[FoRK] Cloudy thoughts on backups

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Tue Dec 15 08:02:55 PST 2009

--- On Tue, 12/15/09, silky <michaelslists at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 4:54 PM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo
> <ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca> wrote:
> > I read a post on one of those popular tech blogs ..
> > ZDNet, maybe? The guy was having a problem with his Mac
> > and it had to go in for repair. He was able to coax it
> > to run enough to do a backup "... to the safety of the
> > cloud."
> >
> > Is that an oxymoron? Or is he just a moron?
> >
> > On a somewhat related note, a message for the
> > suppliers of cloudy services:
> >
> > http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2009/12/14.html
> I was with you right up until you referenced joel. I really
> wish we could all just ignore that guy, or at least his
> personality, and focus on things that really matter; not 
> useless ego-stroking bullsh*t.

Yes, I find his attitude a bit grating sometimes. But I learned a long time ago that even egotists can be smart. For instance...

> Anyway, as we all know, "cloud" is nothing but a computer
> you don't own sitting with someone else. ...

Just so. Most notably the "don't own" and run by "someone else" parts. 

Which makes Joel's point so compelling. It's not sufficient that a *user* of a cloud-based ... okay, non-local, backup service have done their own restore testing. It's critical that the *purveyor* of said non-local backup service have done restore testing and that they do it with some regularity.

With the recent events of service providers not being able to restore themselves after outages, it's unconscionable that any external service provider would not do such testing on a regular basis ... regardless of what you think of Joel's attitude...

What's the point of a Plan B (restore from backups) if you don't have any idea it will work? Or don't have a Plan B at all (backups but no plan how to recover with them). 

 ...... Especially when you are someone else's Plan B.

My plan B is a $100 USB drive that sits at my daughter's house between backups (well, you could get the same drive for 69 bucks today). It contains both a restorable image and recent backups of critical data files. Yes, I have restored from it successfully.


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