The six pros and cons of cloud storage

Some people say that because of this, the best place to expand your storage is in the cloud.

Cloud storage has its pros and cons.

While we use a cloud for temporary storage, shared content and backup to our backup; we don’t view it as something we can rely on 100 per cent of the time … yet.

Cloud Questions

Why not?
There are size limitations and sometimes (often) penalties for higher-capacity storage requirements.
The fine print usually says they are not responsible for lost content.
Timely availability – the Internet and sites do go down and usually at exactly the wrong time for you.
Is there a service-level agreement (SLA), one that guarantees backups have been completed and content is available.
There may be a difficult and sometimes expensive “exit strategy” if you want to change providers or bring your content home.
Discontinuance of business – certainly there are well-financed storage providers like IBM, Amazon, EMC, Symantec, HP, Dell, Sun and others; but what if one is purchased and will no longer support your level of storage requirements or your provider goes out of business?

So we prefer:
primary (minimum 120 – 250GB) system storage
network (1-2TB) storage
a combination of full (monthly) and incremental (daily) backup locally and offsite
archive content to DVD and increasingly to BD media over 180 days old – two copies (one in fireproof office safe, one remotely)
temporary cloud storage

This approach keeps the data readily available, protects irreplaceable personal and business content and is more environmentally kind than throwing more hard disks – theirs or ours – at the issue.

Yes, at some point we’ll have to migrate away from DVD and BD to some other archival media; but that is probably 10+ years away. By then, will you want the old stuff? … Really?

In the meantime, you’re assured that your business and personal/family data will survive a disaster.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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