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Canadian govt to cloud providers: Want our business? Stay local, eh

If only they were this protective of their hockey teams

The government of Canada has laid out a cloud computing strategy that could bring more data center facilities to the Great White North.

The administration's Cloud Adoption Strategy calls for a provision that all sensitive government information be housed within the country.

"Departments and agencies will follow a 'Right Cloud' strategy – adopting cloud services when they best meet business needs," the report states.

"All sensitive or protected data under government control will be stored on servers that reside in Canada."

The rule is part of a larger government plan to expand the use of cloud computing services for its IT systems. The plan also calls for the government to make use of hybrid cloud systems and, in some cases, make use of public cloud services that would host the government systems alongside public-sector companies' data.

Canada is not the first country to issue such rules. The EU and China are among those that require cloud services to house their servers locally, and the US runs much of its cloud services on a custom-built AWS cloud center whose exactly location within the states has not been formally released.

Those who do wish to house their cloud servers in Canada will not be pressed for room. As one of the most sparsely-populated countries in the world, many parts of Canada are abundant in the cheap land and cold weather that would be ideal to large-scale data center warehouses.

Despite this, relatively few of the major public cloud operators have built data centers in the country. Google has all of its North American facilities in the US, while Amazon is only just getting around to putting an AWS instance in Montreal, and Microsoft operates Azure cloud locations in Toronto and Quebec City.

Hopefully, when those cloud facilities are built, they will end up being a bit more reliable than the Ottawa data center currently running Canadian government services in between smoke-fueled outage periods. ®

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