Earlier this month I went away for a week. Two big things broke while I was gone:
- WordPress had a hole that could expose drafts of posts
- Our home had a power outage, which caused serious issues with my network attached storage (NAS) box.
In each case, software or hardware that I maintain went badly off the rails. I try pretty hard to lock down my WordPress. I protect my /wp-admin/ so that only certain IP addresses can access that directory. But this was a weird vulnerability. If I had hosted my blog with WordPress as a web service, I wouldn’t have had to patch things up myself. And I’m pretty sure that at least a few of my draft blog posts leaked to folks who exploited the security hole on my blog.
My NAS box was even more painful. I have a Buffalo TeraStation, and it’s worked well for over a year. But they don’t always cope well with power outages. And the version that I have required me to undo 22 screws to replace the bad hard drive. Then I had to wait for five nervous hours to see whether the NAS could repair my RAID array. No data was lost, but suffice it to say that I’ve got much better backups now, plus an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) as well. Again, if I had storage somewhere in the cloud, it would probably be more reliable than my ham-handed attempts at backing up my data.
So there you go: I went on vacation for a week and came back to two scary reminders why hosted services and storing data “in the cloud” (on someone else’s servers) can be better than doing it yourself. In general, a well-run cloud service is going to be much more reliable than any average person would be.