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Google Plans Private Government Cloud

As the government moves to adopt cloud computing and considers limited use of free consumer services, Google is trying to address lingering concerns about security and control in the cloud.

Glotzbach said that certifications like FISMA and auditing standards like SAS 70 should obviate the need for every agency to tour Google's facilities to ensure regulatory compliance. Google's reticence to allow IT professionals to inspect its data centers as part of their due diligence has been a source of criticism in the past.

Security certification and a growing list of government clients should go a long way toward allaying the fears that have been raised -- often by Google's competitors, Google claims -- about Google's fitness to serve organizations with serious security needs. A pending $7.25 million contract that would make Google the e-mail and productivity application provider for the City of Los Angeles, for example, has met with resistance from the Los Angeles Police Department Protective League, which wants assurances that sufficient safeguards will be implemented to protect confidential information.

"I see [the government's embrace of cloud computing] as yet another in the growing list of endorsements that the future really is the cloud," said Glotzbach. "As I'm talking to commercial CIOs, it's very different even than a year ago. Organizations are realizing and seeing the merits of the cloud."

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the public cloud, digging into the gritty details of cloud computing services from a dozen vendors. Download the report here (registration required).

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