I was very happy with the feedback that we received after publishing our initial look at the pros and cons of cloud computing as well as the different alternatives that currently exist in the cloud space. There were still some point to be discussed though so I thought it might be worth it to write one final post about the subject. Since things are changing so quickly, I’m sure we will be able to take another look a few months from now.
Is Cloud Computing Really Green?
There are of course no easy answers. You’d think we could get a clear answer but there are several studies saying that it’s not as green as we could think. They do usually still end up concluding that it is still greener and I think the critical part is that there are huge economies of scale to be made. When companies such as Google start building wind farms to get access to cheap, green energy for their server farms, you can imagine that as cloud computing becomes bigger, its impact in terms of savings as well as its impact on the environment will be significant.While Green Peace and Microsoft argue, there is still a general consensus that cloud computing is still much greener, you can read about it in an interesting article on Forbes.
Is Encrypting Data A Good Idea?
Absolutely, especially if you are putting more sensitive data such as tax returns, personal financial information, etc. I would argue that unfortunately, there are no truly easy and straight forward ways to do this right now. I’m certain it will be done though as it does seem like an obvious need in this era.
There is still some data that I have yet to add to the clouds. I guess it’s a process that we all gradually get used to and I’m quite certain that at some point, all of my data will be there. For example, I have not yet moved my financial data although I do expect to do that. I did start moving some of my passwords and other more sensitive files. One thing I would not personally do anytime soon is have such important files stored only in the clouds on one service. I still think there are risks, no matter how small, so I prefer having a service such as Dropbox or Google Drive which ensure that the files are both in the clouds and on my hard drive:)
On Going Paperless
I have to say, I’m still a bit far away from considering myself paperless. It will happen at some point but for now I’m simply focused on moving more and more of mystuff into the clouds, ideally automating some processes at the same time to make my life simpler and my boxes and storage at home much lighter!!!
How Much Storage Do I Need?
Chances are that you need much less space than I do. I love photography and have over 100GB of photos alone… losing those would be heartbreaking and devastating on so many levels! So how do I currently backup my things:
Things might change but I currently prefer using Dropbox than anything else. I was thrilled to see their prices come down and while it’s still more expensive than Google Drive, it’s close enough for me to live very well using the service I prefer.