Saturday, June 13, 2009

Archive Data in a cloud?

Just recently read an article where a company is providing the service of putting archived data in the cloud. However, I cannot think of the rationale behind this service.

Coming from the definition angle, I do not see the advantage of putting archives in the cloud. Information is processed data. Using the example of reports, reports consolidate data from single or multiple sources into a form where it's understandable by the user. Will the user understand data that consists of codes and text? BCNF data? Not likely...

The archived data will only be useful after the application processes it. Translated... The data should reside in the same place as where your application is hosted. Therefore, I do not understand the logic behind separating the archiving service, from your application hosting service.

When we talk about archiving, we need to also take into account how fast we can get the backup services online in the event of a system failure. By using an archiving service, you will have an additional external dependency while bringing your system back online. Personally based on experience, I have more trust in a tape or image backup, then using a service backup. Anything with a human factor complicates things.

I also couldn't imagine the load on the network to archive data into a cloud. And the security aspect? Just imagine your personal identity numbers being transmitted to a cloud for storage.

So what's the business rationale behind such a service? Further outsourcing of components within the cloud? Hmm...

P.S: On a side note, the Amazon Cloud was down recently after a lightning strike at one of their data centers.

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