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Is 'local cloud' an oxymoron?

Steve Hodgkinson | March 11, 2009
NEC and Telstra build out their SMB cloud offerings

Part of the value of Applications Net and T-Suite is some degree of assurance that the services and data are 'safe' because they are local stored by a company with a trusted brand in data centres located within known national borders and legal jurisdictions.

This proposition, however, needs to be more clearly articulated in the light of rising concerns about the privacy and security of data in the cloud. Where is my data stored? On servers in Australia or in the cloud? Who is accountable for data loss, corruption or misuse? Who decides which governments can view my data and under what conditions? Who can change the terms and conditions of how my data is managed, and under what circumstances?

The privacy and security statements so far available on T-Suite and Applications Net are 'undercooked' with regard to the specifics of the data issues raised by cloud services.

This problem is exacerbated by the inclusion of many different SaaS providers and by integration between the different applications. More players and more sharing of data increase the data security challenges.

'Local cloud' may well be a viable way for service providers to aggregate global cloud services and provide them in a trusted manner, but some careful thought will need to be given to the basis of this trust. 'Local cloud' will actually be an oxymoron if it is not accompanied by the legal and operational mechanisms required to actually make and keep the cloud, or at least its data, local.

Steve Hodgkinson is a research director in government at Ovum    


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