A newsletter reader today wrote to draw my attention to an online article in Wired at http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/11/megaupload-data-what-to-do/ that describes a problem with lost data. An online file storage service, called Megaupload, was closed down by authorities because of questionable copyrights practices. I wrote about Megaupload before, see http://goo.gl/nf3DG for my past articles.
In short, anyone who entrusted their information to Megaupload lost all that data when the authorities shut the servers down. In my opinion, those people got what they deserved. The article in Wired ignores one of the basic rules of data processing that has been true for 50 years or more: "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."
Anyone who uploads data to the cloud and doesn't keep a duplicate copy someplace else absolutely will have problems some day. Period. All professional I.T. managers all know that you always store multiple copies of your data in multiple locations. That was true long before the cloud was invented and I suspect it will be true for another 50 years or more.
If you store all your data on a hard drive and no place else, you will lose that data when the hard drive crashes. If you store all your data on a CD-ROM disk and no place else, you will lose that data when the disk becomes defective (and all CD-ROM disks will become defective some day). If you store all your data on paper and no place else, you will lose that data when the paper is destroyed by fire, flood, burst water pipes, mildew, mold, insects, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or any of the many other problems that destroy paper.
Storing data in the cloud is no different than storing data anyplace else: never, ever trust one copy. Always have duplicate copies, preferably on different kinds of media, and store them in different locations. If any one copy becomes unavailable, such as what happened at Megaupload, the owner of the data suffers a mild inconvenience. Nothing more. After all, he or she still has other copies.
Where is YOUR data stored?