Friday, June 24, 2011

Nimbophobia: 4 more reasons to fear the cloud

It's been a gratifying week for my fellow nimbophobics. Our numbers are growing by leaps and bounds. Consider just four examples ...

These stories range from appalling (Apple) to annoying (excess ads in custom search pages). The Google PHR fail would be the worst, but it's somewhat mitigated by the data exit options they provide and by the two year warning. Those options include CCR XML migration to Microsoft's HealthVault [1].

Friends don't let friends rely on the Cloud. Don't put anything in the Cloud unless you have a way to move your data to an alternative platform. That's as true for your business processes as it is for your family photos.

[1] Any health informatics students looking for a semester project or an easy publishable paper? Create a PHR in Google Health Records. Export as CCR XML. Import into Microsoft HealthVault. Write a paper on the data loss.

5 comments:

Gene Callahan said...

Come on dude. Apple is giving you one year to find another host. It's not as though one day you woke up and they had deleted all your shit.

I agree with your point that you should always have your own copies and a way to move your stuff. But what are you claiming: if any company anywhere ever offers a service you rely on, they must ALWAYS continue to provide it or be "appalling"? Isn't "Find somewhere else over the next year" enough consideration for those who had been relying on the service to avoid being "appalling"?

JGF said...

The post itself has a good example of what Apple could have done. Google's closed their Personal Health Record service; but they provided several ways for their customers to migrate data.

I'd have been more impressed if they provided a way to move the data directly to Microsoft Health Vault, but Google didn't do too badly.

Similarly when Google shuttered Google Video, they initially provided few options to move videos. They soon relented however, and moved them to YouTube.

Apple could offer customers options to move data to Google's Picasa. They could offer a complimentary copy of iPhoto to all MobileMe members with features to import online images.

Lastly, I suspect you've never actually tried to move images and videos between services. If you ever do, you will appreciate how little "one years notice" really helps.

Gene Callahan said...

Perhaps you are correct about the photos, JGF. Apple does note that iWeb will move web sites for you.

JGF said...

Yes, they needed an iWeb like solution for their image users. Google's Picasa software, for Win and OS X (Intel) will, for example, retrieve Picasa web albums and all metadata.

I made a wise decision years ago when I chose Google's services over Apple. I don't trust Google's Cloud, but I trust it far more than iCloud.

Anonymous said...

Flashback to October 2009. The Microsoft subsidiary "Danger" lost all the data for T-Mobile's Sidekick customers: Contacts, To-Do lists, photos, and calendars.

At least the company could claim their name warned folks.