I’ve written a lot lately about the need for cloud vendors to provide services that are tailored to specific countries or regions. Whether this is due to cross-cultural reasons or merely because of concerns around US located data, as a non US commentator I’m constantly talking with customers who want a service in their particular geography.

A piece of news lately spoke directly to vendors realizing and delivering on this requirement. While vendors tend to be downplaying the need for dispersed geographic offerings, they’re quietly partnering behind the scenes to make it happen.

Ninefold, an Australian public cloud provider who has recently rolled out an Australian located cloud storage service.  Business Cloud Drive is a solution that is powered by Oxygen Cloud a company that can be described as bringing the functionality of a cloud collaboration service but with more flexibility around where data is stored. Oxygen has generally been used to build out private collaboration solutions but it this case it’s being used for a specifically geographically focused one. In discussing the need for the local solution, Australian site delimiter said that;

This style of ‘enterprise 2.0′ technology probably hasn’t been adopted as widely in Australia as countries like the US yet, purely because many organizations need their data to be maintained on-shore.

Yes – the very thing limiting uptake of some of these solutions is a requirement, be it regulated or merely perceptional, that data needs to be stored domestically. In relation to the connection between filesharing services and the risks introduced by US legislation such as the Patriot Act, Ninefold says that;

Ninefold host the Oxygen solution in a “private” capacity so Oxygen Cloud could not block access to customer data even if they wanted to – the whole schebang is run and hosted on Ninefold’s infrastructure in Macquarie Telecom’s Sydney based data centres. It’s no different to your organisation buying and running a NetApp, Dell or HP SAN – sold and supported by US companies but safely outside the reach of the Patriot Act.

Discussions in the back channel suggest that these sort of arrangements are happening more than people think. I’m aware of a number of examples of storage (and software for that matter) vendors who are offering their solution to third parties who then domicile it either privately or in some particularly located geography. Meanwhile a number of vendors such as OxygenCloud are quietly pitching their wares and differentiating themselves specifically on the fact that they are built to be portable.

The question here is whether the aggregate demands for public cloud services, be they box, Salesforce or whomever, drives the feasibility of much more granular locations of data storage before customer demands force vendors to move. I see to distinct graphs here – the first customer uptake for services, the second the distinct number of different geographies which have their own services – it’s the whitespace between those two curves that causes the tension between customer expectations and vendor offerings.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Hey Ben,

    Thanks for the post! We are very excited about our partnership with Ninefold. What we have heard from a lot of our customers is exactly what you’ve pointed out – often times it IS definitely a requirement, “be it regulated or merely perceptional, that data needs to be stored domestically.” A private deployment option provides much more flexibility and control that companies need to meet their requirements.

    We have more partnership, customers, and product announcements coming up in the next few months. Will definitely keep you updated soon!

    Let us know if you or your readers have any questions.

    Julia (@JuliaMak)
    Oxygen Cloud Team

  • Hi Ben,

    Under the Patriot Act US authorities can still access data residing outside of the US if the company is American-owned. So Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce et al are still subject to the Patriot Act for their data centres around the world.

    For more info on how this works, check out my primer on the Patriot Act vs EU data privacy: http://cloudadvisory.com/blog/2011/12/09/the-patriot-act-and-eu-data-privacy-%E2%80%93-threats-and-opportunities/

    Michael Gentle
    (Cloud Advisory)

    • Michael… not so fast. In this case the Australian company is essentially “buying” US technology to use a locally owned and domiciled service. Thus the Patriot Act should not apply….

      • You’re right Ben. Thanks for the qualifier.

        My comment was a general one because many people think that non-US data centre location is enough to put a vendor out of the Patriot Act’s reach. Which unfortunately it isn’t for US owned vendors.

  • Robert Vertz |

    You can turn Amazon Cloud Drive into online backup with Gladinet Cloud Desktop. In the latest Gladinet Cloud Desktop, Amazon Cloud Drive is supported, which means you can do drag/drop, backup & sync to Amazon Cloud Drive.

  • Arleen Shirley |

    Dave, I agree that the current state of the EHR market is not Cloud ready. Running a Microsoft Application over Citrix is not an Enterprise solution. There is also a lot of cost associated with “mission critical” software. Many organization do not want to spend what it cost to have a fully duplex, hot standby system. True mission critical system must include, full redundancy, hot standby with failover software, dual IP routing through separated pathways and carriers along with backup power.

  • I thinks in order to satisfy the needs of customer, the U.S.A. business owner should take both choosing a good location and make sure he has inventories that are highly demanded abroad. Again it all depends to each individual’s opinion , I can understand those who suggested that non-US data centre location is enough to put a vendor out of the Patriot Act’s reach. Maybe they think the Countries should satisfy itsel sufficiently first before exporting to overseas.

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