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Musings of a librarian, former archivist, musician, bibliophile, and tech-obsessed.

Entries in Cloud (2)


More in the Cloud

More people are looking to the Cloud as a viable back-up solution for personal files, as discussed in my previous entry. This article was featured in ProfHacker in the Chronicle of Higher Education. If academics are talking about something, you know it's reached the masses!

Yet another article from NPR, today, this one distrusting the cloud because the person has put too much personal stuff in an "untrusted" virtual space. When something crashes, he loses access to everything.

I have a problem with someone saying that their information on the internet is all on a "cloud." The primary reason I take issue with this is that most of the information is hosted on virtual servers, not true clouds. When one server goes offline, it affects the integrity of the network. The online servers are then over-stressed by the typical amount of users that are spread out over more servers, normally, which causes more servers to go down and the site/network/etc. to crash. Crashes can also happen through physical problems; for example, there is a mass power-outage in the geographic region as the host servers. When the DC area experienced massive power outages during the rain/wind storms after snowpocalypse 2010, many locally-hosted sites had problems.

The difference between this and a cloud is that a true cloud stores identical information on multiple, geographically separated servers. This way, when one server goes offline, the network isn't stressed by more users. If it's the server with your information that went down, there's another copy of your information on another server across the country, and you can still get what you need.

This is the very big difference to virtually-hosted information and cloud-hosted information.

I host this website on a cloud-based host. Yes, when a local server goes down, the load time might be .8 seconds instead of .1 seconds, but I can still access my site. Clouds have the potential to revolutionize data storage and retrieval, but only if people know what they actually are...


Digital Backup Service for Consumers

Amazon is now offering storage on the Cloud for personal consumers. This storage ranges from 5GB (free) up tp 1000GB at $1 per GB per year. While there are other online file storage/sharing services that I use and have used (4shared and Dropbox), the Amazon Cloud offers a reputation for online storage and backup. Instead of backing up my personal files on an external drive, I am debating about using this service, or another cloud service to store and back-up my files, especially documents and digital photos. While cloud computing is not currently considered "archival" for digital preservation, I would like to look into it as a much more viable solution than on-site, redundant servers, or RAIDs, our current model.