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Cloud now? Cloud how? Where do you stand in the Great Cloud Debate?

Oct. 5, 2012

If this week’s presidential debate didn’t quite quench your thirst for heated discussion, check out a video of IU’s recent Great Cloud Debate.

cloud computing

This political campaign-style debate pitted IU’s Fred Cate against Internet2’s Shel Waggener in a rousing dialogue about cloud computing security, moderated by IU Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Brad Wheeler.

The Great Cloud Debate kicked off IU’s annual Statewide IT Conference, held Sept. 24 and 25 on the Bloomington campus and attended by more than 700 IT professionals from across IU. The debate was staged in the IU Auditorium, and featured factions of followers sporting campaign propaganda with the slogans “Cate is Great” and “Shel is Swell.”

But what is cloud computing? Simply put, it’s the ability to perform computer tasks via online applications. Do you use Facebook or Twitter? You’ve been in the cloud. Same goes for checking your email from your smartphone and a variety of other conveniences that have become part of our daily lives.

There are still many questions about security in the cloud. Cate, IU Maurer School of Law professor and director of IU’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, led the “Cloud How” charge, wondering if it’s all just a dangerous cliché -- a slick marketing trick designed to capture our personal data.

Waggener, on the other side of the argument, is decidedly “Cloud Now.” At Internet2, he leads the pursuit of emerging cloud and advanced services. He’s a strong believer in the cloud, believing it holds the keys to a digital frontier in which all of us collaborate across borders.

Where do you stand? Watch the hottest debate since Lincoln squared off against Douglas in 1858, and make your own decision.

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