Month: August 2012

Cloud closure highlights data sovereignty risk…

The recent high-profile closure of a US cloud vendor’s UK service is a reminder for end users to clarify what contractual rights their providers sew into their service agreements. According to Product Director Martin Saunders, while Doyenz’ actions have been contractually sound, the case casts light on the important questions end users need to be asking of their Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), if they are to protect themselves from losing critical business information, or unknowingly having their data transported to, and stored in, undesirable jurisdictions.

US-based disaster recovery vendor Doyenz launched its rCloud service in the UK in November 2011, based in a data centre in London. In early August, the vendor announced that it would no longer be supporting the rCloud backup and recovery service, giving notice that it would stop the service, offering to move customers’ data to a US facility.

Commenting on the case, Saunders said that cloud users should be looking for contractual clarity and reassurance from cloud providers to understand how the service is delivered, where data is stored and ultimately who is accountable and liable for service delivery.

“Cloud is a relatively new delivery model, so instances when cloud providers have stopped trading have so far been rare occurrences. However, end-users must take precautionary steps to ensure business continuity for any situation as they must assume ultimate responsibility for their data,” said Saunders. “It’s important to remember that CSPs, like all external suppliers, will not act as insurers of a customer’s business, so it’s important that the risks are adequately accounted for.

“Market messaging today tends to over-play vendor specific messages about platforms or, too often, paints cloud as a panacea. Whilst neither approach is necessarily incorrect, they downplay or risk ignoring the practical considerations facing organisations adopting cloud services and may be damaging the public perception of cloud.”

Although customers have been given the choice of transferring their data to Doyenz’ US-based data centres, Saunders expressed doubt over the viability of this option, owing to users’ legitimate concerns about data location.

“Claranet’s own research into end user concerns about cloud services found that data sovereignty is one of the key concerns for organisations when moving to the cloud,” continued Saunders. “Moving data to a cloud service can often mean it is hosted in another country and therefore subject to different data laws. If users have no visibility or control over where their data resides, they are risking the security of their data, their customers and even their own business’ survival.”

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Business Computing World: Cloud Closure Highlights Data Sovereignty Risk

By Martin Saunders

The recent high-profile closure of a US cloud vendor’s UK service is a reminder for end users to clarify what contractual rights their providers sew into their service agreements.

While Doyenz’ actions have been contractually sound, the case casts light on the important questions end users need to be asking of their Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), if they are to protect themselves from losing critical business information, or unknowingly having their data transported to, and stored in, undesirable jurisdictions.

US-based disaster recovery vendor Doyenz launched its rCloud service in the UK in November 2011, based in a data centre in London. In early August, the vendor announced that it would no longer be supporting the rCloud backup and recovery service, giving notice that it would stop the service, offering to move customers’ data to a US facility.

Cloud users should be looking for contractual clarity and reassurance from cloud providers to understand how the service is delivered, where data is stored and ultimately who is accountable and liable for service delivery.

Cloud is a relatively new delivery model, so instances when cloud providers have stopped trading have so far been rare occurrences. However, end-users must take precautionary steps to ensure business continuity for any situation as they must assume ultimate responsibility for their data. It’s important to remember that CSPs, like all external suppliers, will not act as insurers of a customer’s business, so it’s important that the risks are adequately accounted for.

Market messaging today tends to over-play vendor specific messages about platforms or, too often, paints cloud as a panacea. Whilst neither approach is necessarily incorrect, they downplay or risk ignoring the practical considerations facing organisations adopting cloud services and may be damaging the public perception of cloud.

Although customers have been given the choice of transferring their data to Doyenz’ US-based data centres, I express doubt over the viability of this option, owing to users’ legitimate concerns about data location.

My company’s own research into end user concerns about cloud services found that data sovereignty is one of the key concerns for organisations when moving to the cloud. Moving data to a cloud service can often mean it is hosted in another country and therefore subject to different data laws. If users have no visibility or control over where their data resides, they are risking the security of their data, their customers and even their own business’ survival.

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Cloud Pro: Doyenz UK service raises vital questions, says Claranet

Customers must be aware of data sovereignty issues when moving to the cloud according to product director.

Managed services provider Claranet has said Doyenz’s decision to close its UK data centre highlights risks over data sovereignty and the need for users to clarify their contractual rights.

US-based disaster recovery specialist Doyenz launched its UK rCloud service in 2011, with a data centre in London. However, only nine months later, the company decided to close its UK cloud service. Users were given the option either to move their data to Doyenz’s US facility or retrieve it by 31 August.

However, while the company’s actions may have been contractually sound, the case casts light on the important questions end users need to be asking of their cloud service providers (CSPs), claims Claranet product director, Martin Saunders.

“Cloud is a relatively new delivery model, so instances when cloud providers have stopped trading have, so far, been rare occurrences. However, end-users must take precautionary steps to ensure business continuity for any situation as they must assume ultimate responsibility for their data,” said Saunders. “It is important to remember that CSPs, like all external suppliers, will not act as insurers of a customer’s business, so it is important that the risks are adequately accounted for.”

Saunders also expressed doubt over the viability of moving UK customers’ data to the US.

“Claranet’s own research into end user concerns about cloud services found that data sovereignty is one of the key concerns for organisations when moving to the cloud. Moving data to a cloud service can often mean it is hosted in another country and therefore subject to different data laws. If users have no visibility or control over where their data resides, they are risking the security of their data, their customers and even their own business’s survival.”

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Data Chain: Cloud closure highlights data sovereignty risk, says Claranet

The recent high-profile closure of a US cloud vendor’s UK service is a reminder for end users to clarify what contractual rights their providers sew into their service agreements. According to Product Director Martin Saunders, while Doyenz’ actions have been contractually sound, the case casts light on the important questions end users need to be asking of their Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), if they are to protect themselves from losing critical business information, or unknowingly having their data transported to, and stored in, undesirable jurisdictions.

US-based disaster recovery vendor Doyenz launched its rCloud service in the UK in November 2011, based in a data centre in London. In early August, the vendor announced that it would no longer be supporting the rCloud backup and recovery service, giving notice that it would stop the service, offering to move customers’ data to a US facility.

Commenting on the case, Saunders said that cloud users should be looking for contractual clarity and reassurance from cloud providers to understand how the service is delivered, where data is stored and ultimately who is accountable and liable for service delivery.

“Cloud is a relatively new delivery model, so instances when cloud providers have stopped trading have so far been rare occurrences. However, end-users must take precautionary steps to ensure business continuity for any situation as they must assume ultimate responsibility for their data,” said Saunders. “It’s important to remember that CSPs, like all external suppliers, will not act as insurers of a customer’s business, so it’s important that the risks are adequately accounted for.

“Market messaging today tends to over-play vendor specific messages about platforms or, too often, paints cloud as a panacea. Whilst neither approach is necessarily incorrect, they downplay or risk ignoring the practical considerations facing organisations adopting cloud services and may be damaging the public perception of cloud.”

Although customers have been given the choice of transferring their data to Doyenz’ US-based data centres, Saunders expressed doubt over the viability of this option, owing to users’ legitimate concerns about data location.

“Claranet’s own research into end user concerns about cloud services found that data sovereignty is one of the key concerns for organisations when moving to the cloud,” continued Saunders. “Moving data to a cloud service can often mean it is hosted in another country and therefore subject to different data laws. If users have no visibility or control over where their data resides, they are risking the security of their data, their customers and even their own business’ survival.”

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"Trough of Disillusionment" over cloud not new…

Managed Services Provider says concerns over cloud predates Gartner’s latest ‘Hype Cycle’ report

Public disillusionment with the cloud, as expressed by Gartner’s analysts in the firm’s latest Hype Cycle Special Report, is not new and dates back at least a year, Claranet says.

Gartner’s Hype Cycle gauges public expectations about emerging and maturing technologies, and charts their progress towards acceptance. In its latest report, Gartner placed cloud computing on the downward slope named the “trough of disillusionment” that traditionally follows the initial hype and inflated expectations that new technologies invariably generate.

Claranet’s Managing Director, Michel Robert, said that public disillusionment with cloud is at least a year old, referencing independent research that his own company undertook in 2011 about users’ concerns over cloud computing.

“The Gartner report is correct to place cloud in its picturesquely-named ‘trough of disillusionment’, but it’s hardly news that the initial burst of expectation in cloud has subsided,” said Robert. “Before we launched our Virtual Data Centre service in 2011, we conducted extensive research into users’ concerns about the cloud. The poll of 300 senior IT decision makers found that there were still substantial worries about data sovereignty, security and reliability issues with the cloud computing.

“The first rush of enthusiasm for cloud seemed to peak early in 2011. By that stage, roughly half of the market was using some form of cloud service; however there remained a stubborn proportion of organisations that remained unconvinced of the benefits, or wary of the risks. Our research found that a third of respondents were delaying procurement of cloud services for an average of twelve months, and the list of concerns about the cloud showed why,” he continued.

“People were getting disillusioned with the ubiquity of the word ‘cloud’, which tends to obscure the nature of the actual services. On top of that, the cloud industry as a whole was failing to reassure potential customers over some fundamental questions: where is my data held; how is it protected; how can you guarantee maximum uptime; and who is responsible for overall availability?”

Robert said the industry as a whole was improving, but that it needed more hard work to drag the name of cloud out of the ‘trough of disillusionment’ and into the ‘slope of enlightenment’.

“Increasingly, service providers are realising that it is not enough to tag the name ‘cloud’ onto their services. Our industry needs to answer users’ legitimate concerns directly: for example, we need to be completely transparent over where and how their data is stored, and ideally offer in-country data centres to allay data sovereignty concerns. Providers also need to start taking responsibility for overall service availability, including network uptime. For those providers that lack their own network, this will require closer partnerships with network operators so that they can provide a completely integrated service, from desk to data centre.

“Gartner’s report will, we hope, spur the industry on to improve their services and, just as importantly, to communicate them to the public. With this report, Gartner may well have marked the ‘end of the beginning’ for the cloud,” said Robert. “In fact, we hope that it marks the beginning of the end for the very phrase ‘cloud computing’, a vague term that fails to differentiate between different types of service, while preventing providers from communicating on actual business benefits,” he concluded.

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MicroScope: Gartner calls time on peak of cloud hype

Extract taken from MicroScope

Cloud computing has passed the peak of inflated expectations and is heading for the trough of disillusionment with BYOD a little bit behind still at the top of the hype cycle.

The phrases and the positioning come from Gartner which has issued its latest hype cycle for emerging technologies with the peak and trough then followed by the slope of enlightenment and then the plateau of productivity.

Right at the bottom of the trough is hosted virtual desktops and cloud computing has some way to go until it has passed out of the bottom dip on the hype cycle.

But the channel is already aware of the changing reaction to the cloud on the ground with some no longer using that phrase when pitching hosting services.

“The Gartner report is correct to place cloud in its picturesquely-named ‘trough of disillusionment’, but it’s hardly news that the initial burst of expectation in cloud has subsided,” said Michel Robert, managing director of Claranet.

“Before we launched our Virtual Data Centre service in 2011, we conducted extensive research into users’ concerns about the cloud. The poll of 300 senior IT decision makers found that there were still substantial worries about data sovereignty, security and reliability issues with the cloud computing,” he added.

He said the hope of Gartner placing cloud in the rough of disillusionment was that it would spur some activity by the industry: “to improve their services and, just as importantly, to communicate them to the public”.

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Cloud Pro: Cloud accreditation – 7 questions to ask providers

With cloud skills in short supply, opinion is divided about the merit of qualifications and accreditations when choosing a supplier. Cloud Pro puts 7 questions to different providers in the cloud industry market on this topic. Martin Saunders, Product Director at Claranet UK comments on how to evaluate accreditation bodies.

Extract taken from Cloud Pro

Question 7: Evaluate the accreditation bodies

…On this question, we have to go back to basics says Martin Saunders, product director at Claranet.

“What does ‘accreditation’ mean? On the one hand, you have organisations that put themselves through the stress of ensuring that their infrastructure, technology and processes are up to scratch and submitting documents and evidence to standards bodies,” he says. All so that they can get their ISO:27001, PCI-DSS or Public Sector Network (PSN) accreditation.

On the other end of the scale are the self accredited. “There’s a whole host of groups who have spotted a gap in the market to provide their own cloud accreditations, which give a fig leaf of respectability,” says Saunders.

Look at the basis for the accreditation – are they based on existing, well-known standards, or are they woolly in their wording or their origins? That should be the litmus test of any accreditation that is dangled before end users.”

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