The term “cloud” obviously conjures up images of white puffs of moisture floating overhead, but in reality, a cloud provider may have servers thousands of miles away from your base of operations. This may or may not be a problem for you personally, but if it also means that it is far away from your customers, it may become an issue.
For small tasks like sending emails or updating social networking sites, physical proximity may not be a big concern. For more intense data operations, however, you can begin to notice latency or noticeably slower performance speeds.
Many cloud providers may attempt to solve those issues by having geographically dispersed servers with redundant data. In other words, one server in California may hold the same data you have stored in London. Another method employed to reduce latency is the use of content delivery networks (CDN). These services can deliver the most essential content to you at faster speeds, again through the use of geographically dispersed data centers.
In the event that you need high performance servers and transfer speeds and are not able to find a cloud provider with one of the above technological advantages, you would certainly benefit from choosing a provider with servers closer to you. This may also be important to you for legal and regulatory reasons, depending on the nature of your business and websites. The easiest way to determine how much proximity will affect performance is to run your own tests. Once you find speeds that satisfy your requirements, you can begin your move to the cloud.