confused-route The awareness of the importance of context in application delivery and especially in the “new network” is increasing, and that’s a good thing. It’s a necessary evolution in networking as both users and applications become increasingly mobile. But what might not be evident is the need for more awareness of context during the provisioning, i.e. deployment, process.

A desire to shift the burden of management of infrastructure does not mean a desire for ignorance of that infrastructure, nor does it imply acquiescence to a complete lack of control. But today that’s partially what one can expect from cloud computing . While the fear of applications being deployed on “any old piece of hardware anywhere in the known universe” is not entirely a reality, the possibility of having no control over where an application instance might be launched – and thus where corporate data might reside - is one that may prevent some industries and individual organizations from choosing to leverage public cloud computing.

This is another one of those “risks” that tips the scales of risk versus benefit to the “too risky” side primarily because there are legal implications to doing so that make organizations nervous.

The legal ramifications of deploying applications – and their data – in random geographic locations around the world differ based on what entity has jurisdiction over the application owner. Or does it? That’s one of the questions that remains to be answered to the satisfaction of many and which, in many cases, has led to a decision to stay away from cloud computing.

quote-left According to the DPA, clouds located outside the European Union are per se unlawful, even if the EU Commission has issued an adequacy decision in favor of the foreign country in question (for example, Switzerland, Canada or Argentina).

-- German DPA Issues Legal Opinion on Cloud Computing

Back in January, Paul Miller published a piece on jurisdiction and cloud computing, exploring some of the similar legal juggernauts that exist with cloud computing:

quote-left  While cloud advocates tend to present 'the cloud' as global, seamless and ubiquitous, the true picture is richer and complicated by laws and notions of territoriality developed long before the birth of today's global network. What issues are raised by today's legislative realities, and what are cloud providers — and their customers — doing in order to adapt?