Could the Digital Cloud Crash and Lose our Digital Storage

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Tablet with cloudThe digital cloud is purported as being the solution for technology users worldwide. Offering users the ability to access data from any web enabled location and reducing the need for external storage drives, the digital cloud seems to be the end all be all of file storage. The question remains however: could the digital cloud crash?

What is the Digital Cloud?

The term “digital cloud” is used to refer to any service that allows for users to store files in an online location so that they can be accessed through any web enabled connection. The “cloud” serves as a massive storage facility and eliminates the need for users to cart around hard drives full of data on a regular basis.

What Makes the Digital Cloud So Appealing?

Aside from the fact that external storage prices are currently fairly expensive and many cloud services are offering free storage options, the cloud allows for global access of digital information.

Why the Digital Cloud Could be a Bad Thing

The Potential for Compromised Data

One of the biggest cons is the fact that when data is stored digitally it can be accessed by prying eyes. Certainly, clouds come with their own security measures, but there are always the possibility of incidences where those with nothing better to do can find their way in to your personal data collection. The potential for a security breach is not a concern for everyone, but for companies and people storing sensitive material, it is a real concern.

The Potential for Lost Data

Compromised data is inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as lost data. The potential for the cloud to crash is a major concern for users. Cloud users rely upon these virtual storage spaces to keep files, but if something were to happen to this storage space there is the potential to lose all data. The prime example of such an occurrence is the 2012 shut down of MegaUpload by the US government. There is no doubt that many users were storing illegally downloaded and uploaded digital data on the MegaUpload service, but there were also users who relied upon the same digital storage space for personal documents, photographs and files. For those who were utilizing MegaUpload for legal purposes, the immediate closing of the site led to a complete loss of their stored information. This leads to an important lesson, users should always have backup copies of everything to prevent complete data loss.

Doesn’t Requiring Data Backups Defeat the Purpose of the Cloud?

The recommendation to always have data backed up elsewhere is met by a look of confusion by those who are somewhat new to the cloud computing concept. Wasn’t cloud computing designed to eliminate the need for physical data backups? Well, yes and no. The cloud was primarily designed to give virtual access to information from any web enabled location. It also just happens to reduce the need for as much physical storage media as used to be required by IT professionals. The point is that the cloud is something of an addition to rather than a substitute of external storage options. As with any method of data storage, there is always the possibility for data to become lost, destroyed, corrupted or changed even when placed on the digital cloud and so backups are a necessity.

Is it Probable that the Digital Cloud will ever Crash?

It has already been established that just like any other method of data storage, the digital cloud can be compromised, but is there a possibility that the entire digital cloud will ever crash? The general consensus is that the entirety of the digital cloud will never be brought to its knees completely. That said, there is a likelihood for specific sectors of the cloud to be brought down.

Think of the digital cloud as being made up by millions of storage companies, each of these companies is allotted a certain set of storage units. The allotted storage units are located throughout the virtual globe. There is a potential that the company that you rent your storage unit from is going to be broken in to or experience a disaster (flood, fire etc.) that results in damage to or loss of your property being stored. This is exactly why renters have renters insurance, or a back up of their personal data. The potential that the same disastrous situation is going to happen to every company that owns storage units throughout the entirety of the digital cloud is slim. That is not to say that one significant worldwide event could not wipe out the cloud for good, but in the smaller scheme of things, the chance for complete eradication of the cloud is minute.

Will the Cloud ever be Reliable enough as an Exclusive Storage Means?

The cloud is a great addition to the IT world, but it should be looked at as an addition and not a replacement to data storage. The idea of trusting personal data to anyone exclusively is one that few people will ever be able to come to terms with and that is primarily why the cloud will never become an exclusive method of storage. This lack of trust is not particularly a negative thing in light of the closure of MegaUpload’s services, but for those who do rely upon digital storage solutions – don’t worry, there is no sign of a digital cloud apocalypse happening anytime soon.

About The Author:

Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet.

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guest
Thank you for the very informative article. I think this probably cleared up some confusion about the digital cloud in general for a lot of people. I don’t foresee that the digital cloud will crash anytime soon, but like many others, I have learned not to rely on only one method of storage for my data like documents, music, photos, and so forth. I do know a lot of people who only rely on the digital cloud and I know some people who only rely on their own computers or external hard drives or flash drives to store their data. The only problem with using any one source is that there are always things that happen which you never expected to happen.

For instance, if you rely only on the digital cloud for storage, what happens when you can’t access the Internet? Yes, your data is safe, but you can’t get to it. If you don’t use digital cloud storage, what happens when your computer crashes or your new puppy eats your flash drive? It’s just always a good idea to use multiple methods of storage. You could save yourself a lot of trouble by doing this. And if all devices fail and you can’t access the Internet, it must be time to take a day off.

Guest
I really had not given much thought to the digital cloud. It seems like it is one of those thing that most of us do not think about and just assume will always be there. The irony is that the very creation of the digital cloud should serve to remind us that we should always have a backup plan. I do not really think that the digital cloud is going to crash anytime in the near future, but I like to keep my data in multiple places just because it is a habit I have developed after losing more data than I ever wanted to. I keep flash drives and I am looking into a couple of different options for online storage right now. I have found that one of the best practices is not to keep everything in one place, so I tend to keep multiple copies of everything saved in different places for different reasons.

Even though there is no sign that the digital cloud will crash anytime in the ear future, I still think that people would be wise to use multiple methods for saving their data. You take it for granted while you have it, but you always regret it once you lose it. Don’t wait for it to happen before you do something.

Guest
I don’t think most people realize how important the digital cloud is. No matter how much you back up at hoe, if you need instant access to your information and you don’t happen to carry storage with you at all times, the ability to access your information from anywhere, using any computer could very well save your business. Granted, there are people who don’t work online and might not know what I mean, but for those that do, you know exactly what I mean. Or you will if your computer ever crashes and you can’t get your information.

On the other hand, I think homeowners and families should be aware of how beneficial this can be. What if you have a house fire or a flood? True, you may not be worried about your items and just be grateful that your family is safe, but eventually you will be wanting copies of receipts for your insurance company. And sooner or later, you might realize that while you were smart enough to keep all your photos on a flash drive, that flash drive went up with everything else. I’m just saying, don’t underestimate how useful the digital cloud is.

guest
I get the idea of storing information and files on a digital cloud. It’s like having a filing cabinet that never gets full. You don’t even have to maintain it, move it around, or organize it. But I think we have made similar mistakes before.

We relied totally on oil like it was a never ending source. Look how well that turned out. We put our banking information and access capabilities on small plastic cards and soon every hacker on the planet was shopping to beat the band. There is just always going to be some unforeseen issue or some thief in the night. That’s just the way things go. So, do I trust my information to the digital cloud? In one sense, yes. But I wouldn’t put anything in there that I wouldn’t put on Facebook because you never know who is going to get into it.

As far as the digital cloud crashing, that’s a given. Nothing lasts forever. Sooner or later we all might get that through our heads, though I suspect it will be later. It is technology, something made by man. That means it has flaws, a hairline fracture somewhere that we won’t see until it’s too late.

guest
This is something I had never considered and I can’t believe it never occurred to me. However, this could be devastating to those that rely on digital storage. Personally, I enjoy digital storage because it allows me to access my music, documents, and books from anywhere. I do find it important though to use digital storage as a secondary source. For example, I keep the media on my own storage devices while also having them on the cloud.

This ensures that should something happen, and I can’t access the cloud due to internet issues, I can still access my media. I think it’s a very bad idea to rely on one source to house your digital items. I do see cloud storage becoming more and more popular. People love the idea of being able to access infinite amounts of technology without taking up a lot of space in their home. More importantly though, people love to access items from anywhere, whether it be work, school, or the local coffee shop. For that simple reason alone, I believe cloud storage will continue to grow. As for it being the end all, be all of digital storage, who knows. The latest technology always looks great to begin with, but eventually it becomes as outdated as the filing cabinet.

Anonymous
I had not really thought about it before I read this article, but I store a ridiculous amount of data online and “in the cloud” so to speak. The idea of it all of a sudden going away due to some kind of catastrophic crash really scares me.

I am a Gmail user and I also keep my date planner and calendar on the Google servers. Literally my entire address book is stored there where I can access it from any computer as well as my own personal smart phone. The smart phone is a Google Android device also, so when I bought it, it automatically synced with Google to load all of my data. It is obviously very convenient, but with convenience comes some risk.

I never thought about the potential for a crash because I always assumed that Google will just be there indefinitely. That is quite a concept for a for-profit company that no matter how big they become can always come crashing down at some point. Just look at Goldman-Sachs from a few years ago. Nobody thought they would go down but they sure did.

Anonymous
The crash of the cloud is probably something nobody really ever thinks about but as shown in this article, we know anything is possible. Keeping data on the cloud is a brilliant concept. As a user, being able to access crucial data and files from literally anywhere in the world I can access the internet is a tremendous advantage to have and an incredible convenience. The problem is it is very easy to lean too heavily on this technology and then have no second course of action should anything happen to the infrastructure.

Once something does happen, you can expect countless amounts of users going positively insane with rage and try to blame whomever they think they can. Once the finger gets pointed, then you can count on lawsuits to follow. The advantage of the cloud clearly benefits business users the most and they also have the most to lose should they not be able to access the things they need the most. That monetary loss puts a figure on the value of the service and thus it can be claimed as a recoverable loss by some crafty lawyer and then we will all pay more to use it.

Anonymous
You have been hearing a lot these days about the digital cloud and cloud storage options. All of this leads to the question of what exactly is the digital cloud. Moreover, could this cloud (or whatever it is) actually crash and cause a huge loss of data?

Essentially, the digital cloud is comprised of a huge number of data storage companies all over the world. They each have been allocated certain parts and their servers are also physically located all over the world. As a customer joins and has their data backed up, it will be physically stored across a number of different servers, each located in different areas.

This makes the potential of ever losing all of your data very remote. Certainly, it is possible for specific sections of the digital cloud to crash, due to a cyber attack or some type of computer virus. However, it is highly unlikely that the entire cloud would ever be compromised to such a degree. It would be advisable to consider cloud storage as simply one of your data storage methods and certainly not the only method.

a web rocker
The digital cloud is really just a technical way of saying the ability to store your data on a number of different servers in a number of different physical locations. What has made this all possible is how highly interconnected everything is today. The whole idea behind the concept of the digital cloud is to make things safer and more secure by ensuring that pieces of data are stored in separate physical servers in different locations.

Some people have actually posed the question as to whether or not the digital cloud could actually crash. I guess this sort of depends on your definition of an actual crash, and how technical you wanted to get into this point. For my money, the answer is no. The cloud will not crash. There certainly may be parts or pieces of the cloud which will have a hiccup a time or two, but if someone had data all across the cloud, there would be virtually no way that they would ever lose everything (or even anything more than a very tiny portion). Relax, your data is safe!