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There have always been questions about the reliability of data stored in the cloud, and now the cloud has become darker after the personal data of T-Mobile Sidekick users disappeared recently. Much of that data has since been restored.
The concept behind cloud computing is to make computer resources scalable with applications and data on third-party servers accessible on the web. In the Sidekick case, Microsoft's Danger subsidiary hosted the data.
Other companies, including Google and IBM, have embraced cloud computing. Worldwide, cloud-computing revenues are expected to total $17.4bn this year, according to a Sept. 29 report by IDC. By 2013 that number is expected to jump to $44.2bn.
"It's clear that cloud computing is of growing interest, not just to the technologists, but to the money people -- the CFOs, CEOs, procurement VPs, as well as senior IT execs -- who think about the capital and cost implications of IT," IDC analyst Frank Gens says.
But some observers say cloud computing isn't a safe way to store data. For example, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based public-interest group, has long questioned cloud computing.
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