Data Stored in the Cloud? (Read the Contract!)

Experts question the small print buried in the contracts of services such as Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), which may be too favorable for the vendors.
Cloud data storage services are making the transition from consumer, SOHO and SMB up to the enterprise space. Just last week, for example, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced Managed Data Vault for enterprise backup and recovery.

"Managed Data Vault offers a broad array of enterprise data protection, not just for files, but for very large data stores and transactional database content," said Don DeMarco, IBM vice president of Business Continuity and Resiliency Services. "This addresses the needs of enterprise users with large data footprints, whether it's 15, 50, 150 terabytes or even more."

But as the size of the cloud mushrooms -- along with the volume and importance of the data -- the issue of service level agreements (SLAs) is coming to the fore. Some users balk, for example, at the small print buried in the contracts of services such as Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), which appear to absolve the vendor of responsibility in some areas.

Mike Karp, vice president and principal Analyst at Ptak Noel Associates, points out that Amazon guarantees "three nines" (99.9 percent) up time for storage services.

"That's better than most users get from their own PCs, but not nearly the level of data access that a professional IT manager would want to offer his company's users," said Karp.

Read the rest at Enterprise Storage Forum.




Tags: data storage, cloud computing, Cloud, Cloud network, cloud computing contract


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