Dear Cloud Provider: “where are you storing my data?”

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Last week I’ve been invited at the 40 years anniversary of ATED, a IT non-profit organization bases in Canton Ticino, in Lugano.

During the meeting, atendees had the possibility to talk with some experts, and I was asked to talk (of course) about virtualization and cloud computing.

Among the people I met and talked with, there has been a recurring question:

where is phisically located your vCloud datacenter?

This made me think once again to the key elements making a company moving to (or not) towards cloud computing adoption. It’s not technology, it’s not SLAs or connectivity, it’s always about the country (and thus applicable laws) data will be based.

Knowing our datacenter is in a specificed place, and you can also visit it, that its recovery site is also located in Switzerland (so if we have a failover customers’ data do not move suddenly in another jurisdiction), has made all attendees more comfortable. Some of them told me he had answers from other vendor and they were vague, and also some sales rep told “easy one, they are in the cloud…”; this usually makes customers run away more than attract them.

Last note: both italian and swiss customers, but has happened also for other countries, are sceptical with Cloud Providers that have their datacenter or some stakeholder making US Patriot Act applicable. I can’t disagree with them…