'Cloud vendors unprofessional', says analyst

An analyst has launched a broadside at cloud computing vendors, accusing them of being immature, and offering few real protection for their data.Camille Mendler, VP of research at Yankee Group, was speaking at NetEvents AsiaPac press summit, said that she had analysed over 50 contracts, and most included clauses that limited the vendor's liability to a far greater extent than their headline marketing would suggest.

An analyst has launched a broadside at cloud computing vendors, accusing them of being immature, and offering few real protection for their data.

Camille Mendler, VP of research at Yankee Group, was speaking at NetEvents AsiaPac press summit, said that she had analysed over 50 contracts, and most included clauses that limited the vendor's liability to a far greater extent than their headline marketing would suggest.

For example, one cloud vendor offers a 10,000 percent SLA: if the service fails, you get a credit that's 1,000 times longer than the period of failure. But in the small print is a clause that limits the cloud vendor's liability to two months. Similarly, a typical contract denies any responsibility for any damages that a customer may suffer.

Mendler also pointed out that it's unclear how the law should apply to data in the cloud. Issues involved include privacy, jurisdiction, and data protection - there's typically no responsibility for backup, which is down to the customer. In addition, standards lag: no-one is offering services to ISO9000 levels.

She also said that not all cloud vendors were unprofessional and singled out IBM as an example of good quality services and contracts.