Cloud Computing

It’s all up in the cloud

So I finally made the big jump in to the cloud. Cloud storage that is. This may come as a shock to those who know me being a blogger and internet-savvy – a geek through on through but I still keep a stack of DVDs where my digital archives are stored.

Those DVDs compliment my two external hard drives which, thanks to my ever-growing appetite for digital content, can no longer store the ones that I have lined up for downloading.

With the wife adamant that I get her the whole seasons 8 and 10 of the now defunct CSI: Miami, a quick audit of what digital files and junk I had stored was done last night. Since it was all done impromptu, the quick fix was to offload the non-media content I have. These are the numerous documents, PDFs, slide shows, graphs and graphics I have amassed over the years I spent in college.

The subjects range from history, economics, philosophy, biology, blogging and youth organizations. All told, occupy roughly 7GB of hard drive space. So where did I offloaded it all? Up in the cloud, so to speak.

And without much hesitation these files were uploaded to my Google Drive account seeing that last night, I was only using a measly 3GB of the standard 15GB space for free accounts. And that was more than plenty enough for me. Sure I also have a Dropbox, Box.net and even a SkyDrive account, but I’m a Google fan-boy and I’m really after the powerful search capabilities that the search giant has made available in this service digging around this digital vault would be a lot less painful in the future.

Why only now that I fully embraced cloud storage? Why for so many years, I’ve religiously compiled my content and burned them on to blank DVDs and then meticulously storing them?

Availability. Offline availability to be precise. Living in a country where the internet connection from all providers pale in comparison to their global peers in terms of speed and reliability.
Cloud storage is all cool and neat and cheap, but when the connection is gone, those files are also as good as gone.

So for this archiving exercise, I drew the line between file age and the probability that I would need to access it sooner than later. The most frequently used ones, like the ones I access/open at least 5 times a month, stayed offline and in the hard drives. The rest, some of which I couldn’t even remember why I still haven’t just deleted instead, were uploaded into Google Drive. Sure Google will have a lot more data to mine for ads but hey, it’s the price I have to pay for being able to use their servers and resources.

Being able to share any file to anyone via the web is probably the best feature I gain by storing my files on the cloud. No need for sharing flash drives or attaching files to emails, I just share the download link via social media or email and it’s done. The rest of my digital files will be uploaded to in the coming weeks. Let’s just hope that Google will be able to recover my files in the very slim chance it does suffer a problem with Drive, otherwise all of these would have been done in vain.

Oh wait, maybe I should just stick to DVDs?

Image by StockMonkeys.com. Under CC License.

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