The Nirvanix shut down created panic. What if your cloud service provider follows suit? Is it safe to transfer data to the cloud? How does one recover huge amounts of data entrusted to the cloud service, if the service suddenly decides to close shop? Smart cloud adopters are never fazed by these shutdowns! They have learnt the tricks of the trade and know how to hit the ground running even when their cloud service provider goes out of business. What is their secret?
They do not wait for bandwidth constraints to jam up their systems and force them to give up on their data. Most cloud vendors have the facility of backing up your data to removable media directly from their servers. This data will be copied in the encrypted format and can be shipped back to you. Ask your cloud vendor whether such a facility is available with them. Get your data shipped back to you in removable disk drives at frequent intervals for secure storage in your storage vaults.
Alternately, set up a remote server with a high speed Internet connection and ample bandwidth for transferring your data at frequent intervals during the lifetime of your contract with your cloud service provider. Many service providers permit simultaneous streaming of information to the local backup repositories, even when the data is being streamed to the remote cloud server owned by the service provider.
A few service providers offer local backup appliances or devices (as part of their package) that can connect to your network and download / replicate and mirror information that is streamed from various locations to the remote server in the cloud. This appliance / device remains with you and will be available to you even when your service provider goes out of business.
Smart users do know where their data is stored and how they can get their vendor to purge the data before the shut down. First, they sign up for services that allow them to encrypt the data with a user-defined impregnable key that remains in their custody. Un-purged data will pose no danger, as it cannot be decrypted without the key, and if accessed, it will make no sense to the person accessing. Second, they study the Service Level Agreement (SLA) in great detail and insist on the inclusion of purge clauses. They know exactly how their data is shared or used by the cloud service vendor and have control over their data at all times. They may even insist on the facility to “Delete” data from their end from all or any of the servers that are maintained by the cloud service vendor and go in and delete the data themselves.