By Anna Hodge
Despite the growing popularity and seemingly limitless potential and benefits of cloud computing, clients are encountering data governance and security issues when the data they’ve stored in the cloud crosses different countries and continents.
For example, in June 2007, France prohibited government officials from using BlackBerry smartphones because the cloud servers that hosted data accessed by the devices were located in the U.S., United Kingdom and Canada. This decision arose from a concern that government agencies could possibly, and quite easily, peek at another country’s sensitive information.
IBM Master Inventor Sandeep Ramesh Patil and his team of co-inventors saw this problem as an opportunity to invent a solution.
They developed and patented a technique called “Geographic governance of data over clouds” to enable efficient placement of digital files in a desired and secure geographic location. This approach helps clients address the challenge of storing data in cloud infrastructures that are often spread across different continents with different standards for data governance and security.
The cloud data governance invention is not the first for the Pune, India native. Patil is responsible for more than 150 issued and pending U.S. patents in the areas of cloud storage, security, filesystems and collaboration.
“If you have an inventive mind, you cannot and should not restrict yourself to a small set of domains,” Patil said, commenting on the diverse range of inventions he has patented during his IBM career.
For the past few years, Patil has focused on data storage and security in the cloud, with recent focus on IBM’s Elastic Storage innovation, which is central to the company’s product portfolio.
Elastic Storage offers unprecedented performance and is capable of reducing storage costs up to 90 percent by automatically moving data onto the most economical storage device.
Patil is confident that IBM is well positioned to lead in the Elastic Storage space.
“If one looks at our innovation index and intellectual property around cloud computing, it is clear that we are the thought leaders here,” Patil said. “At IBM, we think ahead of our time.”
Patil says he is most proud of his work on security development for IBM AIX operating systems. For this project, he developed Kerberos security modules and an SPKM mechanism for IBM Power systems.
“It was one of the most challenging projects in my career, and its successful implementation was quite an accomplishment for me and my team,” Patil said.
Fourteen years ago, IBM offered Patil his first job following his graduation from Pune University in Pune, India, where he studied computer science engineering. Today, he continues to work at IBM’s System and Technology Storage lab in Pune, where he started his IBM career.
“For more than 100 years, IBM has been known for its innovative culture and in fact has played a crucial role in establishing information technology as an industry in the marketplace,” Patil said. “As I grew up, I considered computer science itself to be synonymous with IBM, and I always considered IBM as one of my ‘dream companies’ to work for.”