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March 2013/ Volume 15 / No. 2

Marcus Ranum: Cloud service-level agreements

Marcus Ranum: Randy, thanks for taking the time to talk. When I look at the list of stuff you’re involved in, it makes my head hurt. But whenever I hear about another big cloud service disruption, I think of you! I know that security people always say you’ve got to look carefully at service-level agreements [SLAs] and conditions, and we were saying that a long time before “the cloud” was cool. Are the requirements for these big SaaS [Software as a Service] and cloud deals getting sorted out to the point where it’s not a big headache? Are customers still dealing with a wilderness of negotiations, or the “you can have any color you want, as long as it’s black” kind of model? Randy Sabett: Thank you for asking me to have a chat, Marcus. On this first question, though, you’re forcing me to start right off with the typical lawyer’s response, “it depends.” But, in this case, it really does. If someone’s looking for a commodity service to cut costs and doesn’t care about security, they likely won’t have too many headaches. Think of the...

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