CES/PMA is having a mini-conference called the Future Imaging Summit. I’m on the panel on software, so I’ve been pondering what software is going to look like in five years, at least as it pertains to photography.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on where you think it’s going to be and what you expect.
Do you want a Canon 5D markV running Android and apps?
Do you want it easier to add metadata like keywords?
Editing in the cloud?
3D photos? (god forbid ;-)
It will be interesting to see what kind of changes happen to photography over the next five years. One trend that will definitely Continue reading The Future of Photography →
So I don’t get it when people freak out about cloud services going down. It’s the internet. Outages happen. Actually, they happen to any electronics.
Should they happen frequently? No, of course not. But Google Talk going down for half a day, Twitter, Salesforce, and Amazon all having recent outages have made it clear that you can’t trust the cloud 100%. Which is only to say that you should have backup plans in the event the cloud service you’re using or your internet connection go down temporarily (hello? Comcast? Anyone home?).
Furthermore, you should make sure all the data on your cloud service is backed up locally in the event the cloud service you’re using goes down permanently. This is a real risk if you’re using any cloud service that isn’t Amazon or Google. And even then, I’ve heard of Google deleting accounts by mistake in such a way they were unrecoverable. I back up all my Google docs once a week and download a copy of important documents as soon as I finish them.
While I have photos stored online, the originals are safely on a RAID 1 hard drive. I’ve written about the failure of Digital Railroad before, which was a photo storage site that went bellyup and gave users about 12 hours to download their photos before shutting off the servers. When startups go down, they go down hard since they usually try to hold on until the last dollar runs out. When the money runs out, you can’t pay for bandwidth fees, and then darkness comes (and the ice weasels. Beware the ice weasels).
So don’t get me wrong, I think the cloud is great. But as with anything, it’s good to know the limitations and be able to work around them.
I’ve ranted about clouds before… but this is actually in defense of them. There’s been a lot of todo about Amazon’s Elastic Cloud service going down for a couple days. The truth is, no solution is perfect.
If you’re going to use the cloud, it doesn’t matter if you’re FourSquare or just an editor storing some old video… you need to have a backup plan. Technology just isn’t perfect and never will be. For all those people dismissing the cloud because of the Amazon failure, I’ll remind you of the RackSpace failure a couple years ago. Click here for more info on that… but hosting companies, even high-end, We-promise-you-10000%-uptime-and-you’re-going-to-pay-for-it, hosting companies like RackSpace suffer data center wide outages. So the cloud isn’t perfect. Neither is anything else. Sometimes it’s good to remember that as we decide what to do with our critical data.
The answer, in a nutshell, is no.
I’ve written about this before… when Digital Railroad failed a couple years ago and gave photographers 24 hours to download their photos, it should have been a big wake up call for photographers that these services can’t be trusted as archives (at least, not without offline backups as well). Now, maybe they can’t even be trusted as temporary storage. With tech companies it’s all good… until it’s not. Then the CEO announces everyone is laid off and the servers are shut down. I’ve been part of startups where this has happened. As Jason Perlow points out in an excellent blog post ‘Flickr: Too big to fail?’, Flickr is not too big to fail.
AND even if it doesn’t fail, that doesn’t mean your account won’t be accidentally deleted and since Flickr doesn’t have backups of your data, there goes all your photos. Which means all the links on your blog or web site that point to Flickr (or Vimeo or…) get broken requiring a lot of time and aggravation fixing your site. Assuming you have all those photos backup in a single place and you don’t have to go rooting around for the particular photos/videos you uploaded… which would involve even more time.
I’ll point out that I think these sites are great usually. I use them, particularly vimeo. However, it’s important to know what will happen if things go wrong and to know what you’re in for.
Anyways, give Jason’s blog a read… it brings up some good questions and concerns.