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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FAIL

there was an ISP a few years ago where one of their junior technicians replaced a failed hard disk and then rebuilt the logical drive based on the contents of the replacement blank disk. This was the only copy of the customer data. I think it was Plusnet or someone like that. Can't remember now.

This is the sort of situation their system wasn't designed to compensate for and so the failure was unforseen. A backup would have helped a bit but would not have recovered everything if they had had one.

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Anonymous Coward

Cloud?

Cloud? No Thanks. Just like other posters I'll never trust anyone else with my stuff. I run a small business from home and a few years back installed a Netgear NAS box - as helpfully reviewed by El Reg at the time... I later added the BVackup utility, again as reviewed by El Reg.

I fitted the box with two mirrored 1TB drives, from different manufacturers, so they are not from the same batch or likely to fail at the same time. At the moment it sits under the desk in the office/spare bedroom but the plan is to move it into the garage. If the house burns down, floods, or gets broken into, hopefully the garage will survive, or vice versa. I also back the NAS up once a month or so to a USB drive which usually lives at my business partners house.

The NAS box subsequently became the repository for music/videos/photos of a personal rather than business nature, and there is still lots of room for more, and further capacity can be added easily.

Keeping your own data safe is your own resposnilbilty, and I'm sure it is not beyond the ability of any Reg reader to come up a pretty secure and redundant arrangement such as the above, whilst still keeping the prying eyes of Mr Google at bay. The issue may come in a few years time that when you don't store your world online the terrorist police will assume you have something to hide, a bit like they are now starting to say that if you don;' carry your mobile all the time for them to track you with, you must be doing something dodgy.......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cloud?

> from different manufacturers, so they are not from the same batch or likely to fail at the same time.

I've fallen victim to this. I had four of them fail, one after another, over a 2 month period all from the same batch.

I was lucky since once the first disk failed I redistributed all the data so as to be able to handle a second failure. When the second one failed, I had just got a warranty replacement for the first, same with the third and fourth.

I suspect that after the first disk failed the others started failing due to the extra load put on them through redistributing and recovering the data. I must admit though, that I put the 4th disk through its paces and managed to get it to fail with just 2 days left on the warranty.

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Stealthy CHAOS with Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems in a Virtual Power Grid*

The issue may come in a few years time that when you don't store your world online the terrorist police will assume you have something to hide, a bit like they are now starting to say that if you don;' carry your mobile all the time for them to track you with, you must be doing something dodgy....... ... Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 24th December 2012 12:15 GMT

The smarter entities will be doing something different*, AC.

*NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT ........for Advanced NeuroLinguistic ReProgramMING of Earthed SMARTR Assets.

You might like to ask ESTEC Noordwijk if that is one of their Deep Space Missions/Heavenly Slingshots? And if not, is it to be with Command and Control of AI IT?

And yes, El Reg, that is for real in Great Virtual Game Play.......... Simulating Stimulating Creativity for New Beginnings and Second Comings. .......... :-) ... http://youtu.be/WP6gbxskEuw

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Meh

Same manufacturing batch...

Wasn't there a whitepaper published by Google a few years ago about HD reliability? It also exposed the myth that HDs like to run cool, if I remember.

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Re: "extra load put on them"

If you have a RAID system you really, REALLY, should be doing a periodic "scrub" to verify all used sectors on all disks so when (not if!) you get a HDD failure there is a decent chance of the other HDD being clean enough to do a rebuild.

ZFS has a scrub command, and Linux software RAID with recent-ish kernels supports a check command to do a scrub(see http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/RAID/Software#Data_Scrubbing), while some hardware cards (like my Areca 1210) also support such a periodic background check.

Double parity is also a good idea, though matters more if you have several disks (say 5+), but is still not a substitute for a backup held elsewhere.

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Devil

Re: Same manufacturing batch...

"Wasn't there a whitepaper published by Google a few years ago about HD reliability? It also exposed the myth that HDs like to run cool, if I remember."

Yeah, I think North Korea also released a whitepaper about the supremacy of Communism as a governmental system and Apple did one about how much better their phones are than everyone else's, too.

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Anonymous Coward

At last someone talking sense rather than bullshit

And a 3TB tape backup unit comes in very handy, provided you haven't downgraded Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 to a later version that doesn't provide NTBackup.

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Already had my close call with the cloud

I used to let my photo sharing service (fotki) double as my offsite photo backup. Then one day they tried to change their terms and conditions so that unlimited storage of originals was no longer included and asked for more money or the originals would be removed leaving only the down-sized versions.

I refused to give in to their blackmail and instead spent the money on a third 2tb hard disk and external enclosure, which is now locked in my desk at work. Its actually more convinient too, I can go and fetch the disk from work faster than I can shift that much data over my internet connection.

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Thumb Up

Re: Already had my close call with the cloud

Agree with a lot of the comments on here.

I've recently taken to using another approach to the cloud for backing up my data. I have a Linux micro image running in the Amazon EC2 cloud with a substantial EBS volume attached (interestingly EBS is still cheaper than S3 for Amazon data storage). I rsync my music, photos and incremental dumps from my FreeBSD home server daily. A Synology NAS acts as my main backup/archive/filestore and most of the data on this is either archived to blu ray or replicated to EC2 via the above rsync process. This way I am in control about how my cloudy data is stored/used as I administer the server, and while I am dependent on Amazon continuing to provide the platform, this is a backup data store only.

Finally, I keep copies of portions of this on my laptop and desktop. I use Unison File Synchroniser to keep these in sync. I can't recommend Unison enough for anyone who works on documents from multiple locations and doesn't want to rely on manual copying or services like dropbox. It means that I can easily switch from working on desktop to laptop to go on the road, and also ensure that I have a backup of other key files while I'm at it.

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Megaphone

Re: Already had my close call with the cloud, too

Youtube decided one day that my daughters dance recital videos where copyright violations and so they deleted them (not just removed public access). We're talking shaky hand-held phone recordings with maybe 30sec clips of music in the background of each all recorded in open air (also obscured by crowd noise), and now they're gone. Good thing I keep local copies. F$%k "Cloud" storage.

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Re: Already had my close call with the cloud

My only complaint about Unison is that it seems to need both ends to be running exactly the same version to run, and I have found that I really don't want my server running the same bleeding edge I am happy to run on my desktop. They could do with a bit of backwards compatibility, unless I am missing a trick somewhere.

Anyway, I have best of both worlds. We run small Linux servers for our clients, on our client's sites, which we back up to own own servers in a co-location farm. Mind you, I don't back up the 1TB (and growing) list of stuff I haven't yet watched on my MythTV box!

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FAIL

Megaupload

or what ever it was called anyone?

Your cloud company gets raided and closed down because of other users uploading naughty stuff.

Leaving all your data safely locked away where you cant get to it.

Then you have to prove its A. yours and B. not naughty

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What about the PATRIOT Act and national security letters? (that the EFF found out were being widely abused by the likes of the FBI by the way)

There is no way in hell I would trust the cloud with my data, especially with this sort of crap going on:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/07/doj-sues-telecom-over-nsl/

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Access speed has only been mentioned once so far.

I think it warrants being mentioned again.

I've travelled interstate with a baby NAS, where it took a sold day and a half to dump everying onto it.

I shudder to think how long it would take online with my current 14kb/s upload speed.

Not to mention my ISP had in the past whined about my heavy uploads going over their "fair use" limits.

Ok, that was a lot of data (~3Tb) on the NAS, but would not even consider it for my mere music collection that sits at a relatively measly (from what I've been told) 45G. And that's not counting audiobooks, podcasts, and other audio I work on.

A USB flash drive would do the job, arguably cheaper long term, and most certainly faster.

Heck, the flash storage on my phone does that now, screw the cloud, I have true 24/7 access to my music and audiobooks, and it's cheaper.

I really can't see any advantage for me to use the cloud.

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Re: Access speed has only been mentioned once so far.

"I shudder to think how long it would take online with my current 14kb/s upload speed."

Haha, Someone asked me if I could help them upload their music and photo collection to a cloudy service recently. We decided not to bother when it transpired it would take over a week of non-stop data transfer to upload it all.

I was also bitten by the megaupload fiasco and locked out of over 100 files i had uploaded (mostly utilities and tools for quick access incase i had to fix something pc related for someone and didnt have my utility filled usb sticks with me). Luckily i also had local copies, but if i had uploaded important stuff, i would be both screwed and very, very annoyed indeed (i am fucking annoyed actually, it was a fantastic service and i still had 3 months left to run on my sub, so cheers for that America, I take it my refund is in the post eh?).

What with all the snooping, data caps, glacial broadband speed and patchy 3g coverage, i really cant see a valid use for these services in the current climate tbh. There just not reliable,fast or secure enough for anything other than (very)short term emergency use.

I really worry about the amount of people who use these things to store pictures from their phone etc without making local backups, its a disaster waiting to happen.

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Stop

Re: Access speed has only been mentioned once so far.

Haha, Someone asked me if I could help them upload their music and photo collection to a cloudy service recently. We decided not to bother when it transpired it would take over a week of non-stop data transfer to upload it all.

=========

Whats the issue? Its not necessary to wait and watch whilst it uploads!

And once its up there, incremental updates will take minutes to hours, but again that requires no watching

I think my photo/music took 2 weeks to upload. I guess it would take a few days to get it all back from the cloud, should I need to (its also stored on a connected hourly backup disk, plus a "disconnected" local USB drive (connected and backed up to every few weeks, but disconnected when not in use in case of malware or idiot user error) but that would be acceptable for what would be some kind of significant disaster like fire or flood.

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It's perfectly safe to put your music in the cloud

So long as:

- It has also been put into at least one other cloud (preferably in a different legal jurisdiction)

- You maintain the physical media

- You maintain your own off site backup (in my case, my photos are backed up in a cupboard at my place if work).

Just because you're being paranoid should in no way imply the bastards are not out to get you 8-).

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Re: It's perfectly safe to put your music in the cloud

Too damn right, plus I don't want the world knowing I have a Barron Knights LP.

My main issues with 'the cloud' are

- economics - multiple external drives are cheaper (over time) and faster.

- speed to backup and restore. Fine if you have a few GB and a fast connection, terrible if you have 10-15TB and 50/5 mbps is the fastest connection you can get.

I use smugmug but largely due to it being easy and well thought out. Otherwise its external drives and a storage unit for a redunant location. 3 x 3TB usb 3.0 drives at $120-150 a pop and they're good for around 5 years and do over 100MBps.

The cloud works great for some folks but theres that middle management syndrome that creeps in and people try to use it for everything.

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Re: It's perfectly safe to put your music in the cloud

'different legal jurisdiction'? That's a bit difficult - especially when the US authorities seem to think that if a company has any connections to businesses on US soil then that makes them subject to US law, even if the data in question has gone nowhere near US shores.

http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/413379/australian-based_data_subject_patriot_act_lawyer/

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Re: It's perfectly safe to put your music in the cloud

There are echos of Maggie and the Belgrano (the spitting image sketch summed it up nicely) when it comes to viewing their area of influence. Parking 12 aircraft carriers off the coast helps as well.

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A Perfect Grooming Tool and SMARTR Enabling Utility.

Clouds offer quite perfect enough back-up locations for extremely sensitive information that one would wish the world and his dog to see/hear/feel. And if/whenever such info disappears at any stage unexpectedly, is one then reliably informed of specific particular and peculiar/irregular and unconventional information which has rattled the system to its core and may even be easily capable of crashing critical and strategic global systems, which would then struggle to ensure subsequent storage facilities and additional further information which may be advanced classified intelligence to others, stays secret to remain an unknown known/known unknown, and invariably in primitive type man societies is that simply because it has delivered in the past, obscene inequitable advantage for a select and selfish few.

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Re: A Perfect Grooming Tool and SMARTR Enabling Utility.

It is just such a situation/methodology which has made Wikileaks so powerful and disruptive/revolutionary and refreshing, ne c'est pas?

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Re: A Perfect Grooming Tool and SMARTR Enabling Utility.

I think we have the answer, Amanfrommars1 is a manager!!

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Pint

@amfM 13:42 (was: Re: A Perfect Grooming Tool and SMARTR Enabling Utility.)

Replying to yourself, grandson of ELIZA & son of PARRY?

Methinks tweaks are an option. Have a good solstice season, regardless! :-)

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> What does it mean to “own” something when it’s stored on someone else’s cloud server and

> can be wiped, possibly erroneously, with the flip of a switch? This is not ownership in any

> traditional sense of the word.

You mean, like money in a bank?

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Trollface

Money is not personal or unique, and in the U.S. it's federally insured in a bank up to $100,000. The cloud, not so much. And last time I checked, the bank pays me to hold my money, not the other way around.

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Anonymous Coward

one day having local storage will mark you target for investigation

because "If you have nothing to hide at home you have nothing to worry about”, and if you don't trust the cloud...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: one day having local storage will mark you target for investigation

Well if that is the case, anyone who owns a computer with hard disc, usb key or dvd will be investigated. Aside from all the security and privacy issues, when using the cloud you don't actually know where your data is stored. It could be stored in a competely different country which incidentally may well have different laws so you could end up comitting an offence because what is legal in one country may not be in another.

Having your own local storage is the most sensible option as you control it and no I wouldn't trust the cloud either..

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Want/need

There's data I *want* to keep, and there's data I *need* to keep. The former is on a RAID5 array. The latter has copies on three independent hard drives, plus a thumbdrive which I keep in my purse. None of it is on the cloud. If such a catastrophe strikes that I can't even take my purse with me as I escape, I have bigger problems than data loss.

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Silver badge

This is what I've been saying to people around me for ages - they are not listening. More fool them, although I do have concerns that some of their data makes references to me so puts me in the data scrapers' sights.

My data is sync'd across two different local machines, and a copy kept on a removable hard drive that resides 30 miles away.

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That's why I have a rootserver

Or to be more precisely currently just a v-server.

This is my server just like I have my own flat. My land lord is not supposed to get in there without my consent. Furthermore I'm considering to look into ways of having hardisk encryption on such a server.

Again, the difference between "cloud services" and this is that this belongs to me.

And of course I backup that server regularly. That's just common sense.

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FAIL

I Call Bullshit

I don't know where to start on this.. this whole article is so wrong in so many ways it actually boggles the mind that I found it on *this* site.

Your Macbook HD with its 2-3 warranty is more reliable than multiple server farms spread across continents? Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me. That's the kind of blind faith fanboism that gives Mac users the reputation they deserve. 2-3 years for a reason. Mechanical parts, electronic components and magnetic media, not a combination to inspire confidence and is why HD manufacturers are only willing to put their money behind their products for a limited time. It is also the reason even the cheapest of network appliances will monitor the health of hard disks, automatically moves data, duplicates it and tells the operations department when it's time to replace one of its hard disks.

Techies will steal your music? You understand what you're talking about is not the same thing as a Best Buy employee ripping off your iTunes content right? That unlike the time you took your computer into a store to get it fixed, access to data stored on a disk array in a server farm is audited. That explaining you lost your job because you were definitely caught stealing client data is not a great way to open a job interview and you were too stupid to understand that this would absolutely, 100% happen.

As for outtages.. sure 6-8 hours happen and it can be more than a minor inconvience. And I guess you chose your residence wisely, because a year with no super storms causing power outtages for weeks on end or even a minor outtage that only lasts half a day is great. But are you 100% certain you can rely on your local substation next year or the year after that? Funnily enough Amazon and Google aren't willing to make that bet. They have more than one place to store data, because they're filthy fucking rich.

Which brings me to the last point. Delete your data? What fantasy land do you come from? Storing YOUR data on a cloud server is not the same thing as renting a movie for life from Apple or Amazon. Cloud server administrators cannot and absolutely will not deliberately delete your files. They most certainly could accidentally delete them.. and then just as quickly restore them again because, like I just mentioned, they have more than one server. Spread out across fucking continents. One hurricane is not going to put them offline, one explosion will not wipe out a company's accounting files and one fire will not prevent them from maintaining a 99.9% uptime.

The only possible conceit I will give you is that hackers do indeed find attacking Google and Amazon more interesting than putting trojans on your hard disk. But they don't do this to steal music or photos. If a hacker wants music for free he has far easier methods of obtaining it. He certainly might laugh at a few ill considered photos, but even if he felt the need to delete them all, Google et all can and will restore them for you.

No hackers want one of two things. Recognition for being able to break into a large network and/or money. So be circumspect with what you store and where you store it. Encrypt your private data (whether it's stored at home or in space) and you'll be a lot better off.

/rant off

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Re: I Call Bullshit

I think you miss the point. A lot. See that spec on the horizon? That's the sign post telling you where the point is.

"Your Macbook HD with its 2-3 warranty is more reliable than multiple server farms spread across continents?"

Of course not. Not HDD is. That's why we have RAID and multiple back-ups (with at least one off-site).

"Techies will steal your music?

No. But they may mine the information and report yo to the authorities. Heck, the authorties could even compel them to do so. Also, your data comes under the jurisdiction of the hosting country which could land you in some very hot water if you are unlucky.

"Cloud server administrators cannot and absolutely will not deliberately delete your files."

Unless compelled to by law or other threats (see above). Imagine the MPAA issuing takedowns for movies/music you have uploaded for personal use. Heck, just doing that could be a criminal offence.

"So be circumspect with what you store and where you store it."

Oh, you did get the point after all.

Me - I will store my data locally, keep back-ups and use the cloud only for information I need to share with other and, for whatever reason, don't wish to host it locally. When in the cloud, most of that data will be encrypted/locked by me to ensure that only the people I want have accees

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FAIL

Re: I Call Bullshit

"Which brings me to the last point. Delete your data? What fantasy land do you come from? "

One word....Megaupload.

At any time, U.S govt plc could snatch your data away, deny you access to it and probably sift through it lest there are terrorists hiding within.

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Re: I Call Bullshit

"I don't know where to start on this.." - I do. What he said (points at article author).

"Your Macbook HD with its 2-3 warranty is more reliable than multiple server farms spread across continents? Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me." - it doesn't matter dick if the server farms have quintuple redundancy and zero-fail processor platforms and [insert buzzwords here]... if the service is down, it is down, and there's nothing you can do to get at your data.

Both of the big players have had downtime this year. The author's Mac hasn't. And, for what it is worth, my little ol' three year old eeePC 901 hasn't let me down either. I have a stack of Japanese horror films pulled from YouTube to watch over Christmas, and I intend to.

But... wait... this isn't the sole issue here. If my eeePC died, or the guy's Mac died; chances are we'll have backups, copies of core important stuff on SD cards, Bluray, and tape, or whatever. The downtime than will be in getting a new system set up. In my case, I walk into the room beside me and purloin the computer I got my mother as a short-term measure. On the other hand, if you entrusted your precious data to the cloud, then what's your rescue plan? You own offline backups? Do you have any? If so, why are you even bothering with the cloud?

"Techies will steal your music? You understand what you're talking about is not the same thing as a Best Buy employee ripping off your iTunes content right?" - I'm not sure if a techie would be interested in the greatest hits of Abba, but I bet if something rare turned up, copies would be floating around before too long. The temptation is there, the traceability is weak, it's only a matter of time...

Having said that, I think the point of the article was in turning your collections and preferences into money. You know, like Facebook is "monetizing" (I hate that word!) all the blather going on between people. Or how Instagram tried (and failed) to sneak a change into their Ts&Cs allowing them to make money off of user uploads. What's to say a cloud service wouldn't - when it feels it needs cash - try their own modifications of contract. Your choice? Take your gigabytes elsewhere, if you can find somewhere suitable.

"That explaining you lost your job because you were definitely caught stealing client data is not a great way to open a job interview" - assuming of course the issue isn't buried. The admin who does will probably lose his job but it will happen amically, for what service wants to be slagged off in the media for allowing this sort of thing to happen?

"And I guess you chose your residence wisely, because a year with no super storms causing power outtages for weeks on end" - what, are you in a third-world country or something? Even following hurricanes, the power has been back up within a few days... in those unfortunate times when it goes down at all (we rode out last Christmas' hurricane that felled the pine in front of the house without anything more than a few brownouts).

"But are you 100% certain you can rely on your local substation next year or the year after that?" - don't see why not. But nobody can be 100% sure of anything. Apparently you stand a better chance of being hit by a meteorite than winning the EuroMillions. Funny, people regularly win the lottery, but you'd think all these people getting struck down by space junk might, you know, make the news. Knowing my luck, tomorrows draw will be won by somebody else (not me) and instead the gloopy Birds' Custard between my ears will be splatted by a rock from a galaxy far far away.

The local substation, however, will continue unaffected.

"Delete your data? What fantasy land do you come from? [...snip...] Cloud server administrators cannot and absolutely will not deliberately delete your files." - yeah, actually, they could deliberately/accidentally delete it. Accounting says "get rid of user ID 128489348" only one of those eights was a 3. Bang, your stuff has gone. It could be restored from a backup, but that takes time and effort and you'd first need to argue with the droids that your stuff got wiped while they all look for plausible deniability. Didn't somebody's Flickr account get nuked and it wasn't until a public media roasting that they actually dug out the backups? [yes: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/04/flickr_lesson_for_cloud_customers/ ] Well, makes one wonder what would have happened if this hasn't gone public/viral. Would they have just said "oh well, (y)our bad"?

"and then just as quickly restore them again because, like I just mentioned, they have more than one server. Spread out across fucking continents." - bollocks, bollocks, and even huger hairier testicles... Do you really think all these servers across fucking continents are all storing multiple copies of your data? Oh, yeah, if you pay tens of thousands a month for the service then I'm sure that is true. To use a lower end (or free) service to store a collection of LPs, the most you can hope for is a RAID array at your specific server and backups that you pray are kept off-site. There are no multiple copies on servers on other fucking continents because those servers are full of other people's shit.

"No hackers want one of two things." ... somehow you've grabbed entirely the wrong end of the stick. We're talking about security and reliability. I know that the Chihiro Onisuka collection on my computer and phone is mine. To get to it, to alter or delete it, will be either my cluelessness (but I have multiple copies), hardware failure (ditto), or physical intrusion/theft (and, to be honest, I doubt a Japanese singer is going to appeal to the typical thief).

As soon as my data goes into "the cloud", I can no longer say for certain that I know exactly where it is or what copies may exist. If there is a file that is dubious in amongst the collection, be it a ripped movie or a copy of something like the terrorists handbook, I cannot even say for certain what legal jurisdiction this would fall under. If I have some "how to make a bomb" file because in bad taste I thought it was amusingly bad and I upload it to a server and that server is located in the US, could this be enough to get me extradited as a suspect terrorist? Can you guarantee to me that such a thing would be impossible? At least when files are kept local to me, I only need to concern myself with the laws of my own country, not the caprices of... you say there are data centres around the world. Do you know where? Do you know how their jurisdictions operate?

Another thing to consider. I don't know if it is true or not (never looked) but apparently Amazon MP3 downloads are tagged with an ID embedded into the audio itself. This ID refers back to your user account. This is their nod to letting out unprotected music. A sort of "be responsible". I'm okay with that. Now let's say you upload some songs to MegaMegaCloud and there is a leak (bad admin, security flaw, hack, the reasons don't matter). Your MP3 turns up on SmokinHotMP3Rips.com and, hey, guess what, this ID points to YOU. It is YOU people will come to. After all, YOU are the one who took the music given to you for your private use and uploaded it god-only-knows-where. You can point your finger at whoever you want, but the scary child-laptop-stealing goons will be pointing their fingers at YOU.

I see, I really see the attraction of digital music. Both of my phones and my computer are loaded up with the things I like. I can listen to them all, or by theme (via playlist), I can listen in sequential order or "random". And if I'm besotted with a song (<cough>Yuki Kajiura</cough>), I can listen to it lots of times over and over without wearing out tape or stylus or running batteries flat in an hour like with portable CD players. I can pause, rewind, set loop points, all the sort of fluff you'd expect in a modern audio player. Heck, I can even apparently stick album images into MP3s though I've not quite figured out how.

What I don't see is the overriding attraction of The Cloud. All it seems to me is to be way out if you're too cheap or lacking in competence to set up and manage your own private data system. Hell, mine is a reject 1GHz box running XP. It acts as a NAS with Windows shares and VNC server. Drop the files onto the harddisc, and burn off a DVD or two. Copies on line if I need 'em, plus backups. Depending on your data needs, it can be so simple as to be funny. For the author's LPs, it'll require something a little more complicated. But, you know, you start small, you scale, and you keep control. Both of the data, and how it is accessed. You cannot 100% guarantee (home incursion, fire, flood, EMP weapon) but then you could say the same for the data centre...

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Re: I Call Bullshit

Not just the US...what country is your cloud data in? Is it going to stay there? And what laws will that country pass in the future concerning that data? And will you ever know until it's too late?

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MJI
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How about

All my personal pictures on the work PC and the code base at work on my home PC

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FINALLY! A pundit who writes what I've been saying for years. The cloud is a fool's paradise and not at all safe for any kind of proprietary or secure storage. Just read the papers and see how many "secure" sites get hacked, cracked and whacked every day.

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Trollface

Just say no to THE CLOUD.

The cloudy people are trying to sell the collective us on a bill of goods. Other articles have broken down the costs, and it just doesn't add up. Couple that with the vagaries of the internet, privacy/proprietary concerns, and sketchy service (umm yeah, information, what's the number to the Cloud?).

Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I'd rather pay to keep my own data in-house, than trust it to something that is new and not proven. The upside is that I get to keep the hardware, rather than renting someone else's. If I'm a dinosaur, so be it, but I'll still have my stuff. No stranger poring over it, no down time, no worry about having my stuff when I need it.

Have a good Christmas.

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Anonymous Coward

I love these threads

They make me click on the grsync icon --- and remember to swap out my backup disk with the one kept at a friend's place and bring that one up to date.

Cheers!

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Bronze badge
Boffin

It's not that simple.

Yes, raw cloud data is vulnerable to snooping, and downtime too! However, there is nothing to stop you from storing encrypted files on the cloud.

No, your single desktop drive is not safe; I have lost everything due to a head crashed drive, in the past, and most file systems do not actively look for creeping sector corruption!

No, mirroring is OK, but not a good idea for data you must never lose, especially with typical RAID controllers or software RAID, because file correction may not be detected; however it is better than nothing, especially if software driver or hardware RAID1. Backup is _not_ mirroring!

If you want reliability and data security, I suggested you built a Midi PC low power FreeNAS box and use at least a raidz2 mode ZFS volume (4 or 6+ even number of disks), then set-up the AFP service for your Apple devices. Partitioning is obsolete for ZFS, Datasets are way more flexible.

ZFS is designed to be really good at spotting dodgy hard drives, cables, disk controllers etc. early, so any developing issues can be resolved well before any data loss occurs e.g. my new FreeNAS box quickly found a dodgy WD Red 3TB drive, and automatically detected and mapped around iffy sectors on another.

FreeNAS also supports client & server rsync (including SSH), and scheduled replication so you can add another FreeNAS at another location, or have different boxes on different UPS's or anti-surge power strips.

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Holmes

Re: It's not that simple.

Of course a single desktop isn't the safest way to store information. Things get damaged, things get broken. Anyone actually doing work on a computer knows that. Thumb drives are cheap, as are CD/DVDs, and if someone really wants to make sure their "stuff" isn't lost, there are external hard drives. But there are no guaranties that nothing will crap out, but at a certain point there are diminishing returns on investment.

From my experience, keeping things simple is better. Or as a former boss said: Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).

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Noooooo!

Seems I'm not the only one who mistrusts our friend Mr. Cloud. A lot of things can (and WILL) go wrong. I prefer to do my own back-ups on my umpteen external hard drives spread over two desk-top machines and a laptop. Something that hasn't been mentioned is the sheer volume of data that needs to be sent over an internet connection to transfer files to the cloud, not to mention the time needed to do it, bearing in mind that upload speed is usually considerably lower than download speed. My music collection alone currently sits at approx 165 gigs. To send that little lot up the pipe would also drive a horse and carriage through my ISP's data limit, so I shall not be indulging any time soon.

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Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Cloud storage is inherently risky....

Because you never know what the chain of ownership is going to look like. You put your photos on this nifty startup service called Instagram, and then Facebook buys them out and now your photos may or may not be used for marketing purposes. You back up your music to cloud storage, and then the cloud storage vendor changes their Ts & Cs and can search through your music to glean marketing insights about you. You back up data to the cloud, and your cloud provider then outsources some of their data center to a third party, and now you have to worry about that third party and what they might do.

You need to weigh the costs and benefits before you back stuff up to the cloud, and I would treat cloud like I would treat posting pics to Facebook. Namely, never save anything to the cloud if it would embarrass you if someone produced it in a job interview or a family get-together.

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IT Angle

Common sense

...and good practice say that you don't have a single point of failure. So don't store all your data solely with one cloud provider - nor solely in one building - nor solely on one laptop/USB stick/dog-eared floppy.

Beware of the single cloud provider issue, too. If you store all your data in Amazon S3, don't also rely on Dropbox - they use S3 as their backing store, and if you're really unlucky a system problem damaging one copy will affect the other, too - although S3 storage is by default extremely durable.

By all means use the cloud - I do, a lot - but be mindful. Duplicate your data stored in Amazon Web Services/Dropbox at Microsoft Azure or Google Drive. As another poster comments, if you're on a sub-8Mb ASDL connection, it'll take ages (and a big data allowance) to back up loads of data to the cloud or retrieve from it, so treat it as the backup, not the main storage, and keep an OFF-SITE backup on a USB stick or portable hard drive.

All of this carries expense, and you'll have to make your own decisions as to the cost:benefit balance. How much of your data or media do you consider irreplaceable? Pay for belt-and-braces for the important stuff, and don't sweat the unimportant stuff.

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Megaphone

10Gb, 5 days, ~2k songs

The only time I have to listen to music is on the commute. I am constantly deleting songs I don't like so I can have more of a chance of hearing my favourite ones, and yet it would still take me 5 days to listen to all my music.

You don't need the cloud when you only have 10Gb of music!

But my point is, why do people have so much music when listening to even a fraction of it is impractical?

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Silver badge

Re: 10Gb, 5 days, ~2k songs

But my point is, why do people have so much music when listening to even a fraction of it is impractical?

Good point.

I run a box that (among other things) plays my entire music collection randomly around the clock.

The output of the sound card goes to one of those MP3 player FM transmitter thingys, originally designed to interface to a car audio system that doesn't already have an external interface.

I've modifed (extended) the antenna, to increase the range from the original few feet, to around the house.

I receive said stream on a couple of FM radios in the house.

Now, do I NEED all that music, especially when I can't be listening to it all the time? Well, no.

On my estimates, I'm not likely to hear the same track twice in a couple of months. Or more.

Then why do I do it? I get by far less repeats than a commercial radio station, I get what *I* want to listen to, and I don't get any ads, promotions, interviews, interruptions etc. And considering the potential minimalistic hardware requirements to do it all, it's bloody cheap. And best of all, power requirements aside (say with an iPod or simlar), there are no on-going costs. Cloudy or otherwise.

Any wonder why I haven't listened to commercial radio in 15+ years?

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