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February 2009, Vol. 7

Gartner Q&A on cloud computing and security

A recent interview with Gartner analyst John Pescatore describes the key security aspects data center managers should know before adding cloud-based services to their offerings. Pescatore has 32 years of experience in computer, network and information security. He also worked at the National Security Agency and the U.S. Secret Service. Q) What are the primary differences between cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS)? A) SaaS is when you consume and pay for an application on a monthly basis. Cloud computing represents the “infrastructure” that SaaS is built upon. Salesforce.com is an example of SaaS, whereas Flickr.com [an online photo management and sharing application] is an example of Storage as a Service. Flickr operates by using Amazon’s storage cloud and buying storage and capacity from Amazon as the demand arises. Google’s services [Google apps or Gmail] are examples of Software as a Service that are also implemented through cloud computing. Rather than using MS Office—software you can buy on a CDROM and own ...

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