Reliant on the Cloud

1140171_messages_5This mornings well publicised outage of Googles email service has made me thing “what if…” regarding all the other “cloud” services I use.  Yes, Gmail was only down for 3 hours, but what if it had just disappeared.  What about Flickr.  What about Google Documents.

I need a backup strategy for this stuff, and a way to automate it (certainly for gMail anyway), and need to seriously consider moving my “cloud” based document storage (nothing vital, but would be annoying to lose it) off the cloud and back onto a physical machine.   Ideally without losing the ability to edit it from any net connected PC.

Email is (fairly) easy to back up – I guess I should be able to use POP or IMAP to pull email from Googles servers and store it somewhere locally – ideally within some kind of free mail server, so I could access the archive with nothing more than a standard POP3 client (like Thunderbird).

I have a Windows Home Server sitting at home, that I must be able to use for this kind of thing – I’ll need to look for a free/open source mail server that can pull mail over POP3 and store and serve it to other POP3 clients.  Anyone out there got any thoughts?

I’ll deal with email first – and then think about how to do something about the documents and photos too (although most of my photos are uploaded to Flickr from my PC, and the originals are all backed up…


2 thoughts on “Reliant on the Cloud

  1. Solution I’ve gone for is a product called “Mailtraq” available as a free-for-home-users 4 mailbox license. It can pull POP3 messages from GMail and allows access either through it’s own webmail, or via POP3.

    Obviously, now I’ve got a copy on my home server, it’s duplicated across multiple disks and running as a service – polling every hour.

    Seems like a good solution, and provides me with a nice searchable local copy of my emails.

  2. I use Windows Live Mail, which downloads mail to PC; which (I think) is aggregated and backed up onto external storage, and is searchable via Vista’s search utility.

    Check out Google Gears for documents, it lets you edit locally and update back to Google Docs. Haven’t really tried it personally mind.

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