Skip to main content

To the cloud?

Since the beginning of the computer age people have been striving for a more cost effective, safe way to save their respective bits to some medium for use later. At the start of my computing career, we used reel to reel tapes, which would eventually become cassette tapes when home computers came out. Then came the floppy disk. Starting at a whopping 8 inches then shrinking to 5 1/2 inches, before finally ending up at 3 1/2 inches. Which were nice and convenient to carry around in your pocket all the while being able to store an amazing amount of data, 1.44 MB’s and at that time could house multiple applications. However most cameras today don’t even take a single picture that small. So as always we bean to seek bigger and better as we always do. The next medium was the Compact Disc (CD for short). The CD could hold an earth shattering (at that time) amount of data 700 MB. So it took roughly 700 3 1/2 floppy disks to equal a single CD. Then came the DVD’s, coming in a single layer that held 4.3 GB to a Duel layer, that held roughly 8.6 GB. Meaning one Duel layer DVD held as many as 5,970 3 1/2 in floppy disks. Then along came Blu-Ray, with the duel layer capable of storing 50 GB of data, that would be about 23 hours of standard definition movies. 

Now I told you that story to highlight the idea behind the next one. The Cloud. It is almost as if this “cloud” is some magical place you can put all of your stuff. (Even though it kinda is). When people talk about the cloud, what they are talking about is internet connected servers. (Cloud sounds cooler now right?). Many things can be done in the cloud. For example Google uses Cloud computing to write and store documents on the internet. Another use is for storage and security purposes. There are some apps out there like Carbonite and Mozy that for a free will allow you to back up your entire computer to the internet. Which in a case of something catastrophic happening, you would be able to restore your system albeit on new hardware.

The next type of cloud storage is something I am sure you have heard of before. That is using cloud storage to share large files and folders with friends. These applications like Microsoft’s SkyDrive, Google Drive, DropBox and so on. These solutions are great for keeping a backup of all of your pictures, or to share the 1 hour video you took of your child's first steps with grandma across the country. That is exactly what the reason for these sites. 

Now that all being said, there are some considerations you want to make sure are in place before you load data up to one of these services. The first being, how is your data being handled once it leaves your computer? Usually the communication between your computer and the server on the internet is encrypted. The key word is usually. Before you sign up for any of these services, verify that not only the communication is encrypted, but once the file is on their system it is also encrypted. You will also want to find out what the Terms of Service say about your date, for example, what is the data retention policy? If you delete a file is it gone forever? Is there a possibility of recovery? Research to determine if the service has ever had any previous security problems. 

Another good practice, if you are using one of these services to transport sensitive data, encrypt it on your computer first, then upload it, and CALL the intended recipient and give them the recovery password. NEVER send ANY passwords through email. That is security 101 and will be a topic for later. 

Develop a strategy, like the saying goes, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. The one I employ currently is to use Skydrive fro documents, DropBox for video and Google drive for photos. But that may be lending itself to my paranoia, or it makes it easier for me to find things. I would like to think it is because of my organizational skills rather than any paranoia, but I make no promises. 


Do you use any cloud services? If so, what is your strategy? Sound off in the comments.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Enterprise OS Thoughts

It has been a while since the WWDC keynote, and I have been mulling over this post. Let’s start with Yosemite. While Yosemite looks amazing, Apple is trying to get into the Enterprise space, and while the new OS is great-looking, enterprises want stability. Wouldn’t it make more sense to go back to the old model of creating a great OS, then when you come up with a new feature, bolt that onto the existing OS, That model worked for some time in both Windows and OS X. Then any new features were added through point upgrades or Service Packs in the Windows world.

In my opinion, enterprises would be well served using this method. It would give larger businesses time to roll out the OS, and would only have to roll out out updates that could be delivered via SUS or Remote Desktop. This is where both camps are ignoring enterprises and just racing to release another OS. in the last 4 years Apple has released Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and now Yosemite. At the same time Microsoft released V…

Skate to the puck

This week’s quote comes from Wayne Gretzky.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been - Wayne Gretzky.

This is terribly profound and can be applied to everyone. Everyone that is not focused on the present, is concerned with the past. How many times have you heard “That’s not how we have always done it”. If you are complacent in your life, how can you expect to get ahead? This isn’t to be confused with “Don’t dress for the job you have, but the job you want.” That implies that somehow the way you dress will magically make you better at your job. Wearing suits and so forth is a very east coast idea. If I had a company, I would much rather have a genius working for me wearing jeans and a t-shirt instead of a moron in a nice suit. (Sorry, had to get that off my chest, now back to the quote). For you to evolve as a person, this can be thought of as setting goals. For example I set a goal for myself that once a week I would write something for my blog. Goal set (and so…

Life is about creating yourself

This weeks quote is from George Bernard Shaw.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Beautiful and on target. There are too many people that are willing to let life happen to them, then complain that “Life is hard” instead of living life on your own terms. What do I mean by “living life on your own terms”. Many people hear this and think I mean you need to be a multimillionaire, jet setting all over the planet. (While this wouldn’t be a bad gig if you could get it) It means follow your bliss. Find that one thing that makes you happy and follow it. Personally, I like writing (as evidenced by the fact you are now reading it.) I know I am not a great writer, but I enjoy sharing my opinions with the world. If someone agrees with me that’s cool, but if they don’t that’s cool too. The point is in writing these blog posts I am making myself happy.

It doesn’t cost me a dime. But I am doing what makes me happy. When was the last time you did something just because…