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Summary:

Online applications are great. Being able to access valuable information from wherever you are located in the world, and not being tied down to one computer is one of the main benefits of this Web 2.0 era. Email can be accessed though online webmail applications like […]

Online applications are great. Being able to access valuable information from wherever you are located in the world, and not being tied down to one computer is one of the main benefits of this Web 2.0 era.

Email can be accessed though online webmail applications like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AIM, and many others. Word and Spreadsheet applications can be stored, worked on, and collaborated care of Google’s tools, and Zoho amongst others. Task lists can be updated and reminders set with Stikkit. Calendars and appointments are tracked with Google Calendar and 30 boxes.

We use online storage solutions like Xdrive or Box.net to store information, and our 100GB hard drives almost become obsolete. Some companies like Linutop out there are even selling systems with no hard drives particularly for web based application users.

Everything is all good, and these companies do offer valuable online services, but what happens when disaster strikes? Storage servers do go down. Companies do go bankrupt. Companies get bought over, and liquidated. Where does our information go? Is it still secure? How do we recover our lost files and information?

I have been thinking allot about this lately, as it seems this year that more and more of my information gets stored online. Thus I have been working out a plan to schedule in timely preventative maintenance techniques, to ensure that my data is always backed up.

As for data security, if one of the online companies I do deal with goes under, and servers liquidated to who knows who, I do not store any secure, or highly important valuable information. Just regular everyday unimportant information that would normally mean nothing to anyone else that might get their hands on it.

Do you use online applications where you store your information like calendars, words, files? Do you have any plans to ensure that you are always backed up? What are the techniques that you use?

  1. I’m moving back away for online storage. I used to think it was great, and apps like Gmail allowed me easy access to data, but now I combine it with ‘off-web’ storage via downloading emails to my PC and then backing up.

    The day I was stuck on the phone with a client and could not access my Gmail calender, hence making me look like an arse was the clincher.

    May even get another paper diary for 2007 :-O

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  2. [...] On GigaOM Network Today: Written by Om Malik- Posted Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 8:00 AM PT Stumbling for good videos, Stumble Upon launches new video discovery engine.Online apps might be all that, as Bill G says, but they are not without their shortcomings.Ask WWD: Am I a Web Designer or a Web Developer?Midnight Inbox, wait for version 2.0 to get things done.CDMA family takes care of its own, Sprint COO joins Qualcomm [...]

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  3. [...] It takes sitting through only one blackout in a dark house to get you to make sure you have candles, fresh batteries, portable radio, analog phone, etc. handy at all times thereafter. This morning, Chris posted about the downfall of online applications, focusing on what you would do if the online data you were counting on wasn’t there. Let’s look at that another way…what if the data is fine, but you can’t get to it? As a web worker, your connection to your professional life is held together by your connection to the Internet. There are days where that cord feels more like a fishing line than a sturdy, thick rope. [...]

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  4. Addressing the Downfalls of Online Applications

    Chris Gilmer from Web Worker Daily raises some valid concerns in his post on The Downfalls of online applications. As he says…
    Everything is all good, and these companies do offer valuable online services, but what happens when disaster strikes?…

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  5. [...] Chris Gillmer asks the same question on Web Worker Daily in a post titled "The Downfalls of Online Applications".  He points out that you need to consider what happens not just when the lights go out but also if/when the company providing the service closes down, is bought out or disappears down a sinkhole?  Less dramatically, what happens if that service is hit by a denial of service attack or some other connectivity interruption? [...]

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  6. [...] There’s a nice query article back at WebWorker Daily about The Downfalls of Online Applications. It’s about the future security of our data in these services as well as it’s trustworthiness. [...]

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  7. Agreed, online only data can cause issues. However, there are a lot of other concerns from end user angle, including split of data across too many web sites. This would certainly not be good from a long term perspective.

    As major corporates have learnt, individuals would soon start seeing that, it is the data that is precious. and they could start seeing that as a barrier in using many upcoming hosted services.

    Here are some more points about the short comings of web apps. http://pullur.wordpress.com/2006/12/07/3-things-missing-with-web-apps/

    Jay

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  8. [...] The Downfalls of Online Applications [...]

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  9. Net in the US is far too slow and asymmetrical to be useful for many of these things.

    The security piece is (as many have pointed out) a major barrier.

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  10. There was a similar question asked in the last SaaSCon, San Francisco during the CIO panel….”What happens if the service goes down?” and one of the CIO replied back, “even if my internal service goes down, hosted by our own IT dept….”

    The same applies here…What happens if your hard disk crashes or your loose your laptop on travel?

    I have no problem in using Google calender OR Google docs.
    The future is going to be web based computing.

    Uday.

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