Don’t trust the cloud for all your data

Adam Curry on the demise of delicious (and Yahoo Buzz, as well) and why we need to take steps now to insure that our online data is not vulnerable to a service going down.

If the stories that are being posted are true, then once again we see the perils of trusting the cloud.

Years of data is stored in the links and listings at delicious. It will probably be wiped out, along with all the links online to those collections. All broken and useless. WILL be next. You can take that to the bank.

Curry, an early MTV VJ and one of the initiators and developers of podcasting, is already taking measures to make sure his online data lives, even if an online service goes down. It’s called CurrysCloud, and is built using open source software.

This site is a personal url redirecting service that is used by one person. I’m Adam Curry and this is my own personal cloud. More accurately, this is one piece of my personal cloud (service) and part of an ongoing project to migrate my dependence off of centralized cloud based services.

The real issue at hand is when services built on top of these centralized services ‘go away’. Of course having backups and a strategy for rebuilding the stored content and organization, the public (and private!) links to this content pretty much goes poof when you don’t have personal control over the url that was used to publish their existence.

That’s what this site is for. I intend to never again publish a link to any content without it running through my personal service. Should a storage ‘bin’ beyond my control disappear, all I would need to do is implement my strategy, which also consists of remapping the url’s in my own database to the new ‘bin’. That way the pointers I created and that are indexed and copied web-wide will remain intact.

This is a seriously good idea. Since it’s open source, Curry will no doubt be sharing it as he builds it. This is one reason I like self-hosted WordPress. As long as you backup regularly and save the backups offline, you can be back online in a few hours if your web host disappears. But that’s not possible with Facebook, and millions of people had years invested with delicious, and now the results of all that time and effort are about to vaporize.

So it behooves us all to think about how our online lives can continue even if a major cloud service goes down.


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