In the Loop - February 2010
Some In The Loop articles and links are pertinent to EPA staff and are available to EPA Intranet users only.
TIP: Cloud Computing and Records Management Implications (26-FEB-2010)
Cloud computing is a technology that allows users to access and use shared data and computing services via the Internet or a Virtual Private Network without having to build infrastructure to support the resources within their own network.
The benefits to using a "cloud" include:
Common concerns include:
NARA has published Frequently Asked Questions About Managing Federal Records In Cloud Computing Environments which provides a basic overview of cloud computing, its benefits and concerns, and records management implications.
Problems with cloud computing environments are due to the fact that the architecture lacks formal technical standards governing how data is stored and used. This may make it difficult to maintain accurate records in the long term. A lack of standards for data portability may result in difficulty removing records to meet agency requirements and could complicate the transition of records from one environment to another.
NARA recommends government agencies consider using records management software that can be integrated with cloud computing services to help them keep records that are compliant with its regulations.