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The Cloud, Day 14: Don't Trust All Your Eggs to One Basket

30 Days With the Cloud: Day 14

There are many reasons I might choose one cloud photo storage service over another. However, there are also some good reasons why I should not choose just one cloud photo storage service at all—that is a lot of faith to put in one provider.

Most cloud storage providers are very reliable. They have redundant drives on redundant servers with redundant power sources, synced between redundant data centers scattered across diverse geographic regions. It should be virtually impossible to permanently lose data...but it can still happen.

What are the odds that Flickr, or Picasa, or Facebook will have some major glitch and lose my photos? Pretty slim. Probably negligible. It is almost certainly lower than the chances that my house will experience a fire, flood, or other disaster that can destroy my physical print photos.

In the end, though, it is simply not a risk I am willing to take. These are my precious memories. These are my family pictures that can never be replaced or recreated if they are lost. The paranoia that drives me to ensure I don’t rely solely on printed pictures in photo albums on a shelf in my house is the same paranoia that drives me not to rely on any single online option, or solely on cloud-based services at all.

A data center "hiccup" could wipe out your pictures.
I like Apple’s iCloud and I appreciate that Photo Stream automatically uploads and syncs pictures between my PCs and iOS devices. When it comes to sharing photos and videos online, I do so almost exclusively within Facebook, so it makes sense for me to store photos online there as well. But, that doesn’t mean I trust keeping my priceless eggs in just those two proverbial baskets.

No. Despite all the benefits and advantages of cloud-based photo storage, I can’t bring myself to put that level of trust in it. So, I still make sure my photos are backed up locally to my PC, and I still have a copy of that data stored on my ioSafe Rugged Portable drive, and I still upload that data to Box as well.

Most data is not that important, or it can just be recreated if a disaster strikes, but not photos. I still have prints from when I was a child that my mother has passed on to me, and I want to guarantee that I will be able to do the same for my children--just digitally.

Read the Last "30 Days" series: 30 Days With Windows Phone 7

Day 13: Storing and Managing Pictures in the Cloud

Day 15: Dollars and Cents in the Cloud

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