Living in the Cloud(s)
Posted by Todd McKinney on April 2, 2008
There was a discussion going around some parts of the blogosphere late last year about data archiving. I haven’t seen much about it lately. Partially inspired by my own vulnerability to data loss, and also by sympathy for Corvida retooling due to hosting problems, I think it’s about time to bring this back up.
The original discussion from last year that I was remembering was triggered by the tragic death of Marc Orchant. Not very long afterwards, the discussion turned to the fact that it would be a shame if all his work just disappeared. Scoble and Winer both weighed in with a call to figure this out, and Frederic had a down-to-earth suggestion that we should just print what we want preserved if we really want to survive technology changes. Frederic has a pretty good point, but I would really like to have something that is a bit more discoverable over the network than a pile of paper. The paper backup is probably a really reasonable redundancy step, however.
The other side of this coin has a lot less to do with preserving a legacy for future anthropology studies, and a lot more to do with preserving our sanity in the here and now. With a lot of content that gets generated nowadays, we really have a serious lack of redundancy built in. In the age of Google and seemingly endless disk capacity out in the cloud(s), would it really be so difficult to do something like RAID 1 for web data?
So, who’s fixing this?
The one voice that I hear consistently talking about the need for a solution to this problem is John Udell. Is there anywhere else I should be looking to find the people that are diligently working to come up with an answer? I’m just starting down the road to looking into it more deeply, so any pointers would be appreciated. One thing does seem obvious about this – there’s a clear need here that seems to resonate with people. It also seems likely that if a reasonable solution was in place, it would be easy enough to find. Even if I couldn’t hunt it down I would expect that well-connected smart people like those I’ve linked to above would have come up with something. Those factors alone make this seem like an area that has a lot of potential for “innovation”. I’ve also got enough faith in our industry to expect that someone is going to knock this one out of the park (at which point we will all look back and say “gee, that was obvious”).
photo credit Kables