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Prophecy on Cloud Data Localization

Randall S. Becker, SCM Guru at Nexbridge Inc.



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Breaking News: On August 4th, Reutersreported that an India panel wants localization of cloud storage data in a possible blow to big tech firms:

“A panel working on the Indian government’s cloud computing policy wants data generated in India to be stored within the country, according to its draft report seen by Reuters, a proposal that could deal a blow to global technology giants such as Amazon and Microsoft who offer such services.”

This means that data for the And by Breaking News, I mean that this is going to break a whole bunch of Cloud data strategies and providers.

Actually, this is not really breaking news to me. In 2011, I gave a presentation at the World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM) on Resiliency in The Cloud where I talked about how global instability could cause countries to lose access to their citizens data, including passport registries. I showed very plausible situations where the Cloud might fall apart, or worse, be used as a diplomatic tool (or for hostile intent) due to data localization issues. I guess you might say that I’m somewhat to blame for this.

And yet again, you’re probably asking what I’m going on about, and why should you care, as happens far too often in my articles. Simply put:


A NonStop Cloud may be the only solution to this problem.

Fundamental parts of NonStop, being EXPAND and SQL/MX, provide an automatic way of localizing data using a simple partitioning strategy. By moving the country of data residency or generation (localization) into the partition key, a Cloud database can be constructed that is reliable, accessible, and big enough to support pretty much any country alignment even if parts of the data become unavailable because a country goes offline. Cloud-based applications would only have to go after partitions that are country-centric. This is nothing new.

So, why the rant? Where is HPE’s marketing response in all this? This situation is a perfect and unique fit for the platform. I don’t know of any other platform that can network together two hundred servers, where control of where data is placed is so precise, and where holes in the data are permitted, without having to code this in the application. An International NonStop Cloud could be created to support massively localized data with for existing applications, without change. Why aren’t we doing this? It’s not like we didn’t know this was coming seven years ago, so where’s the love?

Wait, don’t tell me. I know: It’s all about virtualization. Countries have not actually required this, in general. Some have, and India is considering it. That’s a big market on its own. Virtualized NonStop, would enable companies to spin up variable capacity instances of NonStop SQL/MX partitions in whatever country they are needed, dynamically, using Commercial Off-The-Shelf hardware. And because SQL/MX supports dynamic repartitioning, legislative pressure on companies would not even require an outage to be accommodated.

This is an important differentiation for NonStop that has significant meaning and value as people get increasingly protective about their data. So, let’s get to it.

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