Peer to Peer Magazine

December 2011

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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A Guide for Decision Makers "The Cloud at Your Service" addresses a knowledgeable audience that doesn't need such terms as "latency" and "provisioning" explained. It's a straight-talk guide to decisionmaking about migrating all or part of your applications, computing operations and storage to a data center outside your own physical walls. The authors' mission is to inform business managers, IT managers and architects, CIOs, CTOs, CEOs, security officers and other decision makers about cloud computing in all the respects that will influence adoption: • Technology: What cloud computing is; what it means for IT services; types of clouds; designing and architecting for the cloud; reliability; and testing, deployment and operations in the cloud • Benefits: Business drivers for migrating all or some of the organization's computing services to the cloud, chief among which are dramatically reduced capital expenses and recurring costs • Cost: Hard data for calculating and comparing the costs of cloud computing, with real and fictitious case examples • Security: An extended discussion of the perceived versus real risks of entrusting data security to a third-party vendor beyond your direct control • Choosing a Provider: Criteria for matching leading vendors to your requirements • Future Projections: What to expect by 2020 and beyond Three of the nine chapters of the book are pretty hardcore, addressed to readers who want to see network topologies, understand the implementation and ramifications of database management techniques such as sharding, and study tables of API calls and sample code. Focusing on Security Not surprisingly, protection of sensitive data both in storage and during processing is identified as prospective subscribers' single greatest concern about computing in the cloud. How can proprietary content and mission-critical operations be safer "out there" on servers shared with who-knows-who and controlled by somebody who doesn't work for the firm? Intuitively firms may think they're better off with local storage and staff control. Not so, say the authors: Corporations with their own data centers must develop standard security operating procedures. "But it's not their core business to run a secure data center." They return to the topic of security several times, addressing it from numerous angles to plug all possible confidence leaks. The book addresses ways in which cloud vendors typically outstrip any enterprise that is not in the security business. And the authors sum up: "Cloud providers are the operators of the largest data centers and are experts at security. They employ state-of-the-art physical security, they all get SAS 70 certification, and they use strong access-control mechanisms, including issuing customers public keys for access and encryption." The private or internal cloud remains an option for those who must keep control within their own walls. A Reliable Source Co-authors Jothy Rosenberg and Arthur Mateos, chapter author Patrick Lightbody and foreword author Anne Thomas Manes all present impressive professional qualifications and write with confident expertise. Their lists of credentials are too extensive to reproduce here but are easily found online, at Amazon.com, at their publisher's website (Manning.com) and through your search engine of choice. The topic of cloud computing is an unavoidable one in today's IT world. You'll definitely want a comprehensive and reliable source of well-documented information. Rosenberg and Mateos pitch their clear technical explanations to the tech-savvy reader, covering their subject logically and capably, with very few flaws. Combining a high-level view with ample fine detail, and furnishing numerous bulleted lists of factors to help you decide among alternative solutions, they deliver a sound enough analysis and recommendations to make you look good the next time firm leadership asks about cloud computing. ILTA Meredy Amyx is a writer and editor with three decades of experience in high-tech in the heart of Silicon Valley. She has edited hundreds of thousands of pages of technical documentation and related materials, as well as nontechnical content such as novels, memoirs, essays and short stories. A member of the Bay Area Editors' Forum and an active member of the South Bay Branch of the alifornia Writers Club, she has won a number of prizes for her writing. She can be reached at editor@meredyamyx.com. Peer to Peer the quarterly magazine of ILTA 75

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