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Cloud Knowledge from the Cloud Slam Event Blog - February 2, 2010

Check out these three great new articles from the Cloud Slam Event Blog - Re-thinking Private Clouds, Economics of Cloud Storage, and Legal Implications of Cloud Computing: Relationships in the Cloud.

Re-thinking Private Clouds

In a previous blog entitled "Of Lamb's Tails and Private Clouds" I discussed what I considered the misuse of the term "Private Cloud." To summarize, adopting the trappings and techniques of Cloud Computing while still maintaining ownership and costs related to infrastructure and the real estate that houses it seems disingenuous to me.

But does that mean there is no such thing as a "Private Cloud?" Inasmuch as the definition of Cloud Computing seems as elastic as the benefits promised by the model, I make the case that a Private Cloud is not only viable, but also may prove to be a most popular choice in the short term.

If we disregard the notion that Clouds need to provide “the illusion of infinite resources”, a stretch for all but the largest individual data centers, a “Private” cloud begins to look a lot like co-location with the exception of infrastructure ownership. To many, the exchange of CAPEX to OPEX is the real diver behind going to a Cloud model.

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Economics of Cloud Storage

In his recent blog, my friend Jan Klincewicz wrote this: "To many, the exchange of CAPEX to OPEX is the real driver behind going to a Cloud model."

Jan, I couldn't have said it better myself. So as it is with cloud compute, so it is with cloud storage. Most folks concerned with running large datacenters (or even small ones!) that have legacy storage arrays are faced with a Hobson's choice: either pay for maintenance to 'keep the lights on' (as a recent CIO I spoke to opined) or take a serious CAPEX hit, downtime risk and much labor (either FTE or contract) to forklift-replace the beast.

So, it's natural that many CIOs would consider cloud storage to do what Jan said, exchange CAPEX to OPEX. In a perfect world, they could merely pay a monthly bill and still meet all their business requirements related to storage - which boil down to these three fundamental aspects of data: store, protect, move.

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Legal Implications of Cloud Computing: Relationships in the Cloud

While there is much debate on the IT side as to whether Cloud computing is revolutionary, evolutionary or “more of the same” with a snazzy marketing label, in the legal context, Cloud computing does have a potential significant impact on legal risk. This post explores the relationships in the Cloud, and the potential legal implications and impacts suggested by them.

In the legal world, some take the position that Cloud is no different than “outsourcing”. Unfortunately, making that comparison reveals a misunderstanding of the Cloud and its implications. It is sort of like saying that running is no different than running shoes. Like “running,” outsourcing is a general term describing an activity. In this case the activity involves organizations offloading certain business processes to third parties. Cloud computing (like “running shoes”) is a “new” method for leveraging existing technologies (and technological improvements that have occurred in the past 20 years) that can be used by outsourcers to provide their services more effectively and cheaply (as running shoes represents a technology that can be used to achieve the activity of running more efficiently). In other words, one can outsource utilizing a Cloud architecture provided by a third party, or by using a more traditional dedicated third party hosted technology solution. Both are different technologies or methods for achieving the same activity: outsourcing of business processes.

For lawyers analyzing outsourcing to the Cloud the question is whether the technology, operational aspects and various relationships of a given Cloud transaction create new legal issues or exacerbate known legal problems. To illuminate this question, this post explores the relationships that exist between organizations outsourcing in the Cloud (“Cloud Users”) and those providing services in the Cloud. Coincidentally (or maybe not so much) understanding these relationships is crucial for attorneys that need to address legal compliance risk and draft contracts to protect clients entering into the Cloud.

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Published Tuesday, February 02, 2010 6:15 PM by David Marshall
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