Cloud Computing in Canada

As I return from my vacation and prepare for my upcoming class in Ottawa I have been thinking about the current state of affairs regarding cloud computing in Canada. I love cloud computing and I love Canada. It is only natural that these two things should find their way into a blog post!

Firstly, none of the major cloud providers have yet seen fit to physically host a data center in the Great White North. Why that is I don’t know. Perhaps it is just too gosh danged cold.  Secondly, some organizations in Canada have a concern that their data not be hosted in the U.S. So where does that leave us? Certainly some organizations in Canada could use a public cloud service like Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure. Alternatively they could choose to host their own private cloud.

None of this has anything to do with technology, of course. Legal and regulatory compliance will be the bane of cloud computing. Given enough time, I believe, regulatory requirements will expand to fill the all the space available.

Does that mean, neighbors to the North, that you should turn your back on cloud computing? Absolutely not!

There is a technology there and there is a there, there. Stay focused on the technology. Cloud computing does offer returns that are heretofore unforeseen in IT. On-demand provisioning, self-service access, pay-as-you-go service are but some of the benefits.

That said there are at least some noteworthy Canadian cloud computing providers:

http://www.tenzing.com

http://cloudpath.pathcom.com

http://cloudcomputing.radiant.net

Still, ultimately, the choice of a public cloud provider comes down to trust (but certainly not blind trust!). Canadian, American or other, the choice is yours. Who do you trust?

For me, myself, personally (and professionally), I think I can trust Amazon. Why? Do I think they will rip me off? No. Do I think they will lose my data? No. Do I think they will somehow do a worse job of protecting my data than others (or I) can do? No, I do not.

So, I encourage you to embrace the Public Cloud where it is appropriate for your organization. Regardless of where you are in the world I believe that you can utilize public cloud offerings (even those hosted in the U.S.) to your benefit.

Kevin Kell

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