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Just because it’s in the cloud doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider backing it up

Admittedly, I have pack rat tendencies,  “Never know when I’m going to need that….”  So with the advent of online storage (email, photos, data), it’s become really easy to become oblivious to all the stuff I’ve squirreled away ‘in the cloud’.  Cloud computing is nothing more than accessing services and storage via the Internet.  The beauty of cloud computing is that you can be mobile and have access to your ‘stuff’ as long as you have Internet access. Cloud-computing1

Over the course of time, I’ve on occasion sent email attachments and various links to my Gmail account as a kind of loose archiving technique.  Gmail’s ‘Search’ helps me find them when needed.  Over the course of time, I’ve come to expect all this ‘stuff’ will just be there.  On demand.  It might be time to reconsider.

This past Monday, Gmail instituted new (buggy) code and inadvertently wiped out the Inboxes of close to 1% of all Gmail users.  One percent is not much, but what if your Inbox was included in the one percent?  Luckily, Google was able to restore most of the Inboxes.  A similar thing happened with some Google Calendars last week as well. That said, this type of thing is not unique to Gmail.  Hotmail had a similar problem at the beginning of the year.

Data mysteriously disappearing in the cloud extends beyond email.  In February, a photographer found that 5 years of photos had disappeared from his Flickr account.  The photographer was originally told that his pictures could not be restored but after some wrangling, it did occur.

The point is that it’s quite possible to lose stuff that’s stored in the cloud.  If some of your data is irreplaceable, you may want to consider storing it in multiple locations.


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