Reports today from CRN and InformationAge suggest that cloud storage provider Nirvanix is about to shut down, with customers being given just two weeks to move their data elsewhere.
As you’d expect, Twitter was quick to fill up with tweets decrying the fact that another cloud-based solution was biting the dust, while some companies chimed in to offer their own services as an alternative to Nirvanix. Others offered a view on the broader topic of cloud storage, underlining the fact that you don’t actually own anything that you store in it:
@SFoskett Funny, all I got out of the #Nirvanix story was have a backup strategy and never ever trust anything you don't own.— Steven J. Schuchart (@sjschuchart) September 18, 2013
While the cloud can be an exceptionally convenient solution, and is what enables many small to medium businesses to operate without incurring large overheads, it is by no means perfect. Whenever you entrust your data to a cloud provider or a third-party, you are effectively giving them ownership of your content, and relinquishing your ability to safeguard your data personally.
At SocialSafe, we believe that data ownership is one of, if not the most important aspect to digital content. We’d be inclined to agree with the view of the gentleman above, in that it doesn’t matter how many assurances you may receive from the people holding your content in the cloud, your data is never truly your data unless you own it. Any by ‘own it’, we mean being able to access a local copy, even offline, at any time.
People tend to forget how much important information they store on social networks, and that this information is not necessarily going to be around forever. Social networks can be subject to malicious attacks and data breaches, and as we have been reminded today, cloud storage providers can often serve eviction notices with very little warning.
If your data is important to you, make sure that you don’t just keep it in the cloud, but that you have a local backup in place that you yourself own.