Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Cloud computing can be stormy

Cloud Computing seems to be the 'hot' term now. But it seems like it might turn into another way for vendor's to lock customers into their services.

Service providers won't admit this, but once they've got your data, they'll try to find ways to lock you in and keep you from switching to another provider. Ultimately, we users may have to make a trade-off -- sacrificing some degree of freedom and control in exchange for convenience. If the alternative is the mess we have today, that trade-off may look appealing.

Before you let your data get locked into a service provider, you better make certain that the company that has your data can meet your data recovery requirements and your data security requirements. For example not all clients will feel comfortable with their data being mixed in aggregates with other customers' data. Providing security for your corporate data may be more important than the convenience of the solution pitched to you by the Cloud storage provider. How can you be certain that your Cloud storage provider's employees meet your personnel screening requirements?

Everyone should ask their Cloud storage provider the following questions:
1) "Who has the keys to my company's most valuable data?"
2) " Do the employees meet our company's security requirements?"
3) " Do they meet the requirements of any government contracts we have"
4) " Where is the data physically located if we need to take possession of it quickly"
5) " What is the cost if we need to take possession of our data "


Clouds often mask the important visual clues that you need to make informed decisions, without a good set of instruments it may be hard to interpret the information you are given by the Cloud storage provider.

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