Transcending The Cloud - A Legal Guide to the Risks and Rewards of Cloud Computing: When the Cloud Bursts: SLAs and Other Umbrellas...

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When the Cloud Bursts: SLAs and Other Umbrellas (Service Level Agreements and Other Contractual Protections from a Cloudburst)

New Benefits, New Risks

Cloud computing is increasingly becoming an appealing method of obtaining computing services, as it offers both dramatically lower costs and scalability, which in turn are the result of features that are inherently double-edged. Among the realities that customers -users of cloud computing must reconcile are:

- Their data, applications and infrastructure are stored and managed by others in remote locations

- Their proprietary data can be stored with the data of other tenants (some of whom may even be competitors) on shared infrastructure (at least in the public cloud)

- Access and use is through the Internet, and hence, depends on its bandwidth and availability

- Hosting facilities are often sited in low-cost locations with cheap power

- Cloud computing providers often subcontract and outsource the provisioning of their services to unknown third parties in unknown locations...

New Risks, New Concerns

As customers and providers alike now begin to realize the benefits offered through cloud computing, they must also face a series of new risks and fears. Granted, while some of these concerns existed prior to the onset of cloud computing in the context of third-party services, many are most definitely new. The following is just a sampling of these risks...

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