Monday, July 02, 2012

Enjoying the Cloud way of Life

A few years ago, I made a decision to move almost everything to the cloud. Steve Ballmer did say that Microsoft employees were "All In!" and I decided to take that to heart. See what it's like. I have since ditched running Exchange in my house for the power of Hotmail (Although I also have an Office365 account), and I have focused most of my energy on cloud services in the public cloud instead of those in the private cloud, although I still run Windows Home Server strictly because cloud storage is expensive.

I have to say that thus far I like it. I have minimized the number of computers in my house from 4 desktops, 2 laptops and a server, down to 1 laptop and a tablet and a [light-weight] server. It makes patch-tuesday much easier to swallow as I'm not chasing down computers for updates. My wife still has her laptop and her phone, but otherwise it's a minimalistic approach.

I did make some other changes. I switched out my Zune player for a Sonos player (well, actually 2!), and I stopped buying CDs and ripping them to my home server and now simply subscribed to Rdio, which is kind enough to allow me to play any song I want at any time, to any device. It's cheaper than actually buying the CDs now too. It fits nicely in with the Sonos player as well.

Part of moving to the Cloud was I wanted to have almost no data on my computers or tablets. I store a backup of all my personal documents on my SkyDrive using their new app for the PC, which gives me access to all my stuff from my iPad and soon to be Windows Surface! I store all my work documents on SharePoint at the office, and my laptop is really just a vessel of information that's actively being worked on until it's saved to one of those two locations.

In fact, all I use my Home Server for is media storage. Ripped DVDs for streaming to the xbox, my old music collection, and most importantly my photo collection. My Home Server also provides a gateway to the cloud for online backup (see my Online Backup posts). It's also the "computer" that's on all the time, so it runs any long-time running tasks which allows my PC to sleep as often and as aggressively as it likes.

So far living the Cloud is easy, but I've made some important decisions as to where I store my data, and admittedly, there is some data that I still don't put in the cloud, but I could probably count it on one hand.

Are you in the cloud yet? why not? Drop me a comment and let me know why.


Nick said...

Am I in the cloud? A bit I guess. Over the past few years I've done more virtualization work than Exchange or SBS work, so the source of our revenue has changed (for the better, I think). At home I have 1 vSphere "whitebox" server with a bunch of VMs for building out dev/test environments, a laptop, 1 Windows desktop (which I still prefer to work from over my laptop), 1 Unbuntu workstation, and 2 tablets. I've stuck to S3 for replicating data (via this: instead of going with something like SkyDrive or a more packaged type of solution... but so far it's mostly for pictures and documents... there's still quite a bit of stuff that I don't dump up to the cloud. As for music, I've never really been a big music person... I mostly buy Mp3's via Amazon, but do still buy and rip the occasionally CD. As for movies, I buy Blurays of stuff I like, have cable (because it's still easy to flip on and watch for 20 minutes), and do the obvious Netflix and Amazon stuff for movies.

Jacob said...

I also do everything in the "cloud" and don't really understand everyone's privacy/security fears. I think it's much safer protected by all their safeguards then my outdated McAfee and the such!

sharon said...

Sometimes I also do something in the cloud and I am always confused about why I do that or how do I do something more effective. While now I am learning to study by myself before doing something in order to make something efficient.

Kiosk Manufacturers said...

Few of us are at the point where we’re willing to live entirely in the Cloud. For one thing, the applications we’ve grown to rely on generally don’t have functional Cloud-based equivalents.