Fancy your own cloud? You can have one. And it will be much safer than Apple or Microsoft’s
Cloud computing isn’t new. It has been around for decades as offline data storage. But it has become a lot sexier of late because of iPads and tablets, and smartphones, which store data in the cloud because their storage capacity is so limited.
So, how do you create your own cloud? And why should you bother?
Well, you should bother because if you lose your business data you may have to shut up shop, and if you lose the family photos there will be an awful lot of tears before bedtime.
The threat of loss if you rely totally on someone else’s data storage (the cloud) is very real. For example, you could effectively lose your data if the firm holding it gets into strife – Dotcom’s cloud storage firm Mega has had its servers frozen by the US authorities for over two years now. The same US authorities also have a legal right to view all foreign nationals’ data if they so choose – it could be your data.
The other danger concerns cloud applications such as Google Docs. Even the servers of big companies like Google and Microsoft go down sometimes, for a day or even three. This has happened, and it could happen again. It could mean you can’t work for several days.
Compare this to your very own cloud that sits in another room in the form of a second server or disc back-up. However, it is better again if it is located off-site on another server. And the old-school business practice of having a trusted staff member take home a back-up disc every night is not to be sniffed at either.
So, should you use cloud storage at all? Yes – as your third back-up. Redundancy is all when it comes to backing up data. It pays to be paranoid, and as a third-line back up the cloud is excellent. You just have to understand the cloud’s limitations when it comes to reliability and (US) security.