Yesterday, Feb 11, 2015, I found out that one of my friends had lost his entire book which he was nearly done writing. His laptop was stolen. Welcome to #Uganda. Please enjoy your stay. Another friend once had his iPhone stolen. Then another one had his iPad swiped. My friends lost all their work and they are gonna face me soon because I am tired of things being stolen. Aren't we all?
Then yesterday (same date), I read that a young lady who was finishing a report on corruption, investigating missing funds and etc. etc. etc. was gunned down in Kampala (Uganda, The Pearl of Africa). The only thing that was taken from her was her laptop.
WHOA -- can you hear me screaming? People, I do not care which political party you work for, where you get your money from, who you deal with, what you do. I do not give a damn!
Work smart. All companies (well, the ones I hang around with) have directories on servers where all your work gets saved and kept up to date with the right security to prevent people not in your group or your team from accessing it. Please use company directories to save all your documents. If you have team mates who will steal your work, put a password on each document.
Personal work, projects, articles, books, etc.. Please use Cloud computing. The document is always on your laptop or desktop and it gets synched the minute you get to an internet connection. I know speaking from Canada I am a bit spoilt but even in Uganda, you can go to an internet cafe or a place with WIFI and have your documents lifted into the cloud. Do this as many times as you get into a city or town center so that your work lives on and then you might not get killed for the laptop to be stolen because what goes into the cloud stays in the cloud. Or you could also always back up copies on USB keys (flash drives) and give them to different people, people you trust. Not one flash drive and hopefully they do not know that each of them has a flash drive of your work. You know how Uganda works, you could get a syndicate on you. Money talks, bullshit walks. Did you print your own money? I did not think so.
Finally, there is also the use of the internet to keep your work going. Even if a gun is put to your head to delete what you have written, it will live forever. You can delete it but the server on which the blog or social media account is hosted does not delete except upon a court order and even NSA has not done yet. What you put on the internet lives forever. Watch what you say on the internet. Yes, FB is on the internet. Before I am done, please learn to use Google. Search for "Cloud storage" or "Cloud computing". The kids use skydrive, I use skydrive and dropbox, depending on what I am doing. There are many others out there and you will not know until you READ. READ READ.. reading is great for you.
Cloud Data Storage Explained. The source is Wikipedia which is a free encyclopedia and you are all welcome to edit, contribute and support it. I am a wiki editor and contributor. Stop being a lazy critic and add what you know so that we can all have free information. Thank you.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about enterprise-level cloud data storage. For consumer-level file hosting services, see file hosting service.
Cloud storage is a model of data storage where the digital data is stored in logical pools, the physical storage spans multiple servers (and often locations), and the physical environment is typically owned and managed by a hosting company. These cloud storage providers are responsible for keeping the data available and accessible, and the physical environment protected and running. People and organizations buy or lease storage capacity from the providers to store user, organization, or application data.
Cloud storage services may be accessed through a co-located cloud computer service, a web service application programming interface (API) or by applications that utilize the API, such as cloud desktop storage, a cloud storage gateway or Web-based content management systems.
Cloud computing is believed to have been invented by Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider in the 1960s with his work on ARPANET to connect people and data from anywhere at any time. However, Kurt Vonnegut refers to a cloud "that does all the heavy thinking for everybody" in his book Sirens of Titan (1959). In 1994, AT&T launched PersonaLink Services, an online platform for personal and business communication and entrepreneurship. The storage was one of the first to be all web-based, and referenced in their commercials as, "you can think of our electronic meeting place as the cloud."  Amazon Web Services introduced their cloud storage service AWS S3 in 2006, and has gained widespread recognition and adoption as the storage supplier to popular services like Google Drive, Google Cloud Platform, Smugmug, Dropbox, Synaptop and Pinterest.
A high level architecture of cloud storage.
Cloud storage is based on highly virtualized infrastructure and is like broader cloud computing in terms of accessible interfaces, near-instant elasticity and scalability, multi-tenancy, and metered resources. Cloud storage services can be utilized from an off-premises service (Amazon S3) or deployed on-premises (ViON Capacity Services)
Cloud storage typically refers to a hosted object storage service, but the term has broadened to include other types of data storage that are now available as a service, like block storage.
Object storage services like Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure Storage, object storage software like Openstack Swift, object storage systems like EMC Atmos and Hitachi Content Platform, and distributed storage research projects like OceanStore and VISION Cloud  are all examples of storage that can be hosted and deployed with cloud storage characteristics.
Cloud storage is:
Made up of many distributed resources, but still acts as one - often referred to as federated storage clouds 
Highly fault tolerant through redundancy and distribution of data
Highly durable through the creation of versioned copies
Typically eventually consistent with regard to data replicas 
Companies need only pay for the storage they actually use, typically an average of consumption during a month. This does not mean that cloud storage is less expensive, only that it incurs operating expenses rather than capital expenses.
Organizations can choose between off-premises and on-premises cloud storage options, or a mixture of the two options, depending on relevant decision criteria that is complementary to initial direct cost savings potential; for instance, continuity of operations (COOP), disaster recovery (DR), security (PII, HIPAA, SARBOX, IA/CND), and records retention laws, regulations, and policies.
Storage availability and data protection is intrinsic to object storage architecture, so depending on the application, the additional technology, effort and cost to add availability and protection can be eliminated.
Storage maintenance tasks, such as purchasing additional storage capacity, are offloaded to the responsibility of a service provider.
Cloud storage provides users with immediate access to a broad range of resources and applications hosted in the infrastructure of another organization via a web service interface.
Cloud storage can be used for copying virtual machine images from the cloud to on-premises locations or to import a virtual machine image from an on-premises location to the cloud image library. In addition, cloud storage can be used to move virtual machine images between user accounts or between data centers.
Cloud storage can be used as natural disaster proof backup, as normally there are 2 or 3 different backup servers located in different places around the globe.
Main article: Cloud computing security
Attack surface area
Outsourcing data storage increases the attack surface area.
When data is distributed it is stored at more locations increasing the risk of unauthorised physical access to the data. For example, in cloud based architecture, data is replicated and moved frequently so the risk of unauthorised data recovery increases dramatically. (e.g. disposal of old equipment, reuse of drives, reallocation of storage space) The manner that data is replicated depends on the service level a customer chooses and on the service provided. Different cloud vendors offer different service levels. Risk of unauthorized access to data can be mitigated through the use of encryption, which can be applied to data as part of the storage service or by on-premises equipment that encrypts data prior to uploading it to the cloud.
The number of people with access to the data who could be compromised (i.e. bribed, or coerced) increases dramatically. A single company might have a small team of administrators, network engineers and technicians, but a cloud storage company will have many customers and thousands of servers and therefore a much larger team of technical staff with physical and electronic access to almost all of the data at the entire facility or perhaps the entire company. Encryption keys that are kept by the service user, as opposed to the service provider limit the access to data by service provider employees.
It increases the number of networks over which the data travels. Instead of just a local area network (LAN) or storage area network (SAN), data stored on a cloud requires a WAN (wide area network) to connect them both.
By sharing storage and networks with many other users/customers it is possible for other customers to access your data. Sometimes because of erroneous actions, faulty equipment, a bug and sometimes because of criminal intent. This risk applies to all types of storage and not only cloud storage. The risk of having data read during transmission can be mitigated through encryption technology. Encryption in transit protects data as it is being transmitted to and from the cloud service. Encryption at rest protects data that is stored at the service provider. Encrypting data in an on-premises cloud service on-ramp system can provide both kinds of encryption protection.
See also: Financial Analysis
Companies are not permanent and the services and products they provide can change. Outsourcing data storage to another company needs careful investigation and nothing is ever certain. Contracts set in stone can be worthless when a company ceases to exist or its circumstances change. Companies can:
Expand and change their focus.
Be purchased by other larger companies.
Be purchased by a company headquartered in or move to a country that negates compliance with export restrictions and thus necessitates a move.
Suffer an irrecoverable disaster.
Performance for outsourced storage is likely to be lower than local storage, depending on how much a customer is willing to spend for WAN bandwidth
Reliability and availability depends on wide area network availability and on the level of precautions taken by the service provider.. Reliability should be based on hardware as well as various algorithms used.
Security of stored data and data in transit may be a concern when storing sensitive data at a cloud storage provider
Users with specific records-keeping requirements, such as public agencies that must retain electronic records according to statute, may encounter complications with using cloud computing and storage. For instance, the U.S. Department of Defense designated the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to maintain a list of records management products that meet all of the records retention, personally identifiable information (PII), and security (Information Assurance; IA) requirements
Cloud storage is a rich resource for both hackers and national security agencies.
Piracy and copyright infringement may be enabled by sites that permit filesharing. For example, the CodexCloud ebook storage site has faced litigation from the owners of the intellectual property uploaded and shared there, as have the GrooveShark and YouTube sites it has been compared to.
The legal aspect, from a regulatory compliance standpoint, is of concern when storing files domestically and especially internationally.