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I largely agree with Stacey Higginbotham’s GigaOM post about Amazon Web Services’ Import/Export Service, but diverge when it comes to the prospect of specialized clouds for data processing. Amazon EC2 has proven effective at data processing — it’s the cloud of choice for many existing HPC cloud solutions — and processing data there will save money because the data’s already there (bandwidth fees for sets that large would be through the roof). Furthermore, vendors like Aster Data already provide AWS versions of their products, facilitating high-end data warehousing and analytics in EC2, as well. Data transfer is a big problem, but once it’s there, AWS has the tools to handle the computation.