IBM has patented a new cloud invention that helps enterprises dynamically meet data governance and compliance mandates.
Inventors from IBM's well-funded research team have patented a technique that helps organizations automatically analyze and manage the location where their public and private cloud data is stored, thereby enabling companies to comply with regulations governing where data can be stored in different countries and continents.
The patented IBM invention—Geographic governance of data over clouds: U.S. patent #8,676,593—enables users to dynamically choose or change the location where cloud data resides, ensuring that businesses adhere to local or regional compliance and security regulations.
Cloud computing offers many benefits through the scalability and ease of use enabled by providing access to information stored in data centers often based in remote, disparate geographical locations. However, a challenge that can arise from the cloud model is the need for cloud providers to manage and govern content in accordance with regulations specified by government agencies in different countries or continents, IBM noted.
"During the early years of cloud computing, it was evident that storing and accessing business data across geographically dispersed cloud computing environments could present logistical and regulatory challenges," said Sandeep Ramesh Patil, co-inventor of patent #8,676,593, in a statement. "Our team of inventors designed a system that will allow businesses to efficiently manage and move data in the cloud, while meeting required compliance mandates in different countries."
IBM's patented invention serves as a smart routing device for cloud data, enabling business owners to have greater control over where their cloud data is stored and thereby more easily comply with local laws.
The invention works by enabling organizations to mark or tag their data and use an intelligent cloud management system to store files in the appropriate location. For example, if a business needs to ensure that all of its financial data is stored in a specific cloud data center, the associated files are tagged appropriately and the cloud management system ensures that the files are stored in the correct location or locations, if more than one is required.
IBM spends about $6 billion a year on research and development. For more than 60 years, IBM Research has been the innovation engine of the IBM corporation. And for 21 consecutive years, IBM has been the leading recipient of U.S. patents. IBM inventors have patented thousands of inventions in strategic areas, such as cloud computing, big data analytics and cognitive computing.