Struggles With The Cloud

A few years back we outsourced our server backups to a vendor’s private cloud. It made sense at the time and was cost efficient based on our current data growth. As time marched forward and business grew, so did our data growth. Adding more and more growth capacity to the cloud began to cost us more than if we were to perform our own backup internally via old fashion tape. Yes, I know what you are thinking; tape is archaic and a dying technology. Well it still works as expected in conjunction with our SAN/DR and we have full control.

As we began the process to move away from our cloud solution, we discovered we had a problem. The years of data that were backed up were irretrievable. The amount of data could not be downloaded over the internet without the connection failing and even if we were able to download we estimated two weeks of 24×7 downloads to try and retrieve our data. And the data will be in a jumble without rhyme or reason. What a dilemma! The vendor proved no help. As far as they were concerned if we wanted to move, it was up to us to get our data out. In essence our data was being held hostage.

Our plan (not ideal) was to keep our data in the cloud for the foreseeable future; no additional capacity will be purchased. As equipment begin to be decommissioned, the cloud backups will be deleted in accordance with our tape backup/data retention policies.  This will help us not have to download years and years of data.

Be cautious moving things into a cloud solution. Make sure you understand the risks involved not only in the short-term but also the long very long-term.

Technology Review – Garmin Approach G5

I recently went out and bought the Garmin Approach G5 (https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=261&pID=31070) gps to help in my golf game.

I have been on the fence about buying a gps for some time. It seems like whenever I play with golf buddies I am always asking them for distances. For a novice golfer like myself, it actually helps to know how far to hit a shot. I also needed to know how far I can hit a shot when I make good contact with the ball so that I can begin to gauge which clubs to use in what situation.

I did some research and came up with 2 manufactures that I liked: Garmin and SkyGolf. Most of my buds have Skycaddie, so I was familiar with it. What led me to the Approach was not having a need to pay for a subscription.

I have used the unit now on 4 rounds of golf. So far I am impressed. The lithium batteries last for 3 rounds before I have to replace them. I get a good signal and it pinpoints pretty quickly. The unit is solid and fits nicely in your hand. There are additional bells and whistles that I occasional use. As my game improves I will probably use them more.

The display seems a little hard to see in bright sunlight. So you have to tilt occasionally to see it properly.

Overall, I am happy with my purchase of the Garmin Approach G5.

The Cius

It looks like Apple will have a competitor in the tablet arena. Cisco will be releasing their product early next year. The difference is Cisco’s version is aimed towards corporations. Let’s see how this plays out over the next few months.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Cisco-to-launch-iPadlike-apf-1501416035.html?x=0

Portable GPS Units Review – Magellan Roadmate 1440

A CIO's VoiceMy TomTom One died on me last weekend, just as I needed it. Isn’t that just like technology?

Because I have started a new job I felt I needed to get something in my car. While my iPhone Google maps works great, it is a hassle to use while driving, especially when I am alone.

So my wife talked about getting a new one. Price was especially important. We paid about $140 for our TomTom 3 years ago. It worked great until this year when we started having problems charging it.

I looked online at the usually reviews. TomTom still got the highest rating in customer satisfaction. I didn’t want to deal with the hassles of plugging it into my computer every so often to update.

The features my wife and I wanted were:

  1. Voice directions
  2. Access to AAA ratings.
  3. Big screen
  4. Easy to plug in addresses or zip codes

We went to Walmart and Sears to look at various units. TomTom, Garmin, and Magellan all caught our eye. We decided to go to BJ Wholesale and say the Magellan Roadmate 1440 (http://www.magellangps.com/products/product.asp?segID=354&prodID=2175) which had all the features we wanted. In addition, there was a sale going on so we were able to get the unit for $120.

I have been using the device now for a few days. I must admit I am pretty impressed. It was easy to use and the voice directions were clear and accurate.

Overall I am pretty satisfied with my purchased. Maybe in 3 years, technology will march on and I will upgrade again.

Should You Get Your iPad Now or Wait?

Check out this article in SmartMoney.com by Kelli Grant — Should You Pre-Order an iPad?

Kelli says that most average consumers should wait a few months until the technology matures and prices drop before purchasing. I agree. Like all technology, version one will have its share of problems out of the box. Remember the the first generation iPhone? A perfect example of why waiting will be beneficial.