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Azure’s identity crisis and other cloud computing sound bites

Microsoft Azure wants to be called Loretta. No, that’s not true. Or is it? Find out that answer and other news overheard in the cloud this past week.

Cloud computing has had its share of misconceptions and misunderstandings. Even the definition of cloud computing at times comes under fire from industry experts and users alike. But when people believe a cloud provider, especially one of the largest in the business, is actually rebranding a successful cloud product midstream, what we have is failure to communicate.

“If it is true, it’s pants-on-head retarded.”
Talk about an identity crisis. This gem comes from Carl Brooks, analyst at Tier 1, in response to rumors that Microsoft was planning to phase out the name “Azure” from its well-known public cloud product line. Turns out, the speculation stems from an unclear email Microsoft sent customers informing them of a change in billing. But for Windows Azure customers throwing lots of money into the public cloud product, the thought of a new name midstream had some questioning Microsoft’s sanity.

“Most folks are still saying, ‘I’m not going to put my production data in the cloud.’”
Used at scale, public cloud may not be as cost-effective as you think. Brett Goodwin of cloud provider Skytap said most companies are only doing test and dev in the cloud. Though many have public cloud to thank for their start, as Zynga CEO Allan Leinwand noted during a keynote, companies are finding that it can just be too costly to expand there. Once the popularity of Zynga's FarmVille online game grew like a weed, public cloud became too expensive. It was time for Zynga to plant a hybrid cloud.

“The car uses video cameras mounted on the roof, radar sensors and a laser range finder to ‘see’ other traffic.”
In case you didn’t know, Google is a whole lot more than search engines and public cloud. ComputerWeekly’s Warwick Ashford reports the company received its Nevada state driver’s license last week, making its self-driving Prius hybrid free to hit the roads. Computers that process mapping data and input from various sensors on the vehicle led it down the Las Vegas Strip. Nevada is the only state that issued Google an autonomous vehicle license, but California may be next to give it the green light. Now if someone could just add that cool red light in the front grill ….

“Some cloud misconceptions come from a lack of education.”
Jim Reavis, executive director of the Cloud Security Alliance, believes there are a lot of perceived security threats in public and private clouds. And public cloud can actually be a security savior for small and midsized companies. But a few real threats are out there -- and bring your own device (BYOD) only intensifies the need for new security policies and procedures.     

“They point to the USA Patriot Act as the magic wand that allows the U.S. government unrestricted access to any data, anywhere, anytime.”
One often-heard concern about public cloud is data governance – control over data based on where it resides geographically. Pushback  over  the tight grip of the U.S. government on public cloud-based data located within the borders of the old red, white and blue, as well as the EU’s Directive 95/46/EC, are not fully warranted said IT law expert Francoise Gilbert. While the U.S. federal laws surrounding data stored by cloud computing providers are complex, and the likelihood of being involved in an investigation is low, it is important to understand that national security trumps personal privacy.


Michelle Boisvert is Senior Site Editor for Contact her at

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