Recently, I’ve relocated (temporarily) and for whatever reason, my new internet connection does not play well with gMail (or any Google app, really) at all. I have had a very difficult time accessing my email the past few days, and got my first real taste of what life is like when the cloud evaporates.
As I have said in this forum before, I have centralized my online presence using Google’s tools. I thought that this would avoid problems like I’m experiencing, banking on the fact that Google achieves 100% uptime and invests far more into their infrastructure and tools than I could do on my end.
One possibility I hadn’t considered is the situation I’m facing now: poor connectivity. While the problem is temporary (and likely has resolved itself – testing ongoing) it’s a small reality check, but not something that will make me change my ways. I don’t honestly think that I could do a better job of retrieving, storing, accessing, and archiving my email, RSS feeds, calendar, and other tools on my own personal computers and network. Despite my lack of ability to connect to them from this particular connection, I was more than able to reach vital information through alternate connection modes (iPod touch, chief among them).
To me, this experience has reinforced my faith in the cloud. If there are errors on one approach, you can try another (and another and another after that). The more approaches you have to access your data (provided they are secure), the more likely your cloud-stored services will have the needed redundancy.
What’s the alternative if your home machine goes down similarly? You’re SOL.