Sunday, February 3, 2019
What will you lose if a website goes down?
This prominent notice should remind all of us of the ephemeral nature of online websites. Of course, Google+ is not a website I would ever have considered useful for storing any type of information, I am certain that there are a number of people who have posted photos or other information on the website that they would like to have preserved. We often get into a discussion about the relative merits of the different methods of backing out computerized data but the real issue is permanence.
If we rely on mechanical devices we can basically predict that they will fail after a certain period of usage. In this case, redundancy is the rule. For that reason, I use multiple external hard drives for backing up most of my information. However, it is shortsighted to use mechanical and or flash memory devices exclusively. Given the low cost of online storage, it is always a good idea to employ redundancy in this regard also. Some online websites that purport to be backup solutions are really only useful for temporary storage of documents which may need to be used on different devices. Other online data storage websites are best suited merely for the purpose of transferring files and allowing multiple individuals to work on files at the same time.
I would suggest, that just as we can predict that the mechanical device will inevitably fail, we can also predict that any one particular storage solution that is entirely online may also fail.
Do your homework! Before relying on online storage make sure that you have considered all of the options.