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March 2009

Cloud computing security framework may ease security concerns

Not long ago, a researcher at the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly needed to analyze a lot of data fast. If the results turned out as he believed, the company could have a world-beating drug on its hands. The only trouble was that he would need 25 servers to crunch the huge volume of data, and he knew it could take up to three months to get approval for the investment. In an industry where the cost of delaying a product is estimated at $150 per second (yes, per second), that three months' wait would be very expensive indeed. Adrian Seccombe, the company's global head of security, explains: "He went to a tame IT guy who'd been playing around in this thing called 'The Cloud'. The guy got out his credit card, plugged it into Amazon Web Services, and had 25 servers up and running in the cloud within an hour." They then realized they'd built the servers incorrectly so they had to take them down and start again. The second time, it took them 40 minutes to get the servers up and running. "Within two hours they were crunching the data. ...

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