One of the lessons of Friendfeed’s buyout by Facebook is that the cloud is not a good place for backup. In an era of the sub-$100 terabyte, the idea that the best place for our data should be anywhere other than right at home is a strange one. Cloud backup is useful as a meta-backup – for example, using Jungledisk and Amazon’s S3 service to backup your local backups – to guard against catastrophe, but should never be your primary repository.
For data like photos, this is pretty much a moot point, as everyone keeps their originals on their disk and uploads select photos to Flickr/Picasa etc (and at lower resolution than the originals). But for text, like blog posts and tweets, most people simply leave their content in the cloud – which includes leaving your wordpress database at your hosting provider rather than on your local disk. I haven’t yet found a good solution for local wordpress database backups but I have written previously about various backup strategies for twitter. Sarah Perez at RWW just did a piece on 10 ways to archive your tweets as well, but most of these are again cloud-based solutions. Marshall Kirkpatrick has a guide to using Google Reader along with Dave Winer’s new OPML tool to consolidate all your tweets and your friends’ tweets, but this isn’t a true backup solution either, as I point out in comments. The point however is as long as the data is in the cloud, it’s not really backed up – data wants to be imprisoned, not set free.
One thought on “backups should be local, not to the cloud”
Aziz, have you tried the WordPress Database Backup plugin? If so, what don’t you like about it? (I use it but have never had to restore from one, luckily.)
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