Blog Archive

Monday, March 8, 2010

Disaster Recovery by Google; where are you backing up your work? And can you take it off the cloud? My thoughts...

"Google Apps customers don't need to worry about any of this for the data they create and store within Google Apps. They get best-in-class disaster recovery for free, no matter their size. Indeed, it's one of the many reasons why the City of Los Angeles decided to go Google."

Online storage is a fascinating frontier for many businesses, individuals and schools. Tracking student work can be a full time job, couple that with the seemingly endless passing of jump drives; and storage solutions are a big deal for teachers. This article speaks to the viability and usability of “the cloud.” Google makes a strong case on why “their” solution is better than “your” solution. If you are comfortable with someone else hosting your digital content, then I have to wholeheartedly agree with much of what was said in this article. Personally, I live on multiple computers every day, so storing things on my computers doesn’t make sense and I’ve lost more jumps than I’d care to admit; this means that “cloud’ saving is vital to my productivity. Google’s solution of offering 1GB for $.25 is pretty awesome in my opinion. This means I can have a 40 GB storage for 10 bucks, that’s a better price than I’ve paid for any jump I’ve owned.

But what about when I need to pull my data off? How can I ensure that I still “own” my stuff? Where does it go if I abandon it? What if there’s a sudden change in terms of service and ALL of my documents go public or worse yet, I have 30 days to remove my stuff because there will no longer be such a thing as Google. J I know it’s stretch…stay with me here…
If any or all of these circumstances come into play then I need to know how to get my stuff off. The Data Liberation Front (an engineering team from Google) works on quick, easy, and painless ways to do this no matter what type of tool or resource you are using.

The Data Liberation Front
"The Data Liberation Front is an engineering team at Google whose singular goal is to make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products. We do this because we believe that you should be able to export any data that you create in (or import into) a product. We help and consult other engineering teams within Google on how to "liberate" their products. This is our mission statement:
Users should be able to control the data they store in any of Google's products. Our team's goal is to make it easier to move data in and out.
People usually don't look to see if they can get their data out of a product until they decide one day that they want to leave For this reason, we always encourage people to ask these three questions before starting to use a product that will store their data"

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Chris Craft said...

I've been thinking about this topic for a few weeks now. Thanks for bringing it back.

I have a hosting account with Bluehost, and installed Yourls, a URL shortening service. I did this to avoid using or google's version or any of the others. What if those services go belly up like does?

As for my Google info, I use GMail Backup ( to keep a local copy of my messages.

I also use Thunderbird to periodically download messages, but that's less frequently.

I don't have answers for the other services, but it's a start.


Michael Wacker said...

I hadn't thought about the url shortening service, wouldn't it be nice if was archiving all of these shorteners as well.

Great point about email backup, not many folks think about that I bet, I know I didn't for a long time.

I'm surprised that this conversation doesn't come up more often.