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Data Storage IT

Why Cloud Storage Is Lousy For Enterprises (and Individuals) 183

storagedude points to this article at Enterprise Storage Forum which argues that cloud-based storage options have fatal limitations for both businesses and individuals: "The article makes the argument that high volumes of data and bandwidth limitations make external cloud storage all but useless for enterprises because it could take months to restore the data in a disaster. It also appears to be a consumer problem — the author spent three months replicating 1TB of home data via cable modem to an online backup service." Seems like those off-site incremental storage firms could dispatch a station wagon full of tapes, for enough money. Update: Here's another reason, for Sidekick users: reader 1ini was one of several to point out an alert from T-Mobile that "...personal information stored on your device — such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos — that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger."
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Why Cloud Storage Is Lousy For Enterprises (and Individuals)

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  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @05:59PM (#29706407)
    its too cheap and easy to keep my files locally (more dependable too)

    usb thumbdrives, CDr & DVDr even harddrives are large and cheap (both external & external)

    i see cloud computing as someone with a bunch of servers owned by somebody that has run out of ideas for making money, and/or with a nose for snooping in to other people's data (i bet the government likes that - the snooping part)
  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @06:00PM (#29706411) Journal
    With storage stupid cheap, and computers continuing to increase in power, I just never saw the advantage to cloud storage. It requires web access. It's slow.

    I just bought a terabyte drive for $100 to back up the other terabyte drive I bought several months ago for $160. Now everything is backed up in multiple. And I can access it without getting online. And I don't have to worry about my cloud storage company going out of business and taking all my data with it.


  • by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @06:08PM (#29706463)

    A bunch of DVDs, a terabyte hdd or two, dead tree editions of important documents, and a small safe deposit box.

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @06:09PM (#29706467)

    One of the reasons you backup files is to protect against local disaster.

    An example would be the building burning down. Your USB thumbdrives won't protect against that, unless you have a remote place to stash them.

    Transporting physical storage devices around is risky: there is a cost of transportation, plus they could get damaged, lost, or stolen in transport.

    If the physical location isn't far enough, one disaster could effect both locations.

    E.g. an earthquake could effect both places in your area you might want to store the backups.

  • by LurkerXXX ( 667952 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @06:15PM (#29706497)

    The cloud is good for having an additional remote backup for things small enough to restore quickly (after heavily encrypting of course). Don't forget you should have offsite backups of things you really want/need to keep, in case your place gets robbed, burned down, flooded, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 10, 2009 @06:29PM (#29706571)

    Is this necessarily a fundamental problem or just an artifact of current systems? Seems like in the short term, this is correct, but in the long term, this sort of thing will disappear.

  • by LVSlushdat ( 854194 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @07:05PM (#29706765)

    Thats why I rsync my approx 12GB of data, stuff that changes all the time, nightly to another machine here in the house, and to a USB drive, then once a week, I do an incremental of the second machine's copy to Amazon S3 using Jungledisk... For what I paid for Jungledisk ($20 one-time) and the recurring costs to Amazon (usually under $2.00/mo, depending on how much more I've uploaded and the transfer/requests charges).. That way, I lose the harddrive on my main machine, the most I've lost is one day, and if the house goes up in smoke, the most I've lost is one week. Jungledisk/Amazon S3 beats the hell out of Mozy/MozyPro/Carbonite, neither of which can run on Linux (Jungledisk *can*).

  • by coaxial ( 28297 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @07:07PM (#29706789) Homepage

    Just buy an 2TB drive and stick in a drawer at work.

    I have a friend that signed up for some cloud storage backup and spent months backing up his less than a terabyte. Such a sucker.

  • And if your house burns down, you're screwed.

    Seems to me that if his house burns down, he's screwed even if his terabyte of pr0n is backed up "in the cloud somewhere."

    Why? He'd just restore it from where it is. Might take a little while, but better than losing it (assuming it's something that matters, not pr0n).

    He's GOT NO FUCKING HOUSE! How is that *not* screwed?

    Or is he going to restore his house "from the cloud?"

    The cloud is a dumb idea. It was originally supposed to be everyone's computer, as a distributed system, not some client-server shit that these companies are trying to intermediate themselves into as a substitute for coming up with something better.

    In other words, your computer and thousands of others would devote some bandwidth and storage to backing up chunks of each other's data, sharing where appropriate, making available to the wolrd+dog where appropriate. Files that you want backed up would be broken up into redundant little pieces, and distributed among your peers, and in return, you'd do the same for others.

    When it comes time to restore, you'd restore from the various chunks out there, and since there's lots of redundancy, and lots of bandwidth (since each box is only contributing a small chunk), restores would be as fast as your downlink.

    Instead, the cloud has been taken from its' natural setting by companies who want to be for-profit gate-keepers, even though, by their very nature, they will do a worse job (less redundancy, not geographically spread out, etc.)

    The web really should become read/write, like it was supposed to be in its' original design.

  • by cortesoft ( 1150075 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @08:12PM (#29707247)

    So you have to physically open the safe every time you want to back up you data? That sounds like quite a bit of a hassle to me, and I can imagine you start skipping days because you it is too much work to open the black box, take out the hard drive, connect it, run the back up, put the drive back in the safe, and lock it back up... with an online backup, your backups can take place automatically every couple of hours without having to physically move anything.

    Also, what happens if the black box is stolen?

  • by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @08:45PM (#29707493)
    A solution that I've heard of is storing a backup in a safe deposit box in a bank. If your data is stolen from a bank safe deposit box, you've got more problems than the missing data. Suppose that you could only really store weekly backups there unless you want to go to the bank every day. Put two hard drives in the box. When you put one in with your weekly backup, take out the one for the previous week.
    Nightly backups could be stored locally.
  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Saturday October 10, 2009 @09:20PM (#29707749) Homepage Journal

    Also, in case you haven't read the full sumamry - note this big failure of offsite storage: []

    Offsite is pointless. Cloud is pointless. Local is GOD.

    Good link, wrong conclusion.

    Offsite is important, and REDUNDANCY is critical.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith