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Lightning crashes at Amazon, IBM plays in the cloud

This week's headlines: Lightning crashes at Amazon, IBM wants to play in the cloud.

Cloud computing news roundup June 15-19

IBM targets enterprise with 'cloud in a box'

With the release of CloudBurst, IBM has added a chunk of hardware to its line-up in a cloud computing battle that is only just beginning.

The preconfigured IBM BladeCenter comes with a hefty $200,000 price tag, but IBM is betting that CloudBurst's comforting mix of real and virtual servers will entice those otherwise afraid of leaping into untested cloud waters. The upcoming release of other cloud-related software, as well, will further reinforce IBM's commitment to this new technology, which may entice those hesitant about the future of this market.

Users undeterred by Amazon EC2 lightning snafu

Despite Amazon.com's data center suffering a lightning-related outage last week, Amazon Web Services users seemed to have no real complaints to direct at the cloud computing provider afterwards.

If the apparent acceptance of the outage by Amazon's customers surprises you, join the club. Most interviewed for this piece described the incident as "minor", even though any significant downtime suffered by small sites like JamLegend could be extremely detrimental to their growth. Internet surfers, with so much content at their fingertips, can be picky at best, and it speaks volumes about Amazon's other plus attributes that a seemingly detrimental event is so easily dismissed.

With the influx of new players in the cloud computing game increasing rapidly, though, any more issues on the Amazon side may impact its standing in the marketplace. For now, recent outages stemming from Google, Microsoft and Salesforce.com keep AWS in the clear, but with Verizon and other providers dumping millions into this technology, Amazon would be wise to maintain its renowned status with equally renowned, and uninterrupted, service.

Online data backup services: Don't lose your data in the cloud

The proliferation of online backup options has made storing information cheaper and easier for many companies, but concerns about misplaced and exposed data still worry those with information stored in the cloud.

Online data backup service providers have begun to offer encryption before the information gets to their servers, along with attempting to provide a greater degree of control of backup schedules to users and their IT managers. When it comes to something as important as the security of your most significant data, however, apprehension about relinquishing its control is a hurdle these providers have not yet leapt over.

US Army tests applications in the cloud

In an effort to prepare an upgrade for a simulation application called MUVES 3, the US Army has been preparing to test their new application in the cloud.

Obviously, the Army is a bit apprehensive about putting some of their very secure information in the cloud. To ensure its safety, though, they have developed a new architecture called Gomez and utilized an open source technology called Elastic Grid to help separate and test their data, respectively. If their tests prove successful, it would provide a degree of reliability to the oft-questioned area of data protection in the cloud. If the US Army trusts the cloud enough to hold their sensitive data, the fears of many companies might start to seem a bit old fashioned.

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