Your thoughts on cloud storage?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gdourado, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. gdourado macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2010

    How are you?
    So, today I was thinking about cloud storage...
    I've been hearing quite a bit about it later, and now it seems that this year it is going to be all about cloud storage...
    Amazon has it, Apple has it, Google has it with it's google drive, Adobe will have it with the CS6 suites... And then there is everything else, like Dropbox, Mozy, Carbonite, Crashplan...

    So, what's your take on this?
    Do you use it for offsite backups?
    How do you fell about dropping hundreds of gigabytes of your pictures and files to some servers around the world?
    Are they good products to use as a backup solution?
    Do they bring concerns about privacy or about picture theft?

    I would really like to know your thoughts on this.

    Thank you.
    Best wishes!
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    It comes down to reading each company's privacy policy and picking the one that suits you best.

    I back up my whole computer with Carbonite - which is sold as a secure solution - so there isn't any reason to think they will do anything with the files, because it will open themselves to a lawsuit.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Well first and foremost, don't keep your only copy of anything in the "cloud". Also, I would keep more traditional backups even if you wanted to use cloud storage for offsite storage.

    You're talking hundreds of gigabytes. Look at the cost of that. Also, how long will it take you to back up new and modified photos each day based on your net connection. Does your internet provider have a data transfer cap? Most cable internet services in the US have them.

    Yes, the cloud seems to be the future, however, I don't think all the kinks are worked out yet. Some of them have issues with characters that are valid in filenames under OS X.
  4. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    Yes, I wouldn't consign unique pix to any media. In future I can envisage backing up to the cloud, plus maybe 2x 'physical' media...
  5. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    I don't trust the "cloud" and prefer to limit my use of it. Not to mention how much bandwidth is required when I have to upload and download RAW files that are about 20 MB each. It may be fine if I have broadband, but that's not always an option when I am traveling. I prefer to do local backups.
  6. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    I don't trust anyone with all my files. Considering I'm 98% paperless it would be a very stupid move. Not even Carbonite or those types of pay services. Once it's in the cloud you've lost all control.

    You give them your files and they give you access via the Internet. If you lose Internet connectivity you're screwed. If their servers come under attack or a natural disaster, you're screwed.

    My data is as safe as any because it's stored on my primary server, backed up by my Synology multi-disk NAS. Residing at home, this network is not connected to the Internet. Therefore no one can breach the system. Copies are kept off site.

    My secondary, equally robust network, is connected to the Internet and serves all the required functions. Backed up by a second Synology NAS, I also keep copies offsite. The advantage of spending the time and money to create a safe computing environment is more that worth it to me.

    I do use cloud services, but only for working files that don't contain personal financial, or other sensitive data. Clouds are great for sharing, which is the primary way I use them.
  7. odagled2004 macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2011
    I am looking into cloud services as well. Of course, I'd continue to make a physical back up. I'm thinking saving my aperture libraries & individual files in the cloud, but in an encrypted zip file or something similar.
  8. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    whaste of time imo - wireless time machine does the backup
  9. ECFinMD macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2012
    Multiple backups are essential. I use time machine to external HD at home and to a different drive at work. I use CrashPlan both to their cloud servers and to a local hard disk on a server on my home network. I paid CrashPlan a fee ($100?) to send me a 1TB drive that I used to seed the backups and then mailed it back to them. It was worth it to get the cloud backup fast. I have had several backup drives go bad, so having multiples is definitely worthwhile.
  10. someoldguy macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2009
    Personally , I have no desire to send anything I consider important out into the ozone for storage . Don't trust the cloud , don't like the potential loss of control over my stuff . No issues with photosharing sites , just won't put anything of import on them . My backup storage is a Time Machine drive in a Mac Pro , plus a dedicated archive drive , plus DVD backup of my ' keeper' photos done every couple of months .
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    The security concerns can be ameliorated by using the right software: in addition to TimeMachine, I use xTwin which packages your files into encrypted and zipped blocks. That makes it easier to send them over a network (if sending a 1 GB file fails, you don't need to start over again by sending another 1 GB worth of data). It also directly ties in with Amazon S3, WebDAV and a host of other protocols. That means your storage provider has zero chance to take a peek at your data -- unless it has your password. I haven't used it with a server yet, but that'd definitely be an option.

    I would not use Dropbox for online backups of photos since 100 GB is nowhere near enough to host my Aperture library. I use Dropbox for my (text) documents and active research projects.
  12. mrholder macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2009
    I use Carbonite for an offsite emergency backup. And like you, I'm not familiar with the plans and benefits of each cloud provider, but I would like to find one where I can permanently store a file in the cloud, even after I delete it from my internal drive to save space. Right now, my Carbonite setup only backs up the files that are still on my computer.
  13. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Yeah I am a little wary of relying heavily on a cloud system. First there is the bandwidth issue, and second is the privacy/security thing.

    One option I might consider is doing a colocation thing, where you provide (and own and control) the hardware and the colocation service houses it in a server rack and gives you reliable electricity and internet connection. For example is one such service. You buy your own mac mini and they just house it in a server room. This way, you still own the hardware and the data, you just pay someone to house it in a facility that is better than your house and your residential-class internet connection. I think in this setup, privacy concerns are less of an issue because you are the only one in control of the data. But also remember that you are also the only one responsible for it too. :)

    Either that or just set up your own "cloud" from your house. I am not super familiar but OSX Server is designed just for things like this. Obviously this would not work as an off-site backup, but for image hosting, etc, it may be a more secure and controllable route.
  14. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
  15. Xeep macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2010
    I'll soon be using Google to back-up irreplaceable files, such as photos. I would never use the cloud for primary storage though. I have a Time Machine backup on an external drive, but that backup will do nothing if my house burns down or someone steals my stuff. So Cloud storage makes perfect sense for me.
  16. whiteonline macrumors 6502


    Aug 19, 2011
    California, USA
    Cloud storage is for convenience. You should never think of it as a backup method (even if it one of multiple copies). It's only backup storage if the provider guarantees data integrity, which is most certainly not the case if the service is free.
  17. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    A guarantee of data integrity is meaningless. People discover this when their data is gone.
  18. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Oh I have a backup of a few things in the cloud but it is one of many. I can and do consider it as a true backup but because I thing the idea of cloud storage and data integrity are hilarious, I also keep physical backups elsewhere.
  19. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Professional cloud storage providers (i. e. the ones you pay for, think Amazon S3) do offer some guarantees in terms of minimum uptime and such. I do agree with your general strategy to use the cloud as one of many backup locations. I use two external hard drives for general backups (located at home and at work), one dedicated external hard drive for my Aperture vaults and Dropbox for current work documents.
  20. driftless macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2011
    I used Crashplan for a few months but I was blowing through my monthly 250 GB FCC/Comcast bandwidth. I wasn't warned by Comcast but I could see it coming. I do have some pictures in Dropbox and that works well. I am thinking of adding another, redundant drive/array and every couple of weeks sticking my backups in the safety deposit box.
  21. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    The real question is, do you know what country your cloud storage will be in? With Gmail for instance, your mail is on a few mail servers for redundancy and those are spread out around the world. (Unless you're a company or government that pays to have the mail in restricted geographies.)

    Will whatever you store be legal in the countries that your data is copied to? What happens if the law enforcement in that country gets in to that data for whatever reason? Just things to think about.

    Also, remember you tend to get what you pay for.

    A good idea.
  22. fitshaced macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2011
    I think google drive cloud is a useful tool. My parents are on the other side of the world. And, if I want to send them pictures (without sizing them to 3mb or smaller each) I can share them via cloud.

    Backup? No way.
  23. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    Just signed up for crashplan

    I just signed up for crashplan and will add it to my backup strategy. For the price of a WD passport drive I have 2 years of unlimited cloud storage. I will still continue my local back plan but if case of fire, theft or earthquake my photos from the last 30 years are covered.
    Here is my strategy (400GB Photos)
    I keep a time machine & weekly superduper backup by the computer.
    1 GB HD at the office gets updated every 10 days
    1Gb 2.5" Portable HD I carry in my bag (I may need a files durning the day)
    1 GB HD stored in the garage gets updated once a month
    Cloud storage via Crashplan
  24. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    Search "Dgital Railroad" and see what happens when cloud storage goes wrong.

    It's a good idea, but as others have said, I would not use it as my only "backup"
  25. 365Imagery macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2012
    Kansas City
    Cloud storage is awesome .. well ... when it comes to pics from my iPhone :D

Share This Page