Effective Use Of The Cloud – Part 1

Image by: Karin Dalziel
By Charles Lewis

We’ve all been tempted. It’s just so easy to join, why not give in? Besides, everybody seems to be doing it. Plus it sounds so soft and fluffy, like your data could be lounging in some sort of heaven (forgetting, for a moment, the end-of-life implications of such a place).

It is called “The Cloud” and it is all around you, a patch-work quilt of server centers and network hard drives joining forces to create a virtual warehouse to store your data for you, accessible via any device connected to the web.

And there are plenty of options: Amazon’s complicated but excellent S3, Rackspace cloud, Google Drive, DropBox, etc.

So, why not store everything in the cloud? In this rush to the sky, people seem to be forgetting the fact that clouds also bring us potentially destructive and disastrous weather events. Clouds drown us in rain and pelt us with hail. We’ve all heard the term black cloud, right?

Serving as a reminder that all is not golden, pony boy.

Hey, You … Get Off Of My Cloud

You already have half of your life in the cloud – credit card information, GPS location, account numbers, pictures from that time you went to Barbados – why not go full monty?

Who are you kidding anyway – you’ve already given up the goat when it comes to online personal protection.

It is just a matter of time before there’s a security breach at your favorite online retailer who’s suddenly forced to wear The Scarlet Letter of cybersecurity shame. And they had your AmEx number. Now you’ve got to cancel cards and …

It doesn’t say good things about the cloud, does it? That’s why you’ve been hesitant to join the cloud cult. Because you have the same fears that I do, the same fears that a lot of responsible business people have.

We simply can’t rely on having both electricity and an Internet connection just to be able to possibly access our files. I am not amused when Google Drive loses contact for 5 seconds and I can’t make a save or access a file.

What would the screen-punching be like when your one and only copy of your business cloud disappears in the flood, fire or other “Act of God”?

There’s that black cloud I was talking about.

Sorry, but I don’t want to be sitting in an office with lights, camera and no action, all because the Internet service provider blew up, the cloud storage company’s server went down, a hacker attacked DropBox or my ethernet cable got accidentally chopped by a work man.

In “Effective Use Of The Cloud – Part 2,” we’ll give you a practical road map application to using cloud computing safely and effectively.