A lot has been said about “The Cloud” in recent times. From the massive (upcoming) acquisition of Red Hat by IBM to Amazon launching a pay-as-you-go cloud computing service in space, every month there is some exciting news involving (mostly) US-based “Big Tech” firms. So what about the Great White North? Are there any Canadian companies taking part in the “cloud revolution”?
Canada has strong data privacy laws, notably The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA): the federal privacy law for private-sector organizations. Provinces (the country’s regional governments) have also enacted similar laws for both the private and public sector on their respective jurisdictions.
If you happen to be a Canadian resident, choosing a Canadian cloud provider is often a no brainer to remain data compliant with federal and local laws. You’ll also have the assurance that your data does not pass through outside jurisdictions. If you are based outside of Canada, you may also have compelling reasons to go with a Canadian company and benefit from the favorable regulatory landscape (as long as you do not violate your own national and local compliance obligations). As such, Canadian cloud providers may well become more and more attractive in the near future and experience substantial growth.
Here are my top five picks, in no particular order.
With over 400,000 registered users, Toronto-based Sync.com is often referred to as “the Canadian alternative to Dropbox”, making it easy for users to access and share files from a computer or mobile device. The platform comes with end-to-end encryption, which ensures that only users can access their data in the cloud (which is always stored in Canada).
At the time of writing, you can get started with 5 GB storage for free.
The Vancouver-based AURO platform was built using OpenStack, and is aiming to offer an enterprise-grade public cloud that can support a wide range of cloud computing requirements (public, private, and hybrid cloud services, including operational and architectural compatibility with AWS).
AURO keeps its data centres in both Vancouver and Toronto.
Headquartered in Montreal, eStruxture serves over 900 customers in various industries including telecommunications, media and financial services.
The company offers colocation, private cloud, managed services, bandwidth and security and support services to customers in its carrier and cloud-neutral facilities located in Montreal as well as Vancouver.
Trusted Technology (Vancouver)
Hailing from Port Moody, BC (part of Metro Vancouver), Trusted Technology Inc is the maker of “CloudPockets Backup” a solution that lets you perform onsite and offsite backups for Windows, Mac, and Linux, with “military grade security”.
The company keeps its servers in British Columbia and Ontario.
Halifax-based Cloud-A is a provider of public cloud infrastructure. The company’s products aims to “automate and simplify the installation and management of the hardware and software that provides the infrastructure for large scale environments having hundreds or thousands of servers supporting high performance computing applications”. Besides Halifax, Cloud-A also maintains servers in British Columbia.
There is definitely hope and room for growth for the Canadian cloud computing sector.