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back to article Trust the cloud with my PRECIOUS? You gotta be joking

Being a hardcore music geek of a certain age, I own several thousand LPs, CDs, and cassettes that I accumulated over the course of several decades. But as any serious record buff knows, collections like this are not remotely scaleable. I have several closets bursting with music in assorted physical media and I know people who …

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Anonymous Coward

Yet...

... It's safe to store other data on the cloud? I see it as a backup or convenience. Not as a replacement for local copies. That goes for personal files or business needs. I'm waiting for the small company I work for to suddenly realize moving their email client from Outlook to Hotmail/online services is a bad idea when they need that one hard copy email and the online server/phoneline is down. :P (A hard copy is available on our servers currently, so is both backed up and always accessible)

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Re: Yet...

Quite so. I'm happy to use a cloud-based backup service, but the original data remains on my storage devices, where I can use it when I please, internet connection or not.

I do use a cloud-based system for one client, but it was their choice, and they're paying the bills.

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Or you can get the best of both worlds....

Murfie will store both your physical CDs and give you streaming access to them through their service.

https://www.murfie.com/features

Of course, you can also have a local electronic copies of your music as well....

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Re: Or you can get the best of both worlds....

"Murfie will store both your physical CDs"

Thanks but no thanks. If I ever want to store my CDs somewhere it'll be in a local secure storage facility run by a well known company , not yet another web startup run by latte sipping chino dudes who'll be out of business this time next year with my CDs being used as collateral to pay off debtors.

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Re: Or you can get the best of both worlds....

"Thanks but no thanks. If I ever want to store my CDs somewhere it'll be in a local secure storage facility run by a well known company , not yet another web startup run by latte sipping chino dudes who'll be out of business this time next year with my CDs being used as collateral to pay off debtors."

That's a good point, that I hadn't thought of. And I bet the people who store stuff there haven't though of it either. We should be able to assume that the contract you sign makes it clear that they are your possessions and you are storing it there, but I'm sure nobody read the fine print and consulted a lawyer over it.

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Re: Or you can get the best of both worlds....

"We should be able to assume that the contract you sign makes it clear that they are your possessions and you are storing it there, but I'm sure nobody read the fine print and consulted a lawyer over it."

There's probably some "we can do what we like with them" clause buried deep in it somewhere. And besides which , when a small company goes bust the former owners tend not to care what happens to physical stuff (just the money and IP) or who breaks into the now unguarded warehouse/office. At the best you'll have to hire a van and go get them all yourself, at worst they'll be gone and all you'll get is a shoulder shrug from the financial administrators and if you're lucky a cheque covering their insurance value.

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Anonymous Coward

Terms and conditions

Recently a dispute with a tenant, rental agency and landlord escalated.

The tenants ( two professionals, one an 'airline pilot'). wanted to sue the landlord for damage to their personal property from a problem found in the house. The rental agency rehoused them on a temporary basis to address the problem even though the tenants had not paid the original rent of £1000 per month for the last 4 months. The tenants refused to allow anyone into the property to rectify the 'problem'. The landlords asked for a second opinion and found that the tenants were telling porkies and avoiding paying the rent.

A court order was made banning the tenant from the original property without being accompanied by the landlords solicitors. The tenants property was left in the original house and it took them 38 weeks to get access and remove their belongings.

The tenants continued with their legal action against the landlord and now the rental agency for damages and not being able to access the house they rented (even though they never paid a penny in rent) and it was proved they were talking porkies.

The landlord and now the rental agency were obliged to take legal advice and fight the claim. The tenants paid no rent for the temporary rehousing valued at £1400 per month for over three months.

The cost in fighting the action was expensive running into nearly £18,000. The tenants continued with the no win no fee solicitors for 12 months and then disappeared into the ether never to be seen or heard of again.

The rental agency contract, terms and conditions were relatively simple.

Imagine the complexity involved dealing with a cloud provider and other third parties located in a different country and trying to retrieve your personal data ................ You have no chance.

I for one will keep my own data.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Terms and conditions

Or the new business owner of a shop, paying rent to the landlord of £1250 an month, refitting the shop themselves to the tune of £15,000 with new equipment etc.

The business was profitable.

However the landlord was not paying the mortgage and even remortgaged the building several times.

One day five months after opening the building was repossessed by the bank, the business owner was not able to access the property for a period of time, the tenancy agreement was useless. The bank sold the building and the new owner decided to treble the rent to £3750 per month. The business was no longer profitable and went bust.

The moral of the story, don't rely on other people to be honest and nice and fair in business.

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Facepalm

Re: Terms and conditions

Is this not a hyper cynical view of things?

So even if you did your own cloud and/or storage, who would be trust with the hard disk? The computer parts? The power supply?

Protection from floods? What about cosmic rays bit flipping your data? Can't even trust the universe!

I think the obvious solution is to keep data local and in the cloud. You multiply the probabilities of failure there and things look good enough.

It's about redundancy and convenience.

PS: Those tenants were nasty though. But not paying rent was an early warning. One month and begin proceedings. Another two months and you're out.

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Meh

Re: Yet...

In an age of cheap 350G hard drives and 32G microSD card mobile storage, is there really any NEED for cloud-based storage?

Backups? Get a cheap 500G HD with a USB enclosure.

Just ask the victims of Hurricane Sandy. With no electricity and cell towers down, cloud storage is no storage.

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Holmes

Quite right, too

That's why I have 3TB of drives RAIDed together on the home server. No way would I trust all my shit to some cloudy storage outfit. I have the final say-so over the existence (or not) of my data and at least if I jigger it up my excuse to the wife of where her 1000's of photos have gone is 'I screwed up' instead of 'dunno, perhaps there's someone I can call somewhere'

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quite right, too

Amen brother!

I once lost 175GB ( 42,000 image ) library of my wife's family photos stretching back generations! If I hadn't recovered it and then done same, bought a pair of mirrored 6TB NAS units to prove I won't ever allow it to happen again, I'd be singing castrato and/or sleeping in my car!

I know that whatever we have is ours and ours alone, it cannot be poured over marketing mob for all that valuable music, video and image data.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quite right, too

"That's why I have 3TB of drives RAIDed together on the home server"

Well, suitably backed up to a different location that'll be fine, otherwise you're unprotected against 50% of data risks.

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Re: Quite right, too

"Well, suitably backed up to a different location that'll be fine, otherwise you're unprotected against 50% of data risks."

...and 100% of "accidentally hitting the delete key" risks

RAID is nice; backups are vital

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quite right, too

And a house fire can happily dispose of both.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quite right, too

He did say "a different location". Cynic much?

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Re: Quite right, too

Thing is, cloud storage is another layer of protection. As long as you have the UserID and password. I have stuff on the Cloud, because it makes it easily accessible for several computers, but it isn't only on the Cloud.

That doesn't do anything about the privacy doubts. Maybe encryption? But that still depends on passwords.

Passwords: how can you be sure that you won't lose those?

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Anonymous Coward

AC 11:23

Perhaps, instead of getting angry with you, your wife could learn about the technology so she could make her own informed decisions on your photo storage options.

Saying "I don't do technology" is not really ok any more. Everyone does technology now, in the same way that everyone does oxygen. My parents said some years back "We don't do email". The result? No-one contacts them any more.

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Re: Quite right, too

Well done. The glass is half full. You are protected against 50% of data risks

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Re: AC 11:23

I tried that but now I have to make my own dinner. Beyatch.

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Re: AC 11:23

I tried that but now I have to make my own dinner. Beyatch!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC 11:23

I have the work backups at home.

I have the home backups at work.

We are both fine unless we get two simultaneous fires, in which case we are both a little screwed.

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Re; Quite right, too

Just a pair?

I keep a set of 3 disks.

At all times one is off-site.

I have a TrueCrypt container on each disk and use Beyond Compare to synchronise files between any two disks at a time.

The problem with a mere pair is that they have to be physically located in the same place to do the copy. Which means that fire, flood, government agency breaking down your door, or burglary can render your data gone.

Think: physical diversity!

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Re: Quite right, too

ER no. Biggest source of data loss is hard drive collapse. Or teh drivce controller in a RAID system that corrip[ts all the data.

Having two local systems is enough..

Its VERY rare to lose data due to fire or premises loss.

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Linux

I'm so glad...

I'm not the only one who feels this way.

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Re: I'm so glad...

Yet in other threads about 'The Cloud', people who express reservations about betting their business/family/etc to cloud storage get downvoted like mad.

I use bropbox for temp copy use only. That's it. You can stick your syncing of your mobile etc up where it hurts.

It might work for some but some of us have been in the IT biz long enough to know that losing control of your data is a bad idea. (I've been working with computers for 40years, from the days of punched cards).

I have multiple (where multiple > 2 ) copies of everything important stored in separate buildings as I've seen what damage a fire can do. Yes I'm slightly paranoid (excellent album by the Sabbath btw) but I think it is better to be safe than sorry.

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Re: I'm so glad...

I'm one of the downvote recipients - thank god others see sense too - maybe I'll stop getting downvoted now.

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Re: I'm so glad...

Have to admit, I was starting to think that I was the only one too with everyone seemingly putting everything into the cloud. Especially with my friends insistence on shoving all their music onto Google's music thingy when that launched.

I feel much safer having my own dedicated box in a DC for my offsite backups and allowing me remote access to my media/files.

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Big Brother

Re: I'm so glad...

I think the scariest part is that history is basically being stored in the cloud, and that makes it really easy to change it. I watched some DVDs of "Mad about You" recently and was shocked to learn that in 1996 the World Trade Center towers didn't exist in the New York skyline (according to the Sony Corporation and and the media they own). Sony, for whatever reason, decided it would be ok to remove all references from the DVDs they released. Like it or not, Sony decided that history should be the way they wanted it, and because the own the rights, they make the history. I worry about this going forward, how many other things are going to be "fixed" to spare our feelings, or because some government somewhere deems something as dangerous, it will be removed from our collective history. Without a hard copy somewhere, reality is simply a matter of "Find/Replace", and that can't end well.

It's like they say "History repeats itself.". At least until they change that saying.

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Anonymous Coward

'But if all that music were stored in the cloud, a simple invocation of the Unix rm command could make it disappear in a couple of milliseconds. "

That's a bit over the top but I do agree that I think this cloud storage malarky needs to be a bit more mature before I consider signing up with all my precious stuff. My biggest fear is the same as expressed, it's a perfect excuse the dirty money-men to farm the shit out of all that meta-data about your life, just looking through your music and video collection is enough to pigeon-hole you in some category for easy marketing.

Although I'd be genuinely interested what they'd make of mine and my wife's MP3 collections as it ranges through many genres Public Enemy, Katy Perry, Tone Loc, Nicky Minaj, Coldplay, Saxon, Star Sailor, Bach, Cannibal Corpse, Elgar, Alien Sex Fiend, Sisters of Mercy, Iron Maiden and Goreguts to name just a handful!

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Should produce some interesting marketing suggestions though when Saxon and kylie get fed into the Ad-men's neural net.

I once bought a particularly gruesome pathology textbook (for a work project) and a bunch of Hello kitty stuff (niece brithday) and got some very weird recommendations. from Amazon

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Wearing my writer's hat...

I sometimes post stuff to a mailing list devoted to a particular shared-world setting: it's a lot of fun writing it, and reading others' stories. The mailing list is run by Yahoo, and of course there are directed adverts, and often they're quite relevant to the story. Pity they're set around eighty years ago, in the days of doped linen fabric, flying wires, and other ancient aviation technology, though it seems there are still companies which supply new Whitworth spanners.

Though I am not sure that Amazon is the site I would search for them. Amazon handles a lot of transaction processing and warehousing/delivery for other traders, but every search term seems to get a response from them. Which can soon begin to seem a little optimistic on their part. Especially when some of the brandnames they pick up on from the fiction are, as far as I know, fictional.

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Ah, the cloud

People I speak to always look pityingly at me when the conversation heads this direction. They know what I am going to say and almost universally manage to imply I am a little soft in the head without ever giving offence.

Option 1 - private data centre....you know what it is, where it is and what is going on....OK, you do have to look after it but if you love your data then is that such a hardship?

Option 2 - contracted data centre....you know what it is and where it is and you have a piece of paper saying they will love your data in just the way you do....it does sometimes take a little longer for things to happen but these guys are professionals right?

Option 3 - the cloud....you know who sells access to it, and quite possibly you can track down the owner of the data centre, always assuming you knew which one your data was in when you did the search. You have a piece of paper which says they would love to have your data and they will take care of each and every byte. Of course this may not 'quite' meet those pernickity regulators requirements as you can't quite be sure who is looking at it or playing with it but it's close enough surely?

Once that data is outside your firewall then control is down to the weakest link, and that won't be you.

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Re: Ah, the cloud

"OK, you do have to look after it but if you love your data then is that such a hardship?"

Storage is cheap. Buy three drives (or a few high-capacity thumb-drives if an external drive is too frigging heavy) and spend a whopping hour every few months backing sh*t up and dropping the spare drives over at a relative's or wherever next time you nip over there to put a shelf up for them. It's not really any hardship at all compared to -say- owning a pet, children, or a few pot-plants. I really don't buy the whole "but it's too much effffoooorrrrt to look after my own shizzle". The data is there, yours, safe, and not entrusted to some company which will be either bankrupt or bought out by someone big and scary inside five years.

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Re: Ah, the cloud

Its not even that hard. My hard drives back each other up and sync all important data nightly using Rsync. That means that if I delete something by accident I have till 5 a.m to get last nights snapshot.

No important data is held on desktop hard drives.

In effect I run my own cloud. so all my data is accessible from whichever machine I happen to be using.

Ok I cannot access it from anywhere in the world, but then the cost of actually leaving the house is getting to the point where its almost worth firing up a spreadsheet to see if its worth it.

Years of acting as sysadmin to large volumes of corporate data do not inspire confidence in outsourced organisations, either in terms of privacy or resilience.

The Cloud is for ninnies, along with Twits-R-Us, FaecesBook and all the I-Bling fondleslabs . For people who cant even handle a keyboard. No person who cares about their data or their privacy should use any of them.

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A fleet of white vans isn't the only way to lose your data

Another way you could lose your data is if you have a fire or flood. CDs and LPs might survive a flood, but not a fire. Hard disks almost certainly won't survive either. If it isn't sensitive data, then using the cloud for offsite backup could be useful, but as you point out, there are many ways you could lose your cloud data, so don't rely on it too much, but it could help.

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Re: A fleet of white vans isn't the only way to lose your data

Don't forget to encrypt those cloud-hosted backups. The content trawling robots (if they exist) won't care if its backup or originals.

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Re: A fleet of white vans isn't the only way to lose your data

Golly. Who exactly has servers in their basement?

in the unlikely event that I get flooded to a depth of 3 ,meters my data is STILL safe, because that's how far above ground level the disks are.

You have to be really badly flooded to have even ground floor desktops covered.

I can only assume that you are one of the modern generation who say things that they simply haven't thought about rationally at all, usually presaging their gushings with 'I think' - when its patently obvious to those of us who DO think, that you haven't really thought at all....

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Take care of your own data - and use redundancy

I used to store my 'media' files on a 500GB NAS drive with a 500GB USB drive as backup copy. Now, I use a 1TB NAS drive with those 2x500GB drives rigged as a USB backup (USB hard drive adaptors are cheap and easy).

This has lasted me for 3 years. Soon, I'll buy a 2GB drive for the NAS box and get another 1TB drive to give me 2x1TB for backup copy, an arrangement that should last for a few more years.

What I really should do now is ask family/friends to keep the backup copies for me, in case of domestic accident or disaster. Storing large amounts of your own data is easy if you think about it and expand your capacity over time.

For 'working' files, I use Dropbox and Sugarsync and GoogleDrive, all having identical copies of zipped up versions of my folders (if i remember to update them after file changes). It's all easy to do, you just need some planning and some regular maintenance effort.

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Re: Take care of your own data - and use redundancy

I back up along the lines of most people here, in multiple versions, then swap with my sister: I hold a copy of all her data on some drives, she holds mine on a coupl eof hers. We sync when we feel we need to.

We both might get hit with fire or flood, but life is loss. If a disaster that big hits us, I won't be worrying about my music collection or photos.

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Re: Take care of your own data - and use redundancy

I'm using crashplan and have my physical drives at work and at home too. I even back up my skydrive! How fuct up is that!

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ACx

In general I still cant believe people believe in the con of the cloud. That whole thing is creepy and underhand. I could never ever rely on such a system. My personal data placed on some one else's system, only ever accessible from the web? No ta. Useful as throw away space for specifics, but not a lot else.

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Backup chaps, backup.

I've had a lightning strike fry half the electronics in my house. I've seen a data centre lose about 20% of disks including some mirrored pairs and much of the disk only backup library due to an explosive gas release. I've taken the majority of my LP collection out of the cupboard it was largely stored in, gingerly carried it over the water and fire damaged floorboards, leaving a few melted LPs that weren't in the cupboard behind. I've tried to be tactful to an office admin after the thieves took not only their server, but also the backup unit and *all* the tapes, because they couldn't be bothered to rotate a tape at someone's house as they'd been instructed to...

Any media stored in only one location is potentially no media at all...

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Pint

Re: Backup chaps, backup.

I was involved in large-scale DR exercises for years...

You might want to add to that wise "Any media stored in only one location is potentially no media at all" this one:

"Any backup that hasn't been recovery tested is potentially no backup at all".

You would / wouldn't be surprised (depending on your personal experience) at how many backups don't recover successfully when they are needed.

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Re: Backup chaps, backup.

Anyone can backup. Only heroes recover

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Alert

Re: Backup chaps, backup.

I'd go further: a backup that isn't recovery tested is no more than a box-ticking exercise...

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Re: Backup chaps, backup.

And a backup that relies on proprietary software for recovery--especially software from the likes of Microsoft or Apple--is not a backup either, not after the next round of planned obsolescence. Manual backup, chaps, manual backup.

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Pint

Re: Backup chaps, backup.

"Any backup that hasn't been recovery tested is potentially no backup at all".

Aha- funny story: I spent six months working on a newly installed system before we had an outage that required a restore... and NONE of the back-ups EVER taken after testing had worked properly.

Valuable lesson learned, there!*

*ie: When your boss says "I know you had the week booked off, but would you mind popping in to help with something?" the answer is of course:

"Fsskclic...You're breaking up... am in Outer...fsss... Hebrides...can't..fzz...hear..you *click*".

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