I've worked in the tech field of Instructional Technology for two
decades and I'd disagree that cloud computing isn't a viable solution
in some situations.
No, it's not workable for archives and institutional-level collections
unless there are legal and service agreements in place that make
migration out of it possible if new technologies or other issues come
For personal backups, I think it's reasonable and really something
that's needed for short-term backups with the move towards mobile
devices - laptops, iPads, and mobile phones - that are a hassle to
plug in and back up when you're constantly "on the go".
What's really disturbing here is that the US government has seized the
whole enchilada, leaving individual users with legal backups and legal
short-term projects that they were working on with others in the
To me, it shows how much government officials misunderstand technology
trends and how much they're willing to "throw out the baby with the
bath water" for the benefit of large media companies that donate to
If the backups are destroyed, I'd personally call for a Congressional
investigation to make sure this kind of wholesale destruction of
individual data isn't legal.
On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 1:38 PM, Richard L. Hess
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> It was always foolish to trust the only copy of a file to a server that you
> do control.
> Just because they've put lipstick on the pig and called it "The Cloud"
> doesn't mean you can assume it's any different from a server that you don't
> control. At some point "The Cloud" has to resolve to a piece of hardware.
> We're not shoving data into those puffy white things that float by,
> sometimes dropping rain or snow on us.
> At it's best, "The Cloud" implies a fault-tolerant distributed system which
> can withstand multiple failures and is geographically diverse. I wonder how
> many "Cloud" applications are really that well engineered and managed.
> I did not feel comfortable after a tornado devastated downtown Goderich,
> Ontario last summer, so in addition to my two RAID 5 NAS units (one in each
> of two adjacent houses) for each piece of data, I added a steel ammo case
> full of notebook USB drives that get updated about every six months from the
> NAS units. These are kept across town (along a north-south axis as most
> tornadoes follow an east-west axis).
> The remote RAID 5 NAS unit is updated overnight from the local one over a
> fibre optic 100 Mb/s link (I'm too cheap to upgrade the media converters to
> gigabit), without propagating deletes, and some updates are not propagated
> (the theory being it's better to lose the edits than the original file).
> While I feel the pain of the people who lost data, and I'm sorry they lost
> data, I do not feel they were being responsible. I do know some people who
> rely on "cloud" backup, but if they were informed that their cloud backup
> was at risk, I'm certain (or at least I hope) they would migrate to local
> backup until they found another cloud. Personally, I am reasonably
> comfortable with three copies in three separate locations.
> Oh, and the steel ammo can might just protect those little notebook drives
> in USB cases from EMP should that scenario ever happen. Now, what would be
> left to read the drives???
> On 2012-01-31 9:58 AM, Don Cox wrote:
>> It was always foolish to trust the only copy of a file to a server that
>> you don't control.
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.