Browse Definitions:

follow-the-sun data center

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Enterprise IT infrastructure in the age of cloud: A guide for CIOs
Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

A follow-the-sun data center is a data center that moves workloads to different geographic locations to more efficiently balance resources and demand.

One method of implementing follow-the-sun computing involves constantly moving virtual machines (VMs) among geographical locations. The idea is to minimize the average distance between servers and end users in an effort to reduce latency and maximize the data transfer rate (DTR).  However, according to Fast Packet blogger Ivan Pepelnjak, it is physically impossible to move running VMs over long enough distances to make this approach work in the real world, particularly when it involves global-scale migration to take advantage of spare resource capacity during nonworking or nighttime hours.

Follow-the-sun computing can be achieved to some extent by using DNS-based load balancing or anycast between data centers, and local load balancing within the data center. It is also possible to use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to create elastic resources based on geographical load distribution.

This was last updated in June 2013

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...



  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...


  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.

  • external storage device

    An external storage device, also referred to as auxiliary storage and secondary storage, is a device that contains all the ...

  • NetApp SolidFire

    NetApp SolidFire is a business division of NetApp Inc. that specializes in all-flash storage systems.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.