After Heated Love Affair, I'm Breaking Up with The Cloud

The cloud and I have had a passionate relationship for more than five years. There are things I still love about cloud computing. But now that I'm busy co-building another business while managing my home life, my love affair for scalable, on-demand computing has cooled quite a bit. Here's why.

No doubt, the vast of After Nines Inc.'s services involve third-party clouds or SaaS applications like SquareSpace, MailChimp and Google Apps. But we did get a little burned with IaaS (infrastructure as a service) while building our previous company. At the time, we ran WordPress, MySQL and other Web-centric apps on Rackspace's cloud.

We loved Rackspace phone support -- but we found ourselves dialing them far too often because our media sites would sometimes slow to a crawl as traffic spiked.

My conclusion: The on-demand, scalable cloud is a myth. Yes, you can always "pay" for more services. But public cloud providers rarely activate the resources pro-actively for you.

Waking Up Too Late?

Meanwhile, I used to dismiss cloud security and privacy concerns. After all, big IT companies have deep pockets and extensive expertise to protect your data in their clouds.

Or so I thought. Week after week, we keep reading about consumer data leaks involving public clouds like Apple iCloud and now Dropbox ("It's not our fault..."). NSA leaker Edward Snowden is telling users to drop Dropbox for the sake of privacy and security.

I won't go that far. I'll still use a range of public cloud services. But I'm fortifying my position with a private cloud at home. Actually, it's a pseudo cloud -- a file server (a.k.a. network attached storage) that I can access from a range of desktop and mobile devices.

Sure, consumer hardware products like WD MyCloud and Seagate Central are positioned as "personal" clouds. But they don't scale on demand. And they aren't pay-as-you go.

But... you can deploy the products on your home network and control the content within, without leaving the details to a third-party cloud provider.

Last Geek Standing?

In a world where Russia, the U.S. and China are launching digital bombs at each other, I'm more than happy to fortify my bunker with local storage. Lots of it.

The cloud market is growing. But so too are my privacy concerns. Long live local storage.

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