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What Happens if Your Cloud Service Goes Belly Up?



pogoplugLet’s hope this is just well thought out planning by the folks at Pogoplug and nothing more. Whatever the case, the Pogoplug people are responding to concerns that some have about placing data in the cloud.

The question is a simple one really and I can see how it could be a stumbling block for some. What happens if Pogoplug went out of business and you are relying on their service to store and retrieve data? Pogoplug’s answer is that they are putting the source code for their back end services into escrow, so in the event that they do run into difficulties and have to go out of business, the hope is that the community would pick up and keep things going from there.

““What happens if Pogoplug goes out of business?” we now have an answer: we empower the community and our customers to be self-sufficient. We have created an Escrow Account that holds the source code for Pogoplug’s back-end services. In the unlikely event of our bankruptcy, our source code will be published on SourceForge for the community to manage how they see fit.”

Of course another way for individuals to look at this potential issue when it comes to any cloud service, is to make sure you have a local option for your data as well.

You can read their entire statement here.



  1. Sumocat

    05/12/2009 at 1:46 pm

    The PogoPlug system is weird. I don’t understand why it needs a specific server. My Buffalo Linkstation can be accessed directly via IP address. Buffalo also offers a DNS redirect service, or another dynamic DNS service can be used. That’s the case with most web-accessible network drives. I guess the simplicity of the PogoPlug on the user end requires that added complexity on the service end.

  2. Dodot

    05/12/2009 at 6:05 pm

    Sumocat, I’ve been thinkin about getting a Linkstation myself, but after doing a bit of research online I found that reviews about it were mixed. In particular, it has been reported that the Linkstation sometimes gets disconnected for unclear reasons. How has it worked out for you? :)

  3. Sumocat

    05/12/2009 at 6:41 pm

    Yeah, I had issues with my LinkStation Live early on, but it’s been quite reliable since I upgraded the firmware (think it was last year). If you get one, I’d recommend downloading and installing the latest firmware before adjusting any settings. I wound up resetting some things, which created problems with Buffalo’s DNS redirect service and why I go direct to my home IP.

    I haven’t used the BitTorrent client or the included backup software (works with my chosen software, Acronis TrueImage), but the ftp server and web interface work fine. I think the new Linkstations are iPhone-friendly, but mine is not. Still accessible, but not optimized. One workaround I did was using Picasa to customize a system for viewing my photos. The iTunes support allows access to all the MP3s on the drive, but in one playlist, so I also made a playlist connected to the songs on the drive that I can sort and reorganize however I want. Oh, I also haven’t tried connecting a USB hard drive yet, but I plan to do that soon for redundant backup.

    Honestly, there’s a lot I haven’t done with the Linkstation yet, but I intend to get there and I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve done with it so far.

  4. sbtablet

    05/12/2009 at 7:26 pm

    I think PogoPlug is smart to do this. That’s been the one thing that I have heard from people who considered buying one and hesitated, “So if the company goes belly up, I’ve got a $99 brick?”

    Remember, too. PogoPlug is not targeted to people like you, Sumocat. It’s targeted to people like me, who have never quite gotten the whole home network thing to work right, despite being reasonably intelligent, and trying to follow the directions. I don’t doubt that if I poured a BUNCH of time into it, I could figure it out, but I don’t care enough to do that just so I can listen to my son’s Led Zeppelin collection on my computer.

  5. Sumocat

    05/12/2009 at 9:37 pm

    Other web-accessible network drives are also plug and play and can be accessed directly. The Western Digital My Book World Edition comes to mind. My LinkStation isn’t as simple but it’s two years old. Even then, its iTunes server didn’t need any setup other than to load music on the drive. The PogoPlug’s simplicity is great but hardly unique (it’s really the use of a USB drive that sets it apart), so why can’t it be accessed directly? Or maybe it can be but the PogoPlug guys aren’t volunteering that info. I don’t know. Again, this thing is weird.

  6. Sumocat

    05/12/2009 at 9:50 pm

    Hold on, I just read that, a few days ago, a firmware update got pushed out to Pogoplugs automatically. That is different… and also weird, right? Firmware installation controlled from a central server? I don’t know if I like that.

  7. Sumocat

    05/15/2009 at 2:29 pm

    Update: I’ve confirmed the PogoPlug cannot yet be accessed directly, but they’re working on a system for that, which will be automatically installed on your PogoPlug when available.

    Seriously, am I the only one who doesn’t like this type of centralized control? It’s part of the reason I don’t store my data on someone else’s server. The PogoPlug may be physically located where ever you put it, but the control seems to be all centralized.

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