Cloud Warming – When the Cloud Becomes Dark
As I get ready for my big move to Virginia, it dawned on me that I would also need to be shipping my desktop, which I’m reluctant to do because…well, I’ve never shipped my fully loaded, everything that I need to live, desktop anywhere before. This got me thinking about using the cloud even more than usual.
I’ve written about how awesome I think the cloud is and in this case, the ability to leave my twenty something pound desktop here in Denver is an advantage. If you’re just starting to freelance, then the cloud is the way to go, especially if you’re running two computers and a smartphone (or tablet or all four).
However, just yesterday I discovered that there are downsides to this.
Listening to the latest (read: the day before) podcast of Tech New Today, which is part of the This Week in Technology (TWiT) series by the awesome Leo Leparte, I actually found out that both Microsoft’s Sky Drive and Google Docs had outages earlier in the week. Obviously because I use both (Sky Drive/Live Mesh more than Docs), I was a bit surprised to hear about. It happened when I wasn’t working on either apparently, but it still gave me a bit of pause, especially after yesterday’s complete and utter adherence to the cloud for the next seven months.
Much as I love the cloud, there are of course dangers that it faces, one of them being that if the cloud goes down, so does your work.
Now before you panic about not getting your items, as the guest on the show mentioned, it’s not that big of a deal, really. As the hosts mentioned, yes if you’re in the middle of a meeting using Google Docs or you need those docs for a meeting and it’s offline, yeah big problem (which is why Google has now implemented Google Docs offline), but in the overall scheme of things, not so bad.
I of course say this as someone who is tied to the cloud and not. I still have backup copies of stuff on my hard drive (synced with Live Mesh) and of those items, I’ve gone ahead and moved docs that I’m working on (or should be working on) to Docs. Even my music is now in the cloud and I have plans on making digital versions of all CDs and DVDs that I own.
Listen kids, the cloud is great, but as some people forget, it’s not the be all solution to everything. Remember the story about the guy who lost seven years of his life because Google closed his account? I find myself cutting down when I go from around twelve email accounts to four (though at least 5 of those 12 were work related). I’m still gonna have backups (please please backup your stuff!), but getting access quick, easy, and from anywhere is the better deal.
Even if it means it’s down for twenty or forty minutes.