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September 8, 2008

Cloud Data Management Advances; Google Amends Copyright Clause

Derrick Harris

If you’ve read our current feature on Xeround and its unique takes on database virtualization and data grids, I hope you didn’t get the impression that Xeround’s Intelligent Data Grid solution is only for the telco world. According to CEO Charlotte Yarkoni, Xeround believes it has legs well beyond telecommunications — including as the data leg of the cloud computing stool.

What are the legs of the cloud computing stool: (1) applications, (2) Web services, (3) physical entities and (4) data. (FWIW, the first and second can be combined into one leg.) Yarkoni believes the data leg probably is the least mature at this point, but there is a lot of excitement brewing there, and people are excited about what Xeround can bring to this area. In fact, she says the company spends a lot of time speaking with partners and customers about the cloud space, and they seem to agree that Xeround is a natural fit for the data access part of the architecture.

“I definitely see, and what we hear in the market is, there is a strong need for the data grid to actually move to the next level,” she explains. “In our minds, it’s the intelligent data grid — how to actually provide access to your data as a service and not as a discrete infrastructure is a critical, critical component to cloud computing.”

Although she thinks Xeround brings a strong value proposition to the cloud computing space, she is quick to add that the company is not banking its future on the cloud. “The fact that we can be brought in today to address relevant pain points today and be an architecture component for that go-forward approach that people are wanting to take makes us incredibly invaluable,” she says. Yarkoni acknowledges that other solutions can address point-in-time needs, but management becomes burdensome as these solutions proliferate. Like Xeround and IDG, the trick is to solve present-day problems while being flexible enough to fit into future strategies.

3Tera Makes Cloud Computing a Global Affair

Seriously. In case you missed the announcement, the company has partnered with datacenter operators across in seven countries spanning four continents, with the idea being that customers can “expand or move to different regions as their business demands, without having to change a single line of code in their applications.” In addition, 3Tera says, “the ability to duplicate and migrate applications globally eliminates many cross border regulatory issues and replaces lengthy, costly legal processes with simple drag-and-drop operations that can be completed in minutes.”

3Tera is not the only vendor selling the notion of “control in the cloud” — GoGrid might have that trademarked — but it certainly is taking it to another level. The cloud doesn’t have to be a crap shoot where only God knows where your app is running or your data is being kept. If 3Tera’s new plan is legit, a business targeting certain applications or data to a particular region can run/house that application and its associated data in that exact region, if possible, or in the nearest available datacenter. That is a true business benefit, and it offers users decision-making options the likes of which they haven’t seen from most “cloud” offerings.

GXS Trading Grid: The B2B Cloud?

I’ve heard talk of virtual private or industry-specific clouds emerging, and as I read a recent announcement from GXS, it occurred to me that its Trading Grid service might well be such a thing. Only it isn’t emerging — it has been around for years. I wrote a piece about GXS about 18 months ago, before the term “cloud computing” really took off, and the service as described there sounds a lot like a cloud in that GXS has built an advanced architecture that performs much-needed services, especially around information sharing, for its customers.

The Power of the Press vs. Google

Last week, I wrote about privacy and copyright concerns implicit in the Google Chrome terms of service. I wasn’t alone, and it turns out the media backlash actually penetrated Google’s seemingly impervious armor, as the Internet giant has since deleted the questionable clause from terms that govern Chrome usage. It appears, now, that users’ copyright privileges will remain intact and fully enforceable even while using the new browser.

It should be noted that the clause in question (11.1) still exists in Google’s general terms of service and for other specific services, such as GMail.

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