‘Cloud’ Storage and my 3 concerns

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For the past couple of years everything ‘new’ has been about the development of the ‘cloud’. The new operating systems from Apple and Microsoft are going to integrate cloud storage as a primary function to the operating system. I understand the function that cloud storage can provide, but my overall opinion of cloud storage is that if you need it, you should be able to find a service and pay for it.

The benefits of using cloud storage are pretty obvious. It provides collaboration, live interaction, storage and the ability to have an off-site backup. These are just a few of the benefits of having cloud storage, but my concern over the long-term is the dependence of cloud storage. How far are the powers that be willing to push cloud storage with devices, operating systems and applications?

I think this is a very valid question… and it sparks others…

The Security…

The problem that I have with cloud storage was clearly illustrated just the other day where LinkedIn and Last.FM were hacked and close to 7 million user id’s and passwords were stolen; that’s a lot of information. Now take into account if those services were cloud-based services. What if those services had technical information, proprietary information, personal information or information that can be completely destructive to your professional and private ecosystem. That’s a horrible thought.

Don’t get me wrong, having a cloud-based service is very beneficial, but cloud-based services or Internet-based services have shown, if nothing more, the security is something that can be breached; property can be stolen and privacy can be violated. These cloud-based services though, I’m sure, they’re not anticipating having their security breached, but out of all the other websites who’s had their security breached, I’m sure that they didn’t want to run into situations that they did; but they did.

I am more apt to believe that the information on my personal PC is more secure than trusting it to a cloud storage. I know that I can take my information and back it up to an external hard drive that encrypted with a service/application like TrueCrypt in my information will be perfectly secure [locally]. But I also know that this is I try to use a service to put my information, broadband, over the Internet so that I can reach it from anywhere, at any time; this is going to put my information at risk. Because hackers have shown that they’re more devoted to getting into your system and individuals who wrote the security for the cloud services [or that’s the way it seems].

So the question really is, how far are various companies and the new operating systems going to push cloud storage? Is it going to be a requirement? Is it going to be a necessity? Is it?

If you need cloud storage, you should be able to pay for it. If you want with your operating system, it should be an option and if you want to share your personal information from a local [home resource] source; their software and hardware devices that are available now that you can purchase they give you the ability of personal cloud storage; to access your information anywhere you want.



Your Bandwidth…

Like I mentioned earlier, cloud storage is something that everyone seems to be pushing as the next generation of personal information and computing; saying that collaboration, why their action and online storage is just the way to go, but the trend of online storage and Internet service providers— these guys are talking. They have completely different agendas.

It seems almost like every week, or every month, is a new article about a new Internet service provider that’s imposing different fees and costs for Internet service. I recently read an article about Internet service providers want to charge for Internet service just as you would for water or electricity; having your Internet service metered. Well, that’s essentially what Internet service providers are doing now, but they really haven’t clamped down on micromanaged bandwidth— but I think they’re going to get there.

The problem with cloud storage and the conflict of Internet service providers imposing bandwidth restrictions, to be frank, it kills the whole damn plan. How can you have Internet cloud storage, collaboration, and more productivity when he know that every file you change, every update or every backup is affecting your bandwidth meter? How can you get the most out of Internet cloud storage if you’re having to worry about being nickel and dimed to death.

You can effectively use Internet cloud storage in everything you do if the Internet service providers are putting your bandwidth usage under microscope.

It just seems like all the various companies and the newer operating systems are pushing cloud storage and they really haven’t worked out any kind of situation where cloud storage and bandwidth can have a suitable habitat… It almost makes you wonder, climbing to an apex, with everyone using cloud storage and then having a service like that being completely crippled by limitations on bandwidth by the service providers.



Looking at Storage…

My last point with cloud storage really stems with the recent developments of MegaUpload. MegaUpload for all practical purposes, is a cloud storage system; albeit not very sophisticated, but nevertheless a cloud storage system. MegaUpload allows its users to upload files, store them, share them and download them. Cloud storage is basically the same thing, but some of the newer services are focused on real-time editing, affecting change in real time…

What’s threatening about cloud storage is that storing documents, images or personal information online; it’s basically trusting someone to safeguard your information; and my next point is not so much about security, as I mentioned earlier, it’s about the storage of the information, and ultimately, who can pry into that information that they want to…

MegaUpload was basically a cloud storage system with a huge customer base, but make no allusions MegaUpload have members that were missed using their service; but still had a large legitimate customer base. The United States government came in and declared that MegaUpload was committing copyright fraud and shut down the whole service [ abruptly and rather violently I might add].

Immediately after the shutdown of MegaUpload, thousands and thousands of MegaUpload customers were unable to access their information; in some cases, company information that kept them from doing business. Or personal accounts with MegaUpload, where people stored personal pictures, videos and other documents; these were completely taken— they were not accessible at all. And to all the current reports I’ve seen, MegaUpload customers still cannot access their data.



I would argue that as we move forward with Internet cloud storage, these types of situations, these types of interruptions in service could be very damning. Everything is focused on synchronizing information to the Internet cloud, but it comes at a price, and you have to be willing to gamble that everything is going to be okay. I don’t see how everyone will need access to the Internet cloud, or even want it.

Internet cloud storage is something that’s being sold, like with services like Carbonite, where you pay for Internet off-site storage, like MegaUpload, to back up your data. now, I’m not saying the Carbonite is a bad service, I’ve never used it; I’m using it as an example of the service that sells online backups and storage. And for the lesser price of an external hard drive, you can back up all your data, encrypted with TrueCrypt; avoiding a yearly service fee, impacting your overall Internet bandwidth and putting your data [personal data] at risk of prying eyes.

The three points that I listed above I think are valid points, and I don’t think it has anything to do with any kind of paranoia; there simply points of concern.



Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr.

…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11

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