Earlier this week Copy, a cloud based storage and sharing service, announced to its users closure of the services Copy and Cudadrive. In an email to users the company said;
"Copy and CudaDrive services will be discontinued. We are announcing today that the Copy and CudaDrive services will be discontinued on May 1, 2016."
The services are owned by Barracuda Networks who on their website say;
"Barracuda is a publicly traded company (NYSE: CUDA) that provides powerful yet easy-to-use security and storage solutions that simplify IT. CitiBank, Coca-Cola, Delta Dental, FedEx, Harvard University, IBM, L'Oreal, Liberty Tax Service, Mythbusters and Spokane Public Schools are among the more than 150,000 organizations in 100+ countries confidently protecting their users, applications and data with Barracuda solutions. Based in Silicon Valley, our network has 1000+ employees, 5000+ partners, and offices in 15 countries."
A few weeks ago Dropbox announced the closure of their Mailbox mail application for Mac, and by nature of the way the software works meant that unless logged into the Mailbox servers, a user could not access their email.
Both these services were used by some of the Pro Tools Expert team and we guess a lot of other members of the community. These companies have given users plenty of notice to make transitions - but if companies as large as Dropbox and Barracuda are unable to ensure long term quality of service to users, it does make one wonder how much we should trust our data and workflows to these services.
The cloud promises us so much, on the whole it does what it promises enabling us to store and share data with few issues. However features and performance are just part of the story, knowing our data is safe and secure is another part and for professionals having a consistent service we can build a trusted workflow around is essential.
A few members of the community have reached out to us asking us about the Copy news and seeking our advice. For now it's hard to say and to give a concrete recommendation for any service as a long term proposition, if companies as large as Barracuda and Dropbox can't guarantee a future-proof cloud based service then it does raise serious questions.
Advice For Those Wanting To Use The Cloud For Their Pro Tools Sessions
For now our advice is this;
Make sure all of your data is backed up locally on at least two physical drives.
Don't store any sessions only in the cloud. If for no other reason what happens if you lose internet connectivity, then you can't open you session.
Don't rely on one cloud service, all of them are trying to get your business so use at least two services.
Use services like Mover to copy entire cloud services between one another - this service enables you to move all your data, for example from Box to Dropbox, in three easy steps.
Do You Trust The Cloud?
What do you think? Do you use cloud based services and if so which ones? How confident are you in trusting cloud based services to your Pro Tools workflow?