Canada as Major Cloud Provider for North America

Recently, Canada’s CTO Jirka Danek gave a speech where he highlighted the opportunities in cloud and green IT for Canada. Bill St. Arnaud’s blog carried the details.

The arguments for Canada include:

  • Well positioned to become a world leader in Cloud Computing
  • IT investments by the government
  • Existing data protection policies and regulations
  • Existing talent pool

What does this mean for businesses outside of Canada? Watch for Canada (and other countries) to make inroads into the space. But also be cautious about data privacy requirements as they pertain to international boundaries. Look for higher-level providers to leverage Canadian providers for services lower in the stack.

In summary, this could provide great opportunities for businesses…where appropriate.

Microsoft Sidekick Data Loss Not a Blow to Cloud

Stemming from the Microsoft Sidekick Data Loss event, some are highlighting the dangers of cloud computing. Of course there is also the contrarian view too. But the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Is cloud computing dangerous? As with many things, it depends on how you approach it. If you take a measured approach to gauge the opportunities and risks, then no. If you haphazardly march straight into it, then yes, it is dangerous. But that is nothing new…or it shouldn’t be.

The Wall Street Journal article (with details) outlined the mess that has been plaguing Sidekick users for a week now. Is this a case of failure in the cloud? No. Let’s ensure that the focus is on the right problem.

While the gory details are not well known, the details we do know point to poor choices on the operational front. It appears that a similar failure could have happened in any data center. This event is not an example of failure in the cloud, but support for ensuring that good DR/ BC processes are in place…and tested regularly.

Let this event not be a call to lynch the cloud supporters, but rather a call to dust off the DR/ BC plan and run through it.

UPDATE: (10/15/2009)

Microsoft Sidekick Data Restore in process:

Data Center World: Cloud and Data Center Comments

AFCOM’s Data Center World conference was held Oct 4-7, 2009 in Orlando, FL.

Dr. Zen Kishimoto from AltaTerra Research Network posted a nice set of updates to his blog: Zen and the Art of Data Center Greening. There is quite a bit of good information on data center details. Of particular note was the keynote speaker’s comments on Cloud Computing. Andy Parham, CEO of Bick Group referred to the 5 C’s that will change the data center market considerably forever (quoted from Zen’s blog).

Cloud plays a significant role in the transformation. And that data centers should be viewed for the value they bring to a business, not their technological parts.

You can see more of the details on Zen’s blog.