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Communications of the ACM

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Cloud Security: A Gathering Storm

storm clouds

Friday, 15:21. Transmogrifica headquarters, Palo Alto...

News has just come in that Transmogrifica has won a major contract from Petrolica to model oil and gas reserves in Gulf of Mexico. Hefty bonuses are on offer if the work is completed ahead of schedule.

Two people are seated in the boardroom.

"Let's order 150 machines right away to speed things along," says Andrea.

"Too expensive," says Robin. "And what will we do with all the machines when we're done? We'll be over-provisioned."

"Doesn't matter," says Andrea. "The bonus more than covers it, and we'll still come out ahead. There's a lot of money on the table."

"What about power? Cooling? And how soon can we get our hands on the machines? It's Friday. Let's not lose the weekend."

"Actually," says Andrea, "Why don't we just rent the machines through the cloud? We'd have things up and running in a couple of hours."

"Good idea! Get Sam on it, and I'll run it by security."

An hour and hundreds of clicks later, Transmogrifica has more than 100 nodes across North America, each costing less than a dollar per hour. Teams are already busy setting up their software stack, awaiting a green light to start work with live data.


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