Government commissions express cloud concerns

This week: The FTC and FCC take note of cloud security issues; Dell continues to inch its way into the cloud computing market.

Cloud computing roundup, January 4-8

FTC concerned about cloud security
The Federal Trade Commission has planned a roundtable, set for January 28, to discuss how to protect consumer privacy in regards to cloud computing. The first roundtable took place on December 7, 2009 in response to the FCC's National Broadband Plan (NBP) public notice #21, which references security and privacy concerns in cloud computing. The FTC will hold a final roundtable on March 17 and expressed its solidarity on examining and regulating electronic communications with the FCC.

Dell and Chinese cloud management provider partner
In the wake of Dell's October 2009 foray into cloud computing with Salesforce.com, Dell will dip even deeper into the cloud computing market by offering the Qitonbao cloud management platform from Chinese cloud management provider Infobird to its enterprise customers. How far exactly this partnership will extend, both financially and geographically, remains to be seen.

Godfather of the Internet wants open standards
Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer and chief Internet evangelist for Google, called for open standards for cloud computing during an appearance this week at the Churchill Club in California. Cerf said the situation with cloud was analogous to the earliest days of network computing.

Salesforce.com outage
An unexpected hour-long outage at Salesforce.com's data center earlier this week was yet another reminder of the risks involved in relying on cloud computing services. However, industry experts don't expect the outage to negatively affect the company's business.

Azure going live in February
Microsoft announced that its Platform as a Service cloud offering Azure will go commercial live on February 1. Current Community Technology Preview testers can apply for upgrades before their accounts are deactivated.

Sun's cloud security products
In an attempt to capitalize on weaknesses, perceived or otherwise, in cloud computing security, Sun Microsystems has released a bevy of products designed to guard the cloud and its services. But what kind of dent will the company's products actually make?

U.K. businesses are preparing for the cloud
According to a report from Easynet Connect, 50% of surveyed small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) in the United Kingdom either already use or are planning to adopt cloud computing services in 2010. This represents a significant rise from a similar survey at the end of 2008, in which 22% of businesses expressed similar sentiments.

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