David Kirkpatrick

January 22, 2010

Microsoft wants data center legal protection

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:22 pm

Actually, not a bad idea.

From the link:

Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) top legal official yesterday called on Congress to create new laws that would give data stored in the cloud the same protections as data stored on a PC. He also called for tougher penalties for hackers who access data centers, citing significant damage that’s often done in such attacks.

Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel at Microsoft, told an audience at a Brookings Institution forum here today that laws now protecting electronic data were written in the early days of PCs. “We need Congress to modernize the laws and adapt them to the cloud,” he said.

Click here to find out more!While many consumers have adopted cloud computing by subscribing to e-mail services like Google (GOOG) Gmail, to social networks like Facebook and to Microsoft’s increasing online services offerings, enterprises have been somewhat cautious about moving corporate data to hosted systems due to legal and security concerns both here and abroad. Those fears have been causing problem for IT vendors, forcing some to provide significant protections to large users.

January 15, 2010

Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard teaming for cloud computing project

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:27 am

To the tune of a quarter billion dollars. Pretty serious initiative, I’d say.

From the link:

“This is all about integrating technology and making things as close to ‘plug and play’ as we can,” HP CEO Mark Hurd said during a telephone conference call with Microsoft  and other executives, in which they announced a partnership that appears to represent another move toward consolidation in the commercial tech industry.

The two tech giants said they will collaborate in designing a full “stack” of data center , software management tools and other applications, as well as on Windows Azure, which is Microsoft’s operating platform for , in which customers can access data center services over the Internet.

Microsoft, which is a major provider of business software, said it will use HP hardware in the data centers that run the Azure platform. HP, which is a leading provider of data center hardware, said it will develop products that can be sold pre-loaded with Microsoft’s operating system, database program or other software.

“We’re driving ahead aggressively with Hewlett-Packard,” Ballmer said during the announcement. However, he also noted that both companies will continue to develop products in collaboration with other partners in the tech industry, such as Oracle and Dell.

Both executives also said their companies will continue to develop hardware and software that works with products from other tech vendors.

November 17, 2009

Crunching the numbers on NSA’s new data center

The National Security Agency is planing a $1.5 billion cybersecurity data center at the Camp Williams National Guard base in Utah. This post takes a crack at the numbers and finds the result a bit wanting.

From the link:

For me, the math just doesn’t add up. According to the budget document, the power density will be “appropriate for current state-of-the-art high-performance computing devices and associated hardware architecture.” Yet if you calculate the watts per square foot by dividing the center’s total watts (65MW) by total square feet (1.5 million), you come up with a power density estimate of about 43 watts per square foot. No way that’s “state of the art.”

April 24, 2009

Search and seizure and data centers

Filed under: Business, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:34 pm

This ought to be troubling for anyone storing data anywhere other than a drive in their possession. Hopefully you’d at least be backed-up somewhere in your possession, but the idea your data could be indefinitely seized and pored over by the authorities should be very chilling. And as the article mentions, should be a significant aspect of the the cloud computing argument.

From the link:

The FBI’s target in the data center raid—one of five seizures conducted that day—is simply listed as Cabinet 24.02.900 in the affidavit and search warrant.

Cabinet 24.02.900 allegedly held the computers and data used to serve voice-over-IP clients for the companies at the center of the case. Yet, it was also home to the digital presence of dozens of other businesses, according to press reports. To LiquidMotors, a company that provides inventory management to car dealers, the servers held its client data and hosted its managed inventory services. The FBI seizure of the servers in the data center rack effectively shut down the company, which filed a lawsuit against the FBI the same day to get the data back.

“Although the search warrant was not issued for the purpose of seizing property belonging to Liquid Motors, the FBI seized all of the servers and backup tapes belonging to Liquid Motors, Inc.,” the company stated in its court filing. “Since the FBI seized its computer equipment earlier today, Liquid Motors has been unable to operate its business.”

The court denied the company’s attempt to get its data back, but the FBI offered to copy the data to blank tapes to help the company restart its services, according to a report in Wired.

The incident has worried IT managers, especially those with a stake in cloud computing, where a company’s data could be co-mingled with other businesses’ data on a collection of servers.

“The issue, I think, is one of how search and seizure laws are being interpreted for assets hosted in third-party facilities,” James Urquhart, manager of Cisco Systems’ Data Center 3.0 strategy, said in a recent blog post. “If the court upholds that servers can be seized despite no direct warrants being served on the owners of those servers—or the owners of the software and data housed on those servers—then imagine what that means for hosting your business in a cloud shared by thousands or millions of other users.”

April 16, 2009

Top ten tech investments

This list comes courtesy of a survey by Robert Half Technology, so take this release for what it’s worth. Certainly food for investment thought, particularly since some analysts see tech on the rebound.

The release from the first link:

Top 10 Tech Investments – Information Security Leads List, CIO Survey Shows
TORONTO, April 15 /CNW/ – Despite a challenging economy, three-quarters (76 per cent) of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed recently said their companies will invest in information technology (IT) initiatives in the next 12 months. Information security topped the list of projects executives expect their firms to invest in, with 57 per cent of the response, followed by virtualization (36 per cent) and data center efficiency (33 per cent).

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It was based on telephone interviews with 270 CIOs across Canada.

Following are five areas of IT investment that were cited most frequently by CIOs interviewed*:


<< 1. Information security (57 per cent): In any economy, protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information is a must- have for companies of all sizes. Technology executives in the business services and professional services sectors cited security most often, with 96 per cent and 88 per cent of the responses, respectively. 2. Virtualization (36 per cent): Added budget pressures are forcing many companies to focus on more cost-effective solutions for servers, storage and networking. Virtualization tools enable greater consolidation, lower hardware costs, and reduced space and power requirements. Four in 10 CIOs at large (1,000+ employees) and 38 per cent of CIOs at midsize (500 to 999 employees) companies plan to invest in this area. 3. Data center efficiency (33 per cent): Improving efficiency within the data center to achieve longer-term cost savings is a top priority for organizations pressured to cut back on IT spending. Companies are realizing that by not improving efficiency, it will result in the need for more costly expansions and upgrades in the future. 4. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) (32 per cent): Lower monthly phone bills, greater network flexibility and unified messaging, which allows users to more efficiently retrieve messages, are among the benefits that companies realize when they invest in VoIP technology. 5. Business Intelligence (28 per cent): Companies are investing in business intelligence software that allows them to squeeze greater cost efficiencies from their existing resources and processes, and to identify and mitigate business risk. *CIOs were asked, “Which areas, if any, will your IT department be investing in over the next 12 months?” Multiple answers were permitted. Percentages reflect responses from 76 per cent of the 270 CIOs who plan to invest in IT. The survey was conducted in January 2009. >>


“Despite increased budgetary pressures, many companies recognize that investing in IT initiatives leads to improved security, efficiencies and revenues,” said Sandra Lavoy, a vice president with Robert Half Technology. “Enhancing IT infrastructure will help organizations better prepare for growth when the economy rebounds.”


<< Rounding out the top 10 list of IT investment areas: 6. Outsourcing (26 per cent) 7. Software as a Service (SaaS) (23 per cent) 8. Web 2.0 (18 percent) 9. Social networking technology (18 per cent) 10. Green IT (16 per cent) About the Survey —————- The national survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 270 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees. About Robert Half Technology —————————- >>

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of information technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at http://www.rht.com.