Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Park that cloud over here please!

I'm touring around meeting customers and partners this week. I had a comment from a customer who was looking at cloud computing that made me laugh so I wanted to share. We were talking about whether or not this customer had cloud computing as part of their strategy and he said "yes". I asked what was his biggest concern about cloud computing. Of course, I expected him to mention security or availability. He totally surprised me with something I had never heard before:
We need to know that the cloud will be located in Canada. If the cloud is not located in Canada then we won't use that cloud. It must be a Canadian cloud.
Frankly, I'm not quite sure how you prove the nationality of the cloud. If I look at a server can I see what cloud is sitting on or in it? When I look at a cloud can I see what nationality that cloud is? How do your prove the cloud is a certain nationality?

Any you thought cloud security and cloud availability was hard???

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Ant said...

Actually, that may be a security issue — or at least a privacy and compliance issue.

If an EU company was storing personal data in the cloud, it may need to be sure that the cloud is also in the EU and subject to the appropriate security measures that EU data protection legislation mandates.

Does Canada have similar privacy laws?

See Jay Heiser's Assessing the Security Risks of Cloud Computing!

Anonymous said...


This is actually not as crazy as it may sound. Any Canadian data which is hosted in a US datacenter is subject to US laws including the Patriot Act and the like, so companies' data including information on their employees and customers can be accessed by US officials - hence the concerns.


Unknown said...

Ant/Dmitry - I was being a bit subtle in my post. I agree that the customer was basically voicing privacy and security concerns.

I guess my point is how many national clouds will I need for my application or service that is hosted "out there"? What guarantees will I have that in the world-wide cloud (WWC) my stuff is being help on servers in the Canadian cloud, for instance?