Nice picture ....
.... but it has no precious things inside.
Rackspace has completed its Crawley data centre in West Sussex, and claims that it is among the most power-efficient in the UK. The new facility is 130,000 sq ft in area, and the site covers 15 acres in all. It is designed for up to 50,000 servers. The amount of power available is initially 6MW across two suites, with plans …
"...3 kW for all the fluorescent tubes lighting up the empty space"
The lights need to be on to take the picture. Large data centres of this style have used motion detecting switches for lighting for years. I've been through Equinox centres a few times, and they all completely dark, except for the segments happen to have people in them.
“Companies prefer to keep their data local,” Texas-based Rackspace tells us. That may be so, but data locality and privacy is causing a massive headache for Microsoft and other cloud giants right now.
That raises an interesting question (which the sub header alludes to): what would happen if Rackspace got served with an warrant for data access in the US, for a UK customer? As far as I can tell, they will have to comply as a US company (if the events surrounding MS & Ireland are an indication).
Anyone with a legal background willing to have a go at that one?
Funny you should mention Microsoft. You should ask Caspar Bowden. He's the former head of privacy there, and seems to be strongly of the opinion that US company = US law, regardless of location.
If only there were some way to obfuscate your data so that when your cloud provider sends it to the authorities it's unreadable...oh yes, encryption. If a UK based company holds the encryption keys on their own premises then the U.S. authorities can't force them to hand them over because the UK company isn't subject to American laws. Yes, the data will be handed over, but it won't be readable so who cares?
If you were just using cloud storage, such that the data was being encrypted as it left your site, and decrypted as it entered your site, this may work.
Unfortunately, if you actually processed any data in a cloud service, it would need to be able to decrypt and encrypt the data as it was used, requiring the encryption keys to be on cloud servers themselves, and thus as vulnerable to being snaffled as the data itself!
So, unfortunately, encryption is not the answer to all the issues.
Maybe RackSpace 'UK' should simply pay Rackspace <insert_haven_of_choice_here> a squillion or two a year for the use of the name rackspace, and deny all knowledge of any actual business done is this country..
That's not going to work. Either you have a clear, legally acceptable defensive model or you are not running a sustainable business, and you shouldn't pretend you can protect customers.
Although, that strikes me as the Silicon Valley model anyway. OK, forget what I said :).
"Anyone with a legal background willing to have a go at that one?"
IANAL but as ever the devil is in the detail. A quick look at Webcheck shows an E&W company Rackspace Ltd. Who owns this? Are all the officers of the company UK citizens? What is the legal relationship with the US company? Are the agreements which create that relationship with the US company under English law? Do the agreements forbid handing over customers' data to anyone except the customers unless ordered to do so by an English court?
These are the sort of questions that any customer's legal department should be asking of any hosting company with whom they are thinking of doing business.
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