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How Much Do You Trust the Cloud?



Usually cloud services hum right along and we all enjoy anytime, anywhere access to our data. But I lose a little faith in the cloud every time I hear about a failure or have to deal with one myself.

Thankfully, major failures like the one T-Mobile customers are dealing with are pretty rare. But little blips in cloud services can still cause headaches and raise doubts about moving your data into the cloud.

Last month’s brief Gmail outage was a minor inconvenience for me. I wasn’t able to access my personal email through the web interface, but I was able to access it via my mail clients just fine.

I started using SugarSync again a few months ago and have been a happy camper. I highly recommend the service to people with multiple devices and it’s generally reliable. But tonight I wanted to share a large video with a friend and found that the service is down. Instead of being able to access my files stored on SugarSync’s site there’s only an outage message.

I’ll survive without sending the video tonight, but this is another example of why I never completely trust the cloud. What if I were halfway around the world and had to access something urgently? What if I were stepping off a plane and had to review a contract that before an important meeting tomorrow morning?

It’s not reasonable to expect cloud services to be infallible. Stuff breaks, even when smart people have lots of resources at their disposal. If you want to beat the consequences of cloud outages its best to develop backup plans.

I know some people ‘live’ in the clouds. Are you one of them?



  1. SAM

    10/12/2009 at 12:48 am

    Sounds like the “cloud” is like real clouds…
    they eventually evaporate

  2. Alan Wilkerson

    10/12/2009 at 7:12 am

    I think of the comment of the late Ronald Regan who said, “Trust but verify.” It doesn’t just apply to nukes anymore.


  3. GoodThings2Life

    10/12/2009 at 6:50 pm

    I ended up posting on Warner’s thread first, but simply put I believe in multiple sources and taking my own responsibility for my own data rather than assuming that one source is doing it best for me.

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