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LA's Move To Google Apps Slows As "Apps For Gov't." Announced 98

Posted by kdawson
from the cloud-of-pain dept.
Several readers noted Google's announcement yesterday of Google Apps for Government: "The new version is a variant of Google Apps Premier edition, and includes the same core apps: Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sites, Groups, Video, and Postini. Pricing is the same as for Google Apps Premier: $50 per user per year. The certification says that Google Apps qualifies for is called a FISMA-Moderate rating, which means that it's authorized for use with data that's sensitive but unclassified. In addition, Google says that it's storing government Gmail and Google Calendar on servers that are isolated from those used for non-government customers, and which are located in the continental US." This service might be just what the city of Los Angeles needs (though the price may not be right). LA started migrating months ago to Google Apps, and the process is experiencing some delays, as pointed out by reader theodp. "In December, Google tooted its own horn as it celebrated edging out rival Microsoft to win a high-profile, ironically Microsoft-funded contract to supply email and collaboration software to the City of Los Angeles. Now comes word that the search giant has missed a June deadline for full implementation due to lingering security concerns. Google downplayed reports of the delay, saying it was 'very pleased with the progress to date' which has allowed 10,000+ of the City's 34,000 employees to use Google Apps."
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LA's Move To Google Apps Slows As "Apps For Gov't." Announced

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  • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @02:56PM (#33049046)

    Maybe it is because I'm an old hand (and I'm speaking for myself here), but there is something about having physical control of data in house, in a data center. This way, unless there is a network intrusion, one knows where critical information resides.

    With a cloud provider, all I have is a promise of security.

    This isn't to say that Google isn't secure, but I personally trust good locks on the doors and all people who have access to the data having signed contracts more than just a piece of paper with a promise that things are secure.

    • by jgagnon (1663075)

      When it comes to anything sent over the Internet (most WAN stuff, for instance), you do not have physical control over your data, regardless of where it originates. Unless you are running direct links to and from every site, that is. Even with liberal use of encryption you run significant risks once you open the traffic up to public channels.

      • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:11PM (#33049218)

        Yes, data is sent over, but the DB processing and storage should be in house. Another reason to keep data in house:

        Jack, who has some basic Linux skills wants to make some money on the side in his job in a data center. He copies some credit card numbers from his work and sells them. His company takes the heat, does an audit of who had last access to that tablespace that wasn't normal, and finds that Jack was doing a SELECT on it. Jack almost definitely will end up facing civil/criminal repercussions for the action.

        Joe who is working in a cloud provider does a strings on a .vmdk file, gets a similar list. He has no loyalty to the cloud provider's client... that's just some company or organization storing files at his workplace. So, he doesn't feel any reason why not. He sells the list, the cloud provider's client gets the heat for the compromise, and maybe the cloud company may be found responsible for the leak. However, there is no certain audit trail or chain of custody present like there is by keeping data in-house. Maybe sometime in the future some file audit or accounting daemon might show the read or some shell log show the strings command, but it may never happen.

        Again, with data in-house, there is an access log record, a video log from the cameras, a log from the ACE servers of access, the audit logs from Active Directory, the logs from the routers. All of this ensures accountability for everyone involved. Outsourcing to a cloud provider? Got none of that. There is no solid chain of custody.

        • by c++0xFF (1758032)

          The solution to problems like this: encrypt all data in the cloud.

          Unfortunately, this runs into the same problems as DRM: the cloud applications need the encryption key, which means that the cloud has access to unencrypted data at some point.

          But at least exposure is limited to actively accessed data, right?

        • by Danathar (267989)

          Your assertion that the same species of homo sapiens running your operations (on average) are any less vulnerable to incompetence and the negative aspects of human nature than the ones running the offsite data center is bogus.

        • This day in age, if your storing credit card numbers instead of a token, you're doing it wrong. And if your gateway doesn't support tokenization, get one who does. They'll meet or beat your current processing rates.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          Jack, who has some basic Linux skills wants to make some money on the side in his job in a data center. He copies some credit card numbers from his work and sells them

          So Jack also has some encryption-breaking skills?

          However, there is no certain audit trail or chain of custody present like there is by keeping data in-house.

          Does having data stored off-site necessarily mean there is no "audit trail or chain of custody"?

          I think you attribute a level of care and protection to in-house data centers that has not s

          • by skarphace (812333)

            However, there is no certain audit trail or chain of custody present like there is by keeping data in-house.

            Does having data stored off-site necessarily mean there is no "audit trail or chain of custody"?

            I think the problem is that you're dealing with another company. I'd imagine any interaction after a breach could be like this:

            You: "We think your systems were breached and we lost sensitive data."
            Them: "That couldn't have been us. It must have happened on your systems."
            You: "No, we're sure it was not us, it was you."
            Them: "Nuh-uh!"

            Then where do you go from there? You start a lawsuit? You just forget about it? Maybe I'm missing something, but this kind of interaction sounds much more difficult

      • If the data is encrypted, it sure isn't. I run a three node OpenVPN network (soon to be expanded to six locations), and I'm fairly confident that the data is safe, the weak points being, of course, email to outside locations. Any databases that are accessible by public websites we host are on separate servers from our internal data.

        There's no way to absolute remove the possibility of data theft, but one can heavily minimize it. First on that list is not having critical or confidential data being hosted b

        • by bberens (965711)
          I don't disagree with you at all, except that I think you're falsely assuming that most businesses operate like yours. I think it's great for small businesses who haven't quite gotten big enough to justify full time IT staff. The e-mail at your 10-store bakery chain probably isn't valuable enough to worry about it. And those bakeries don't have a WAN, or probably even VPN to the "corporate office" which consists of a small extra room in the back of one of the bakeries.
      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        My guess is that 75%+ of the City's email traffic is internal.

        For these government organizations, along with probably the majority of corporate users, 90%+.

        Thus for a "hosted" solution, traffic that used to be 90% internal to your network becomes 100% external.

    • Personally, my biggest concern is that they kind of determine how redundancy works.

      I mean, don't get me wrong, redundancy is a good thing - but when you aren't in control of it - your data is put into the hands of people you don't even know, and you won't even know it.

      It's one thing to know that Google holds your documents, and that anyone at anytime could walk off with that server. At least then you'd know theres a breach and you've been compromised. Network breaches aside, as that can happen to you just a

      • I don't think a lot of people understand how much large companies and the government already trust other companies and entities with their data. Look at DoD contractors. Now because of the nature of the work they do, many employees of contractors have a security clearance. It could be argued that since they've been vetted by the government directly (something that isn't common in non-DoD or DoE contracts) it's quiet reasonable that they should be given access to government data. That isn't the whole sto

        • by bberens (965711)
          You've hit the nail on the head. My "household name" employer outsources almost everything to an outside vendor.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Strictly speaking, you only get marginally more security when you run your own datacenter than when you use a cloud provider, assuming that you have competent security staff in your datacenter. The only real risk cloud providers carry that internal datacenters do not is the risk that your data may accidentally be copied into someone else', thus leaking your information; assuming that the cloud provider's software does not have such a serious bug, what more security do you really get? Your datacenter still
      • by Miseph (979059)

        "suppose the government wants to raise taxes on energy used by large data centers, and Google says, "Well if you do that, we'll be forced to increase our service fees..." Does that situation seem far fetched to you?"

        As an avowed liberal: in what universe is the government averse to spending more money for identical results? That's pretty much how they roll. Heck, in your scenario, I'd expect some of the officials involved to be in tight with Google and support it on the grounds that the user charge is actua

    • I am largely in the same thought mode as you, but aren't the contracts that you mention just a piece of paper with a promise that they'll abide by the rules in the contract?

      If you sign a contract with an outside provider, they should have to meet certain third-party audit requirements. If you've got PHI, they should be HIPAA-compliant. If they're dealing with credit cards, PCI compliance is mandatory. Individual states may have other requirements which are documented and should be audited by third partie

    • With a cloud provider, all I have is a promise of security.

      Well, no, you have a contract. The same way most places subcontract their physical security too. You accept there's some possibility of screw ups but at least cede that people doing this for a business might have better skills at something that's outside your core competency.

    • Give me just one example of sensitive data that gas escaped from a major cloud service (Google, Amazon, etc), and I'll give you 10 more examples of data that has escaped from an incompetent IT organization's in house systems. Do *your* in house systems allow you to configure ALL your user's desktops and laptops to be completely disposable, with no other software necessary than a recent version of Firefox or Chrome? Never had a DBA accidentally botch a transaction, do your users never accidentally delete ema

  • Seems odd (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:00PM (#33049092)

    I work in a relatively small government organization - about 1200 people, only about 350 of which are office workers - and I can't imagine us even remotely considering this. Anything that involves storing ANY of our data on a server that doesn't reside in one of our 3 data centers is automatically nixed by IT. Heck, if you've got a decent IT staff, setting up basic stuff like webmail and the like isn't even that difficult or expensive. Apache, Horde, Postfix, and Dovecot will get you mostly there for nothing more than the cost of a decent server ($2k tops) and the time of a staff member to set it up (and that time, for full-time employees, is typically already paid for, so you might as well use it).

    • Wait until the first lawsuit the city faces after some confidential info gets "released" from the cloud.

      • It's possible, although more than for just about any private business, paperwork/information/emails of city governments are usually considered to be public information subject to disclosure on demand -- even including a lot of things I wouldn't have expected before working a contract for one.

        Not that there isn't some information that isn't in some cases, but your odds of randomly hitting confidential information are much lower than with most corporations.

    • by FunOne (45947)

      Yes, all you need is a top-notch group of administrators with up-to-date skills to setup the system and monitor every security mailing list so that nothing leaks out. Plus routine maintinance, handling user requests, backup, recovery, and environment testing. Throw in their salaries along with datacenter floor space, power, and cooling on run-time costs not to mention depereciation and support on the hardware. Don't forget the additional staff time to document and track changes so that if someone leaves, di

      • "Yes, all you need is a top-notch group of administrators with up-to-date skills to setup the system and monitor every security mailing list so that nothing leaks out. Plus routine maintinance, handling user requests, backup, recovery, and environment testing. Throw in their salaries along with datacenter floor space, power, and cooling on run-time costs not to mention depereciation and support on the hardware. Don't forget the additional staff time to document and track changes so that if someone leaves, d

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by DrgnDancer (137700)

          No Google is cheaper because it economizes such things. Think about it, Google is already running data centers with thousands of computers in them, it's cheap for them to add another rack or two for what you need. They've probably already got the backup capacity, the redundant data center. They've got hundreds of skilled technicians, programmers, and admins on staff already. They're specialists. All they know is data centers, and it works because they're selling you a data center (or at least a little

          • "No Google is cheaper because it economizes such things."

            Yes, I know the argument but still haven't seen the case for it or the how.

            It's obviously true you gain from economy of scales when going from one user to two users; from two to three, etc. but is there a ceiling on the gainings?

            Where else can you go cheaper once you can pay for, say, three people on staff and two colocated servers with some proper backup/restore in place? Where are the economies of scale from serving 10.000 people to serving one mil

            • I'll not disagree with you that there is likely very little advantage to large company or government organization going to something like Google. When an organization has reached a size sufficient that it can comfortably support (and has need for) a decent sized internal IT team, multiple data centers, and all the sundry things like data center wide redundant power and backup, it probably won't be saving money going to Google. You'll note that I never claimed otherwise.

              Compared to most small and even many

              • I'll not disagree with you that there is likely very little advantage to large company or government organization going to something like Google.

                I suppose that may depend on how they are handling mail etc now. If different units within the org are handling their own servers then there may be a lot of redundant duplication of effort that could be cut out by moving to a single external provider.

                A technology focused company, say an IT service provider, will probably have the house expertise to make the break

        • by FunOne (45947)

          It seems you are implying Google somehow won't suffer such a problem... maybe because they don't hire top notch staff?

          No, they have hundreds and a customer base to spread the costs of all those other items thinly enough to make sense. Having 3 datacenters and a full IT staff to support 1k odd people has to be justified and providing e-mail and document services can be done so cheaply it makes no sense to keep it in house.

          In fact, that argument has been made so well that many large universities have moved to Google provided services. Providing e-mail is a commoddity business, so let the lowest cost provider do it.

        • by cdrguru (88047)

          Not at all. Google has found a way to monetize providing free services to people. If you buy into it, you are not taking advantage of Google's generousity. You are providing revenue to Google through information (which they sell) and an advertising channel.

          The assumption is, in using Google services, that you are getting more out of the deal than they are. This can't possibly be the case or they wouldn't do it. So you just don't know exactly how they are benefiting from providing these services. Trus

    • by Danathar (267989)

      Yes, because it's not like the Government has been outsourcing Data center operations to OFFSITE contractor DATA CENTERS for CLOSE TO 50 YEARS. If it's good for a DOE Lab it's probably good enough (security wise) for you...assuming you are not in classified work.

      Other issues....

      1. Decent IT staff

      2. Basic Stuff (that never changes)

      3. Not that expensive (for now...)

      4. It costs nothing more than xxx

      Unless you expect your operation to NEVER expand, and you expect ALWAYS to have decent IT staff.....

      I don't know

    • Tell me what decent IT staff would want to do the boring job of maintaining small email, web and IM servers for a few hundred people? It will get put to the end of the queue and forgotten about. I've yet to find a single person who can install a half decent mail server from scratch and and be bothered to do the work of maintaining it for year after year. This is one case where economies of scale are everything and Taylorism has a place. Efficient IT infrastructure needs to be big so that there's enough chal
    • Heck, if you've got a decent IT staff, setting up basic stuff like webmail and the like isn't even that difficult or expensive.

      Well in fairness, part of the question is, "Is it more difficult and expensive than Google, and does it provide the same results?" We can argue about the pros and cons. I have my own mail server, but the Gmail web applications are better, Google's datacenter is better, and ultimately it'd be easier to run my mail through Google. Of course, if I were going to switch over, I'd have to make sure I trusted Google more than I trusted my own datacenter and backups.

      So yes, there are pros and cons, even if you

    • by talldean (1038514)
      And backup of that? And an offsite backup? And nights-and-weekends support if it goes down? $50/user is *cheap* for reliable webmail, let alone file sharing, collaborative docs, and calendaring.
    • by stephanruby (542433) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @04:46PM (#33050506)

      I work in a relatively small government organization - about 1200 people, only about 350 of which are office workers - and I can't imagine us even remotely considering this. Anything that involves storing ANY of our data on a server that doesn't reside in one of our 3 data centers is automatically nixed by IT.

      Yes, every government organization has at least one Terry Childs who's been there for 20 years and who will do whatever is necessary to protect his little fiefdom. I feel kind of bad for you.

      I assume you guys also do your own payroll, manage your own 401a/pension plans, store your own paper archives, repair your own photocopy machines, do your own warranty work on failed hard drives, maintain your own waste disposal landfill, do your own shredded paper disposal, and grow your own fruits and vegetables on premises as well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I assume you guys also do your own payroll, manage your own 401a/pension plans, store your own paper archives, repair your own photocopy machines, do your own warranty work on failed hard drives, maintain your own waste disposal landfill, do your own shredded paper disposal, and grow your own fruits and vegetables on premises as well.

        Other than the fruits and vegetables, which I assume you threw in just to be ridiculous, the last government entity I worked for in fact did do all of those things internally.

        • by tehcyder (746570)
          They had their own landfill site?
          • They had their own landfill site?

            Yup. Don't many sizeable cities have a city dump? Not just for the city government's trash, you understand, but owned/maintained by the city for its own and its residents use.

            Even the much smaller suburb I live in does this.

    • Don't forget you need (at least) another server housed in another datacenter for redundancy, and a complex system to keep the redundant system data live and provide automatic failover. And you're merely hiding setup or maintenance labour costs by saying existing employees will handle all this - in fact you have to apportion a fair fraction of their total cost. Then there's the cost of the server rooms, climate control, UPS, electricity, etc.

      If you bother to do the sums, you'll be appalled by the cost of pro

    • Perhaps they should do the math [google.com]?

      Email really is a basic service. I work for an IT consultancy firm and the reality is that even for us with significant in house capability it makes more sense for our "decent IT staff" to be engaged in doing something that actually advances the delivery of our business to our customers rather than maintaining a basic service like email.
  • ugh (Score:1, Insightful)

    At least I can avoid Google as a private citizen when I find its privacy practices abhorrent.

    I feel sorry for the family I have in LA who won't have a choice but to have some of their government-handled private data on Google's servers.

    • So, it's flamebait to suggest that I find it unreasonable that a government which already forces me to give it various amounts of private data will also pass that private data on to private corporations? Especially private corporations which make a business of data mining?

      No problem there at all then? All going to bend over and take it? Thought so.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Didn't you get the memo?

        Google does no evil man.

        Google's chill man. Their motto says they won't do evil.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I hate to break it to you but whatever jurisdiction you live in, private contractors are balls-deep in the every day management of your gov't data.

        everyday data center operations - possibly outsourced
        help desk support - possibly outsourced
        application development/maintenance - possibly outsourced
        overall IT architecture - possibly outsourced

        • So what you're saying is that previous generations have lain back and taken it, so you shall too?

          Especially when data is outsourced to the worst possible choice, one whose central business is examining your data to see how it can profit therefrom?

          • What's your suggestion then? Governments save money by using contractors. They can't hire experts in everything. So we can:

            A) Spend more money and vastly increase government bureaucracy by hiring official "government" people to handle every little aspect of government work, or

            B) Not give the government the basic information it needs in order to say, regulate traffic, collect trash, or enforce the laws.

            You have a third option?

            (Likely your option to for the government to stop collecting information at all,

            • What's your suggestion then? Governments save money by using contractors. They can't hire experts in everything.

              This only applies when demand/supply is such that it would cost way too much to have your own infrastructure and/or experts. This might apply, say, for building aircraft. It doesn't apply for hiring computer janitors(*).

              Likely your option to for the government to stop collecting information at all, which I'm sure will be a great comfort when some kid puts his car through your living room window because "driver's licenses are oppression, man"

              The job of processing driver's licences (which afaik doesn't fall on the City of LA, but maybe it does) does not require complex computation or innovation. It would be cheaper to pay a group of competent men a reasonable wage to run the system rather than contracting out to a for-profit firm

  • Let’s see how this goes this brings a very big privacy and security factor into play. I can see small burrows and local entities using these services. The large government entities that need to be secure and have a lot of sensitive data not so much.
  • by tcopeland (32225) <tom&thomasleecopeland,com> on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:12PM (#33049230) Homepage

    ...and Google knows it. The government is flourishing [thefreeent...nation.org], huzzah!

  • Ok, so they will separate your data from everyone else's, but how do you know they aren't mining your data and storing the index on another machines? Remember, Google is an advertising company first. All of the other products like Postini, gDocs, etc are there just to give them more data to mine.

    Your contract may state that they are not allowed to mine or even store your filtered data, but how would you ever know? Good luck executing an eDiscovery search on largest collector of data in the world. I'm
  • Gdocs is not usable (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I don't know how other people feel, but I have been trying google apps and have been unimpressed. Writely is OK, but is only wysiwyg by severely limiting what you can do in a doc. It is fine for most collab docs though and sharing is great. My problems have been in using gdocs, its PDF to text conversion is a joke and is obvious just some untested open sources ocr toys. Their shareable links have been broken for weeks and is only acknowledged in their forums and somehow that isn't reported as a problem

  • Can you imagine if the federal government picked up Google tools as it's primary software? Those targeted ads would be amazing. It would make the U.S. the number one customer of some other, less popular countries industries:

    "Need to spy on your citizens better, faster, and longer? Buy this new tracking software from Chang industries in China!"
    "Citizens misbehaving? Pacify them with some good ol' Soviet era violence with the Stalin sub 1000!"
    "Local press causing too much of a raucous? Take a lesson from
  • by Sub Zero 992 (947972) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:35PM (#33049510) Homepage

    This is what you get, and what - currently - only very few federal agencies can afford:

    An independent third party auditor issued Google Apps an unqualified SAS70 Type II certification. Google is proud to provide Google Apps administrators the peace of mind knowing that their data is secure under the SAS70 auditing industry standard.

    The independent third party auditor verified that Google Apps has the following controls and protocols in place:

    • Logical security: Controls provide reasonable assurance that logical access to Google Apps production systems and data is restricted to authorized individuals
    • Privacy: Controls provide reasonable assurance that Google has implemented policies and procedures addressing the privacy of customer data related to Google Apps
    • Data center physical security: Controls provide reasonable assurance that data centers that house Google Apps data and corporate offices are protected
    • Incident management and availability: Controls provide reasonable assurance that Google Apps systems are redundant and incidents are properly reported, responded to, and recorded
    • Change management: Controls provide reasonable assurance that development of and changes to Google Apps undergo testing and independent code review prior to release into production
    • Organization and administration: Controls provide reasonable assurance that management provides the infrastructure and mechanisms to track and communicate initiatives within the company that impact Google Apps

    http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/government/trust.html [google.com]

    Sure, it comes with a risk (do you have multiple redundant and trunked high speed internet connections?) but also with enorous freeing of public funds.

    In my view, a win.

    • Is it really cheaper? Bear in mind that providing an office environment for employees these days merely involves giving them any computer built in the last 10 years, and attaching them to a network with a very modest server to handle email and calendaring duties. The ongoing cost of such a move is mere power and the occasional hard drive.

      If an IT staff is incapable of such mundane tasks they should be made into soylent green.

      • by gad_zuki! (70830)

        Right, and the functionality is worse than open office, which costs zero dollars. I'm not sure what enormous public funds are being saved here. MS Office for non-profits isn't much more expensive over three years. Something tells me this is politics as usual - selling out to a large local contractor who promises the moon and undelivers. The cloud horror stories are already out there and will continue.

    • by Xarius (691264)

      I assume all those apps will have offline support through a compatible web browser anyway?

  • by lowrydr310 (830514)
    LA = Louisana

    L.A. = Los Angeles
  • I don't work for LA City. I do work for LA County. I also work *with* LA City. I know the city is in somewhat dire straits financially and can't imagine how they'd be buying into anything.

    I am constantly fighting the "cloud" and "shared services" initiatives. They propose to save money, but you have to spend millions and reduce your service levels in order to do so.

    Nothing against Google in general, I just can't imagine something like this going well in an organization the size of LA City.

    (By the way, I h
    • by DrCForbin (685206)
      Now, tell me HOW reducing the number of employees who spend thousands of man hours correcting issues caused by Microsoft products is not a cost benefit for the taxpayers? Tell me HOW not having to maintain the in-house servers (humans, power,etc) is NOT a cost benefit for the taxpayers? And not to minimize your achievements, HOW does potential savings (your 2 to 4 million dollars) get validated in the real world? How does the taxpayer see the results of the fruits of your labors? Tell me HOW it costs mo
      • by dave562 (969951)

        The city wasn't running Microsoft on the back end. They were using Novell and Groupwise for email (along with just about every other government agency / municipality in California). They decided to replace Groupwise with GAPE... or I guess in this case, GAGE (Google Apps Government Edition).... soon to be known as GAG? (Only time will tell on that one).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by filesiteguy (695431)
        Well, it is simple.
        (Trust me I'm not MS fan-boi.)

        For the time period 2007-2009, my department spent an estimated $1,100,928 developing and enhancing two primary systems. This included all development and hardware costs. These systems take in between $300M and $400M per year in taxes and fees and are the largest of the kind by number of transactions processed in the US.
        Vendor systems in this range have been quoted to us as costing between $4M and $6M outright with $500K to $800K/year in maintenance.
        (Our ac
        • by DrCForbin (685206)

          Ah.. thank you for the numbers.. I can see how you arrived at the projection ..now we have to see if the reality matches the calculations :-)

          thanks for taking the time to do the breakdown for me/us

          • No problem. I hate overspending as much as the next guy... ...well maybe not as much as the City Manager in the City of Bell (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/20/bell-city-manager-scandal_n_653304.html) but as most people.

            If I thought the Cloud - or the mainframe - was a better value, I'd be all over it. In fact, I get hit by vendors (HP, EMC, IBM) all the time asking to put their hugely expensive "server farm" in with dozens of VM's. I prefer the Amazon or Google approach, with multiple low-cost ser
  • Marijuana practically legalized in California and its government moving away from Microsoft products. The economy really must be getting bad there!
  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @04:41PM (#33050450) Journal

    Nobody seems to have mentioned this yet, but it looks like at least part of the reason for the delay are "unforeseen requirements" that weren't in the initial arrangement with the city that Google's had to deal with. For example:

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/26/google-city-of-los-angeles-apps-delay-is-overblown/ [techcrunch.com]

    As for the delay, Google says that they are working with with the City of LA to "address requirements that were not included in the original contract." One example of these possible requirements that came up is that the LAPD wants to conduct background checks on all Google employees that have access to Google Apps data in the cloud. Doing these checks of course add more time to the adminstrative clock.

    LAPD background checks on Google employees may very well be a reasonable request, but things like this add time to the schedule and weren't part of the original contract.

    • by dave562 (969951)

      That's what happens when you have senior sales guys meeting with managers.

      Sales Guy, "Yeah, it will DO ALL OF THAT, and SAVE YOU OODLES OF MONEY."

      Manager, "But does it work with my Blackberry? The IT guys tell me that Blackberry is important even though my kids have an iPhone and I like the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit app."

      Sales guy, "Yes, it does work with your Blackberry."

      Manager, "Alright, I'm SOLD."

      They obviously failed to properly scope the work. They failed to consider LAPD's needs.

    • One example of these possible requirements that came up is that the LAPD wants to conduct background checks on all Google employees that have access to Google Apps data in the cloud

      That's pretty interesting but I'm not sure why it would be a part of schedule slip, given that almost all the work is on the LAPD to run the checks. Google just has to come up with the right list of people.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RMH101 (636144)
        ...and get those people to agree to a police background check. Imagine if you were an offshore developer in another country, and your line manager casually dropped into a conversation that the LAPD want to audit you. Now scale that up to the presumably hundreds/thousands of google personnel who potentially have access to that data.
  • If I sue some company or a city or someone, and I know they are using google apps service, can I subpoena google to produce all the relevant documents it has in its possession as part of discovery? Can I ask for a search using keywords and wildcards in all the documents stored as part of the service to the sued company?

    If I use google apps service and someone sues me, can I get google to certify that I have not deleted or destroyed any document? Would I be able to argue "in this case absence of evidence i

    • by Compaqt (1758360)

      Yeah, good question. Also, what if you're in California, and you have a dispute with someone (or a corporation or government entity) in Nevada. Normally, you wouldn't have access (through a state court) to their files, but since Google's located in CA, could a state court force Google to divulge documents?

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