Backing Up Your Cloud

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Have you made the move to the cloud? Is your email up on Google? Are your pictures up on Flickr? Are your most important thoughts on Blogger or Word Press? Have you ever considered what would happen to that data if the service you were using went under, gets gobbled up by a competitor, has a change in service policies, or even closes your account because of a violation of their service agreement, for real or by misunderstanding? Is your data gone? Can you ever get it back?

The answer may vary by service provider and circumstance but there are services out there that allow a backup of those portions of your life that exist in the cloud. One such service is Backupify,which is offering free sign-ups until January 31.  After January 31, they will move to a “free-mium” model where limited services are offered for free and their whole package will have a fee. Right now as a new service they are encouraging folks to use the free sign ups to “stress test” their system before moving to the paid model. If you sign up before January 31, 2010 your subscription will be free now and forever.

When you sign up, you give Backupify permission to access your accounts on services such as Twitter, Delicious, Flickr, Zoho, and Google Docs. They have services such as Gmail, Facebook, and Blogger in beta and services such as YouTube and Xmarks are listed as coming soon.  You can backup on their Amazon S3 servers or if you have an Amazon S3 account you can use them to back up there.

Now I wish that I could say how well Backupify works and share more information about how they format the data as they back up and how the restore process works, but if they wanted a stress test, they got one. A note on their blog details that their efforts to ramp up by offering the service free until the end of January, did break parts of the system and that about 10% of the user base is not getting service, especially  those with large Gmail and Twitter accounts. I find myself in that 10%.  While I set my accounts up a couple of days ago, my profile and history shows no movement of files to Backupify. Their blog does report that Backupify has identified the
“bottlenecks” in the system
causing the problems and that they will be back on track soon. They thank their users for “breaking” the system as part of their stress test. To which I say, you’re welcome, I think.

Being one who does not mind stepping beyond the leading edge, out onto the bleeding edge on occasion,  I remain optimistic that the Backupify folks will stay true to their pledge and the bulk of my online life will be backed up with their service.  If you don’t mind a few nicks and cuts out there on the bleeding edge as Backupify grows into a maor service this may be a service for you and, if you act before January 31, you get those two magic words, “free” and “forever” connected to your account.

There is a good discussion of Backupify and the pros and cons of  backing up your cloud computing on the January 13, 2010 episode of the Net@Night (#135) podcastLeo Laporte and Amber MacArthur interviewed Robert May the founder of Backupify.


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