Control your own cloud!

25th August 2014
Control  your  own cloud!

 Trio of   IBM's Indian engineers  gain  US patent for invention that lets  you  choose or change the location of your  cloud data
By Anand Parthasarathy
Bangalore, August 25 2014: A scary thing happened to some users of Microsoft's email services last month. A   US court ordered  that  some emails stored in Microsoft's  servers in Ireland,  be  disclosed to  help  in  an ongoing case, effectively violating the privacy that  customers of email services expect.   The decision -- which  Microsoft is appealing --    says US courts have a right to all the data held by a US-based company -- anywhere.
Some countries like France  prohibit government employees from using Blackberry phones, because the  mail data is centrally  stored in the US. India is   insisting that   mail and data  service providers   host Indian clients'  data within India.
All this is threatening the very rationale of cloud-based services. How can I be sure that when I entrust my data to a cloud provider like Amazon or Microsoft,  some court in a foreign court will not impound my  files one day?
Relax! Help is at hand: A team of IBM scientists -- most of them based in India --  has just won a US patent for an invention that will allow individuals or businesses  full control over how and where their data is stored by their cloud service provider. As a customer, I can choose in which of the service provider's  global servers my data is stored. I can dynamically shift my data to another country if I so choose. This is so important because  snooping on  personal and corporate data has become the  accepted practice in some countries.
The invention is called " Geographic governance of data over clouds: U.S. patent #8,676,593". The  lead inventor is Pune-based Sandeep Ramesh Patil  who in his  15 years at IBM, has been responsible for  45 patents, 50 Inventions and 150 patent applications. Designated 'IBM Master Inventor', Sandeep is  that rare  person -- a completely home grown, desi  genius from  Pune's  Vidya Bhavan (Model Colony),   Loyola's Junior College and  the  Poona University's SES College of Engineering in Kopergaon.
Two others cited in the patent  have since left IBM: Sriram Ramanathan, another   designated Master Inventor is now CTO at   Kony Solutions,  a mobile apps company in Florida; Abhinay R Nagpal, went on to  study at Stanford  University and is now with a US Silicon Valley  outfit, Nutanix. The fourth co-holder of the patent is an American engineer -- Matthew Trevathan  of Atlanta Georgia.
“During the early years of cloud computing, it was evident that storing and accessing business data across geographically dispersed cloud computing environments could present logistical and regulatory challenges,” says Sandeep.
" Ensuring  location affinity for the residence of business data in storage clouds is critical for any enterprise , including  thosein India  who are in uptake towards embracing cloud" , he   told IndiaTechOnline.

Serial inventor Sandeep, shares his recipe for success -- and his next patent -- with readers:
P - Passion
A - Attitude   
T - Thought
E - Entertainment (Get joy from thinking and not consider it a job) 
N - No Giving up  
T - Teamwork