Though I get to do less direct customer and partner gigs in my current role, I still try to keep a regular “reality check” with both of them by meeting with partners who have become good friends and taking on customer presentations where I can. I don’t want to get Borg syndrome :)
I’ve been asked to give a few presentations in the last year in cloud computing as part of a wider discussion on Software plus Services and the topic I can guarantee will always come up is security – and rightly so. I want to know my bank is secure and when I visit the branch is has the trappings of security with locks, checks, signatures and the like. The same can’t be said of cloud computing where you trust your data to, well….a service that comes out of the clouds. People want reassurances. The City of Carslbad in California is a good example.
That’s where a couple of new whitepapers from Microsoft released today may help
Our Global Foundation Services team who build and manage our data centers have covered this today with a blog post - Securing Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure.
That's great, but my understanding is there's still an issue in that it's not possible to mandate which data-centre your Azure application and data end up in - so information could end up outside the protection of (for example) EU data-protection laws - which is tied to the geographical location of the servers.
The Cloud may look as if it's supranational and global, but it aint - it's governed by wildly variable local laws. On the bad side of things, it means that UK law enforcement can't shut down kiddie-porn sites in the Philippines, but it also delivers a particular level of protection from when you choose to site your servers in UK datacentres.
Steve, you don't actually talk much about what your new role in MS is, although it's clearly Azure/Cloud related (that's fine - I still enjoy the tangential stuff). Nevertheless, you guys must have had conversations about this stuff.
charles - the azure team do have geolocation in their UI so you can choose a datacenter though it's only between a couple of US ones right now.
check out http://blogs.msdn.com/stevecla01/archive/2009/05/01/windows-azure-geo-location-goes-live.aspx