Synchronization != Backup

Richard wrote a good post about using Live Mesh with KeePass to make password management a breeze. I’ve been doing something similar for a while with OneNote (keeping all of my notes on all of my PCs) and I think I’m going to throw a few more PortableApps up there as well which should make my life easier. Seriously, having a colour-picker in my personal cloud is a joy some days.

A quick word of warning however for those who are using Mesh to store their data. Synchronization is not backup. Here’s a quick story to demonstrate.

Earlier this week I had to hand back the corporate laptop. As I’ve been carrying it home every night and using it, it was full of my stuff. I plugged in a portable HDD and Cut-Paste the contents of my Documents folder onto it. This worked fine except…

My Live Mesh folders were my Documents folder. And Live Mesh was running.

Dutifully it noticed that I was deleting a bunch of files and so it happily sync’d that change with the cloud which then sync’d it with each of my machines. Not only that but I share a Mesh with several colleagues and so it happily deleted all the files off of their machines as well.

Luckily for me one of the other guys takes a daily backup of this folder and was able to restore the files (I can’t because my Live ID appears to be locked out. Joy!).

It all makes me feel a bit stupid really but that’s a small price to pay if no-one else runs into this issue. Remember: Sync’d with the cloud != backed up. Computers always do what you say so be careful what you tell them to do.

P.S. This was supposed to be a comment on Richards post but a) I appear to be having a major online identify crisis and I can’t seem to log in to anything and b) I want to warn people who don’t read comments.

Posted by: Mike Minutillo
Last revised: 27 May, 2011 02:42 PM History


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