Cloud Trust

Xavier asks how much do we trust the cloud. My answer is a simple one. I trust the cloud as much as I trust the hard drive on my computer. As much as I trust the external drives that I back up to. I trust the cloud as much as I trust my car to get me to and fro. I trust the cloud as much as I trust my coffee maker to reliably have coffee ready in the morning.

Basically I trust the cloud as much as I trust anything that has anything to do with anything mechanical or electrical. Meaning, I have to have more trust in myself to not become too reliable and complacent with any device or technical solution. Somewhere, somehow, something is going to fail. Nothing lasts forever and if folks aren’t smart enough to back up their data on any device (cloud-centric or otherwise) then perhaps they deserve what they get when a device fails, or the cloud melts into vapor. The T-Mobile Sidekick episode leaves me shaking my head. Sure, it is a disaster that it happened, but the user is ultimately at fault when it comes to his or her data loss. It’s no different than having a fire in your home and being caught up short because you don’t have your important documents in a firesafe or stored somewhere else.

Call me a grouch on this one, but if the data is that important to a user, the user needs to take steps to preserve it. Redundancy is the key. Last night at our  party following the opening night for Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure at Wayside Theatre cameras were flashing as usual as everyone was taking pictures of each other.  One of our interns was showing off pictures he’d taken since the season began. I asked him if he ever dumped them to his computer or online, and he said he didn’t. All well and good. They are on a memory card of some kind, but what happens if that card goes bad or he loses the camera? A half season worth of memories goes down the tubes. With online services for data readily abundant, making redundancy extremely easy,  I think the responsibility begins with the user.