Storage as a Way of Life – Part 3 – Potential Problems
With so much ease afforded me by the technology and available services, I would presume that any problems will be taken care of by the product vendors or service providers. However, that is not, necessarily, the case.
And here’s why.
The very systems that make my work easier and me more productive also require additional resources (not as necessary or required when I keep “stuff” myself). Cloud providers require additional security, redundancy (the ability to recover from normal, expected glitches and technical hitches that are a consequence of large-scale services), and data duplication in order to function. Security involves protection from cybercrime, intrusions, and identity validation for customers and clients. Redundancy involves data snapshots, backups, caching, and web performance optimization that requires maintenance of multiple instances of similar and often changing data throughout the resources sites throughout the world. The data available at each of these locations will take time to catch-up with changes made at the location closet to you. And if one or more of these CDN (Content Delivery Network) sites goes down or offline, others will automatically fill-in (from a more distant location) to provide your data. But there’s no guarantee that in the short term (minutes or hours usually) that it will be synchronized with any changes that you have made.
And Cloud provider systems also introduce latency into the services mix. This means that the amount of time it takes for our data to get to our computing device is much longer than it would be if it was available locally. And I do notice it whenever my performance expectations when working in the cloud are compared with working locally. For this reason alone, I usually save (or download in advance) important files that I need to work on without the need for distanct storage at the time.
Now the technical requirements (potential shortcomings) of these distributed systems shouldn’t force me or anyone else to abandon cloud storage or retreat to my own DAS storage or locally contained data. But they do require that we all think carefully about the implications of trusting our “stuff” to others, especially those at unknown, unseen locations elsewhere.
Next: Storage as a Way of Life – Part 4 – More Problems