Locking Data Down in the Cloud

Michael Vizard

One of the challenges associated with cloud computing is determining which rules and regulations apply to the data based on where it is physically stored. For example, many companies in countries around the world are hesitant to store data in a cloud computing service in the United States for fear that information would be subject to the U.S. Patriot Act. In addition, many companies have regulatory concerns that could require cloud computing providers to have a data center physically located within that country.

 

Obviously, these regulations can have a chilling effect on the whole concept of cloud computing unless data can be managed in a way that satisfies the security and privacy concerns of all the interested parties.


Cleversafe provides storage systems based on a dispered approach to storing data that slices information up across multiple arrays. Accessing data on any particular drive is essentially a useless exercise because to make sense of the information, you have to organize in the right sequence all the slices of data located on multiple storage arrays.


With the launch of Cleversafe 2.0, the company is adding support for the concept of creating vaults in the cloud. Theoretically you could create a secure data vault in the cloud that would be subject to a particular country's rules and regulations without having to be physically present in that country. Think of it as the digital equivalent of creating a storage embassy somewhere outside the country that's still subject to the laws of the country that the embassy represents.


Obviously, cloud computing is running far ahead of the way regulators think about where data is physically stored. That means there will need to be some significant effort made in terms of how bureaucrats think about information technology. The point is, however, is that it is possible to apply the benefits of cloud computing on a global scale while still complying with the sovereign rights of any country where that data was originally created.



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