In the aftermath of the storm called Sandy it was difficult for many U.S. east coast residents to work last week – normally or not. While my family and I were in large part spared from being without power at home (only lost cable/internet for a day or so), our office in Connecticut was without power for almost the entire week and internet service did not return until this Monday morning. While I (and my wife) were able to work at home neither of us had access to our files stored on our server at the office. There were many times last week when having all of our data in the cloud seemed like a REALLY good idea.
It was merely an inconvenience that I had to view my various email addresses on the individual email servers as opposed to having all flow into Microsoft Outlook as my email client. But not being able to access documents, spreadsheets, and presentations were the main issues with hampering my productivity. Fortunately for me (not for everyone else), many of my fellow east coasters were in much worse shape than I was and were not waiting for things to be sent from me since most were dealing with more pressing issues like food, shelter and lack of gasoline.
I suspect that inadvertently the concept of cloud computing got a huge boost last week. I realize that cloud computing is not for every company or individual, (those concerned with protecting and accessing sensitive data for customers are not likely converts) but count me in as a soon-to-be cloud users. I’ve already written about never buying another laptop http://wp.me/pn6jX-GD again. It’s just an extension of that thought to say that I am planning to never buy another computer server again.
Am I concerned that if the entire internet goes down I will then have no access to all the files and content I have created? Well yes but if the entire internet goes down I think the problems will be much larger than my accessing business files so I think I will be ok with taking my chances on that one. VPN’s (virtual private networks) have acted as a quasi-cloud for a number of years and while they are still viable for some companies I think going in that direction is a step backward for me and my colleagues.
There are a number of very practical and relatively inexpensive cloud data storage solutions like Microsoft 365 http://bit.ly/SnNZym , Carbonite www.carbonite.com, SkyDrive www.skydrive.com , Dropbox, www.dropbox.com and the iCloud to name a few. I am going to investigate them all and am interested in any opinions from readers out there that are using any of the above platforms or can offer others ones with which they’ve had experience.
I’m so ready for computing in the cloud. Are you?
I know people lose connection in their thinking with the concept of the cloud, but as you so succinctly point out in your post, things happen that cause disruptions we have no ability to avoid or remedy. Data security has always and will always be a concern with computer technology, but you know the data security services see this need and the potential dollar stream that accompanies providing confidence in cloud storage. It will be secure.
Thanks for the comment and for reading Joe. I agree that security will have to be paramount and vigilantly protected. It’s interesting how this question is still a debate since I think in five years the idea of NOT using the cloud will be as strange as many people look at using the cloud today.