Cloud debate is over, is it?

Just a few interesting points from a report on a Washington cloud conference recently. 

In the [US] federal government, which carries a roughly $80 billion annual IT budget, the question of cloud computing is no longer a question of “if,” but rather “how,” and “how soon.”

That is an interesting observation, but we say that one coming, didn’t we?

But a Google development lead pushes this further: 

“Cloud computing is not just about doing the same thing cheaper, but it’s about doing things that you couldn’t do before,” he added.

As for examples of these different things: think of wide collaboration spanning organisations. 
Turning to the issue of public and private cloud, a panelist posed:

“The real issue is if you’re a federal agency you don’t care whether you have a public cloud or a private cloud or a banana cloud,” [a salesforce executive] said. “What you really care about is does your vendor meet federal security requirements. That is the discussion.”

As for the knee jerk reaction that requires a private cloud for anything remotely sensitive, another panelist countered by offering the following analogy: 

A private plane, say a two-seat Cessna, is not necessarily as safe as a commercial, “multi-tenant” jetliner available to the public.

What remains then, are threats that you cannot have your cloud provider engineer away. Outside the US, people see the US government itself as the primary residual security threat, and find it peculiar that federal agencies feel the need to protect against that threat.

5 Comments on “Cloud debate is over, is it?

Iljitsch van Beijnum
23 February 2012 at 18:01

>What people keep forgetting is that networks can fail. When that happens, how are you going to get at your data that lives on the other side of the world?

Henri Koppen
24 February 2012 at 09:54

>@Iljitsch : If you have servers in a datacenter you have the same question. If you have more than 1 location, you have the same question.

Do we need all the data in our physical location? How pratical is that?

It's just risk management.

Iljitsch van Beijnum
24 February 2012 at 13:24

>A nice long network failure will help you answer that question. 🙂

For instance, I sync my IMAP mail to my laptop so I can always get to my mail even when I have no connectivity. When there was an outage for half a day a while ago some of my colleagues who use webmail basically couldn't do any work.

Having documentation locally is also very useful when programming,

Henri Koppen
24 February 2012 at 13:39

>The question in the article title is answered. 🙂

Two comments on this subject:
1) if someone cuts the powerline you have a similar problem, if your server and data is local, then you are lost if you have no extra power supply.
2) I have a pre-paid Internet dongle. No internet connection on local infrastructure? Then I use my dongle. Problem solved.

If network

Iljitsch van Beijnum
24 February 2012 at 13:46

>I'm sorry. but your simplistic partial solutions only serve to convince me that indeed the debate is over, because large numbers of people are so blinded by the advantages that they can't realistically evaluate the disadvantages. They will have to learn the hard way.

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