Hurricane Sandy Tests My Cloud Limits

The cloud comes through, for the most part, in emergency situations. Here's my personal journey so far as the big weather event blows through.

Like millions of people in the Northeast, I am hunkering down as Hurricane Sandy is living up to its promise as the worst storm to hit this region in decades.

We have been told to expect power outages of anywhere from seven to 10 days -- not a prospect I am looking forward to if that prediction comes true. Call me a prima-donna, but I'm not one who enjoys roughing it, even though as a child I did my share of camping. But that was a long time ago.

I have done everything I can do to prepare for this storm. Stocked up on batteries early on (you can't find D batteries anywhere now to save your life), water , non-perishable food and an extra bottle of wine. And because business doesn't stop, of course I did whatever I could to ensure I could work, presuming we are otherwise safe.

First I purchased a myCharge device, which will let us charge our cell phones up to three times without having to do so using the car charger. Then of course I made sure my data was backed up both on a portable flash drive that I will carry with me but also in the cloud. I also purchased a converter that will let me charge my netbook via the car's battery

To ensure data is available, I backed it up to two personal cloud sites, Dropbox and Microsoft's SkyDrive. That is an approach I wouldn't have done in the past but given the number of highly publicized outages that Amazon Web Services (including one last week), Microsoft, Google and others have experienced, I believe redundancy greatly increases the likelihood of data availability.

Many are still reluctant to use cloud services to back up their personal files and I admit I have had my reservations. But I have come to the conclusion that the risk of anyone accessing my data is far less probable than the threat of losing files and photos if a catastrophe were to strike. And businesses need to think in the same way, while taking the appropriate measures to secure sensitive data.

How has Hurricane Sandy changed your thinking or use of cloud services both personally or for business critical data?

Respond below or e-mail me at jschwartz@1105media.com.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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