#CyberFLASH: Microsoft shifts Canadian cloud focus from data sovereignty to data security

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For the past few years, Microsoft Corp. has sold Canadian enterprise customers on its ability to keep their cloud-based data in Canada.

Now it’s trying to sell them on its ability to keep their cloud data safe.

With Microsoft operating two new data centres on Canadian soil, data security is supplanting data sovereignty as the focal point of its ongoing push into the cloud market here.

At the Microsoft Canada Tech Summit event in Toronto on Thursday, the company repeatedly emphasized its focus on security during a series of presentations highlighting cloud offerings such as Azure, Outlook and Office 365.

“Security is not a bolt-on. We don’t necessarily sell security as a separate product. It’s built into Windows, it’s built into Office 365, it’s built into Azure and all our products,” Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft’s global corporate vice-president of cloud and enterprise, told reporters at a media round table after the event.

Microsoft opened its first Canadian data centres in Toronto and Quebec City earlier this year. The move was welcomed by Canadian enterprises in sectors like finance, government, and healthcare, which must keep customer data within Canada to comply with security and privacy regulations.

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#CyberFLASH: Amazon will open first cloud data storage centres in Canada

amazonAmazon.com Inc. will open its first cluster of data centres in Canada this year, helping to meet demand from companies that don’t want their data stored in the U.S. where it can be monitored by security officials.

The data centres power Amazon Web Services, which rents storage and computing power to other companies. Canada’s Internet storage sector is growing and companies such as Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc. have made greater privacy under Canadian laws a key selling point in attracting business after revelations two years ago that the U.S. National Security Agency had spied on data networks run by American companies.

Beyond privacy concerns, the new data centres will also speed processing times for Amazon clients connecting with customers in Canada. The proximity of data centres to customers helps reduce response time for those running Internet-based cloud applications.

The new data centres will be in Montreal and powered almost entirely by hydroelectric generation, Amazon announced Wednesday.

Amazon has four data regions in the U.S. and a fifth coming in Ohio. Globally, Amazon has data centres in countries such as Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Australia and plans to open new centres in South Korea this year.

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Data centers still waste energy — or do they?

A news investigation punches a hole in boasts that data centres are energy efficient. But, argues an analyst, enterprises — not ‘Internet’ data centres, are the villains

 If you read our report on IBM Canada’s new Barrie, Ont., data centre, you’ll know one of the important features is that it’s a so-called “green” data centre. But over the weekend a controversy errupted over whether data centres are really saving much energy.
This article from Saturday’s New York Times argues most U.S. data centres still waste energy. After a year-long examination of public records, the newspaper concludes that far from the image of energy efficience, data centres in general run round the clock whatever the demand and therefore waste much of the electricity they pull in.
 
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