Own your data!

There have been recent reports of permanent data loss for folks that kept their data on “the cloud”. As an IT professional, these are my recommendations:

Use a for-pay e-mail service that keeps your messages in a server and a local cached copy of all you data on you local PC or Mac. There are hosting companies that will manage Exchange servers on your behalf. You can connect to an Exchange server with Outlook from any PC. If you are away from your PC, you can still access your files from any web browser on any other PC or Mac with an Internet connection. For Mac users, you should look at MobileMe from Apple. Either one of those solutions allows you to have a local, cached copy of your e-mail AND your calendar and contacts. BTW, the mail, calendar, and address book applications that come with Mac’s latest OS (Snow Leopard) can talk natively to an Exchange server as well. An added bonus is that these setups will synchronize your data to your smartphone or iPhone as well.

Here is a good example of what can happen when you trust your data to a service provider: It has been reported T-Mobile just lost all data for their Sidekick smart-phone users (contacts, calendars, pictures, …).

Keep local backups, do not rely exclusively on off-site backup services. An external hard disk drive and some backup software are cheap insurance against a major disaster. Back up stuff you cannot afford to lose on CDs or DVDs and keep those off-site.

Contact me for specific recommendations.

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One Response to “Own your data!”

  1. Jim Densmore says:

    Classic example of a failure to assess risk, or at least a failure to act on risks perceived. Good specifics, imho, on mitigation strategies. If the data is important, ya gotta own a copy. The next blog entry should be on security for that same data. Lookin forward to that! 🙂 Jim

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