X Times Cloud Storage Will Betray You & How to Backup Your Data
The concept of cloud storage is nice, but consumers need to stay vigilant if they want to completely protect their data. There are plenty of ways that a cloud storage provider can fail, and that could leave you without your critical data if you do not take the proper precautions.
Staying Open for Business
Image via Flickr by runran
Cloud storage is not proving to be a profitable business for some companies. Since 2011, four major cloud storage providers have gone out of business and Internet giant Amazon is re-thinking its own cloud storage business. A cloud storage company has to return your data to you when it goes out of business, which means it cannot transfer your data to a new cloud provider. Even if you own a lightweight Android tablet with a lot of storage, you are still going to need to find a new storage solution fast if your cloud provider fails.
Image via Flickr by bugeaters
Most cloud storage companies utilize what is known as a storage area network, or SAN, to store data. While these kinds of storage systems are considered safe, they can run into reliability issues if the volume of data increases too quickly. A popular cloud storage provider could find itself in a tough spot if its SAN fails and it loses all of your data.
Image via Flickr by molotalk
The availability of high-speed external hard drives has made them popular among industries that need to move large amounts of data at one time. For example, editing a movie file is easier if the file is moved from editing house to editing house by using an external hard drive. The problem is that many cloud storage systems do not back up data from external hard drives. If you are unable to load a large file onto your hard drive, then you run the risk of losing that file if you use cloud storage and something happens to your external hard drive.
Image via Flickr by Ed Yourdon
Many cloud storage companies install programs on your computer that allow the company to back up your data on your schedule. The problem is that these programs will often slow your computer down to the point where you will notice an issue. If your cloud storage provider uses redundant storage systems to protect your data, then that will slow down the transfer of data from your computer to the cloud storage servers. These are performance limitations of cloud storage systems that providers have yet to solve.
What You Can Do
Image via SurveyMonkey.com
You need to stay vigilant when it comes to your critical data and continue to do a manual back up at least once a week. The small USB drives that hold gigabytes worth of information are ideal for quickly backing up your critical files. To keep your USB back up drive safe, consider storing it in a fire-proof box.
Cloud storage is a great idea, but it does have its limitations. A proactive computer user should never rely on a single back up system to protect his critical data. Always add a manual back up plan to your cloud storage program to keep your data truly protected.
This article was written by Emily Green, a self-employed writer in Boston. You can follow her on Google+.