Many small companies house all of their operations in a single building. For these companies there is usually no need to consider the physical location of their database. A small company with only a single building would obviously store its data on a computer within that building. However, most mid-sized or large organizations have multiple locations, sometimes located throughout the world. Large and midsized organizations must decide where their data should be physically stored and in which locations they should be processed. For a fast-food franchise like McDonald's Corp., for example, management could decide to maintain one database of prices for the food products that it sells. Should that price data be in one location and all restaurant computer systems access that one database, or should prices be stored in regions or localities so that each location can charge different prices? This is only an example of the problems of physical data storage facing large organizations. The location of the data storage and the location of the processing of the data can have tremendous impact upon the efficiency and effectiveness of the company.


McDonald's has restaurants, warehouses, and offices located throughout the world; yet its corporate headquarters is in Oakbrook, Illinois. If McDonald's management decided that all data, including prices, must be stored in a database at corporate headquarters, what would have to happen ...

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