Friday, December 28, 2007

Very cool: backing up Google Office documents and outsourcing infrastructure

If you use Google Office Applications, check out gdatacopier. One of my only complaints about using Google Documents has been having to manually export and backup my online documents - now, problem solved.

Although there is some sensitive information that I would not store in Google Documents, for most information having it online and available is a deal maker for me - I also like being able to share specific documents for group writing.

There is a question whether storage and software services should be "outsourced". For most of my business and research interests, I would answer that question with a "yes". For me the issue is in reducing labor costs. By using leased managed servers, Amazon EC2/SimpleDB/S3, Google Data, DabbleDB, etc. does precisely this: it allows systems to be run and maintained much more inexpensively by outsourcing infrastructure.

One firm requirement for outsourcing infrastructure is a plan for recovering from the loss of an outsourced service. Such a plan must include periodic data backups under your own control as well as a strategy for duplicating services - not always easy to do.

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