Do you need to backup your “Cloud” data?

The answer is that often you still need to, and like with other backups, you need to plan and prepare for this now, while everything is (hopefully) working well, rather than waiting until there is a problem.Here are two examples:File sharing site Megaupload – that was shutdown by anti-piracy legal action, where all files on their servers were made unavailable for all users without any warning.

Google Wave – is being decommissioned soon and all data uploaded to it will be wiped.

In the “cloud” world, remember that you also mostly get what you pay for!  So free or low-cost services that are used by millions of people, such as facebook, twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, and even Google docs and Microsoft Office 365 are all built on a business model of serving a large number of users for a low cost.  The downside of this is that it can be very difficult to get help from them in the event of a problem.

This applies even more to photo sharing websites that can come and go or merge with others or disappear with little or no notice.  (Dropbox includes a photo-sharing service that gets around this issue by storing all of your Dropbox data on both your local computer and the cloud – so that you will not lose your photos even if Dropbox closes down or loses your photos on their servers)

Sites that store your data in a database, online accounting systems and customer relationship management (CRM) packages such as Xero and are least likely to need separate backups because they are services that you pay a comparatively high monthly price for and they provide comparatively high levels of service.

Websites!  Web hosting companies do also close down or lose files.  Websites are also lost due to credit cards expiring or domain name renewals being missed.  There are many examples of people that have lost their websites because they thought “somebody else” would be looking after this for them!

Written By Steve Bakker