Moving into the cloud?

With the weekend’s hiccup in the IBM-Sun merger taking over this morning’s news, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this article in last week’s Economist about IBM’s so-called “Open Cloud Manifesto” (basically, an appeal to industry to make cloud computing components work together around common standards). Both IBM and Sun are well positioned to help organizations move into the cloud, but I wonder just how well understood — and embraced — this concept of virtualization really is.

Admittedly, I first started to think about how moving into the cloud benefits organizations and communities last year after reading Tom Friedman’s “Hot, Flat and Crowded” + hearing Sun’s founder — Scott McNealy — speak at a Potomac Officers Club lunch. It strikes me that cloud computing can address energy and environment issues while lowering an organization’s IT costs. And I’m not alone. Last night, I came across five short videos produced by Akami for that succinctly address cloud computing (without once uttering “lock-in”). If I could, I would have embedded the videos here on GovLoop; as Akamai handles 20% of total Internet traffic today, I think their views are worth hearing — and sharing.

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Allen Sheaprd

For what it is worth I see cloud computing as good for extra horse power but not daily work. Why? Confidentiality. If I run a hospital or a small juvinial social service center the HIPPA and JD rules would kill me.

In the city we have lots of confidential information. Yes most of it is public record and can be gotton via FOIA but to throw all that into the cloud seems risky.

What do you think?

Denise Hill


I agree with the caveat that the technology is sometimes the easy part. There are other considerations such as security, cost, FOIA….

Al Dominick

In terms of security, I am under the impression that such risks — e.g. inadvertently making public information that should be confidential — have been addressed (tangentially, take a look @ this Gartner report for another perspective on the future of cloud computing). In terms of FOIA requests, does it matter if the information lives in a cloud or in your own silo’d farm? I can’t answer that…

Yes, I see the potential danger in terms of storing private data off-site with a 3rd party. Maybe I am too naive & too quick to trust Google, Amazon, etc. will make security a priority (otherwise, why would anyone trust them with their info?).