote Servers > Remote servers
  2. For existing remote servers, select the corresponding Edit button and for new remote servers, select from the Add remote server section.
  3. Navigate to the Data Regional Routing section at the bottom of the remote server configuration form.
  4. Select either the default USA geographic region or the geographic region specified for your top-level, or root, folder.
  5. Click Save.

Use Case Example

The first use case listed at the top of this article 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 a 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 a Premier account which provides access to all regions, or with a Power 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 > Files > Global acceleration features
  2. Select the option matching your global acceleration needs.

Ensuring Data is Stored, Accessed, and Transmitted in a Specific Region

Files.com provides a number of configuration options that allow you to control where you data is stored, where data can be accessed from, and where data will be routed through during transmission. This allows you to configure Files.com to use a single region in order to meet data sovereignty and geographical data boundary requirements.

To ensure that your data is stored, accessed, and transmitted in a specific region, configure the following settings:

Please note that the default settings for a Files.com site are:

  • The top-level Root Folder is stored in the USA.
  • Connections with Remote Servers will route data via the USA.
  • Global Acceleration is set to "Use servers closest to my users".
  • Allowed Countries is un-configured, allowing all countries to connect.

In order to be comprehensively restricted to a region, you should ensure that all other connected remote systems also reside in your chosen region:

  • Identity Providers and authentication solutions (LDAP, AD, SSO, SAML, etc.)
  • Data storage solutions, such as Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure Storage, Google Cloud Storage, etc.
  • Notification services, such as email relays (SMTP, POP), Slack, Amazon SNS, etc.
  • Content services, such as Microsoft Office 365 Online, Box, Dropbox, and SharePoint.
  • iPaaS solutions, such as Zapier, Dell Boomi, Azure Logic Apps, etc.

Depending on your region, the ability to restrict the above third party services may, or may not, be available to you. Please contact your third-party vendors to find out what regional configurations are available to you.

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