Out of this world storage: Startup aiming for data centres in space

Cloud computing puts enterprise data outside the corporate data centre — how far outside depends on the provider. If data residency is a problem, the bits can be anywhere in Canada. If not, anywhere on the globe. But what about outer space?

Why not? argues Scott Sobhani, CEO of California startup Cloud Constellation, who wants to put a ring of storage servers called SpaceBelt around the planet for cloud service providers who want to get away from it all.

As the company’s Web site argues, it would be a differentiator for a provider. And, the company argues, the network would allegedly be free of insecure data and jurisdictional hazards. I’m not so sure about that: There’s no such thing as data that isn’t insecure (you can’t physically break into a satellite server, but clicking on malicious attachments and links are still vulnerabilities). And space isn’t completely empty of jurisdictional problems (see this Wikipedia page, for example.)

However, in article this week for CIO Dive, Sobhani says SpaceBelt will be more secure than today’s technologies because it won’t be connected to the Internet. And the head of the Cloud Security Alliance notes that one of the problems for some CIOs here on terra firma is that data centres in different countries come under varying information management regulations. In space there’d be one (or, for a while none).

Want to really get away from a jurisdiction problem? Imagine you have a Tardis and can send enterprise data back in time (where computers haven’t been invented that could read data) or forward in time (where the data would have no value if encryption was broken because it’s old) …

Cloud Constellation hopes to have a few satellite-based data centers operating by 2019.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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