It's worth noting that the cloud certainly has borders. It's the one reality that proves the cloud computing movement may seem at times abstract and vague but in the end it is the international politics of our world that creates some of the deepest issues for its place in the world markets.
According to InformationWeek, The 451 Group presented a webcast that showed cloud computing adoption trails in Europe and Asia. About 57% op spending is in the United States with 31% in Europe and 12% in Asia. The numbers get even more polarized when you only look at the adoption for infrastructure as a service. A full 93% of spending is in the United States with 6% in Europe and 1% in the United States.
The low numbers almost makes it seem like some artificial effect is in play. And in some ways it really is. A lack of European data centers services by the large providers affects adoption. Rackspace, Terremark and Savvis are the primary companies looking to develop a presence in Europe. But they need to build data centers before they can have any real presence there.
According to the 451 Group, 99 percent of European businesses are either small or mid-sized organizations. And they have plenty of choices from telecommunications providers.
But here is an interesting twist. InformationWeek:
One obstacle to both sides is the U.S. Patriot Act, which gives the U.S. government a right to demand data if it defines conditions as being an emergency or necessary to homeland security, and a measure that contradicts that power when the data is of European origin, the European Union's Data Protection Directive. In 2006, the European Court of Justice ruled that an agreement negotiated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was too broadly construed and violated the EU's directive. The agreement was about sharing data on European airline passengers headed for the U.S. The data sought by the U.S. was too broadly construed and violated the EU's directive, the court said.
"Both measures could prevent establishing a cloud without borders," said 451's William Fellows. Cloud advocates say services established via an Internet data center should be accessible by people around the world, and they are in the case of Google search or Facebook apps. But when it comes to sensitive data, national borders still prevail because of conflicting laws."
The issue is apparent now with Google's issues with the Chinese government. It's not the technology that is making cloud computing an issue. It's international politics.