Is "the Cloud" a reality?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by tkbslc, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I've been kind of thinking that I would really like to have my images in "the Cloud". Meaning, they are on the web and I can easily edit, view or share them from any device I wish. My main, and primary copy of the photos (and videos) would be there, instead of on my main PC. There are a lot of services promising cloud storage and even specifically for photos (Google Photos and Amazon as examples), but what does that really get me? The web-based editors are rudimentary and generally lack RAW support. How do you work local with web-based storage, and have it save back to the cloud with any kind of decent performance? How do you keep it all in sync? Is the cloud hype we get from marketing not a reality yet?

    I'm already paying for web backup service, so even if I had to pay for a cloud service that would be somewhat seamless, I'd be all over it.
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Seems to me that network speeds (at least here in the UK) preclude the use of cloud storage for anything other than slow backup purposes.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    View attachment 461356 Same here. Too slow for anything but email and web browsing. NAS for me.
  4. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    I would agree, though my son just got 1Gb from Talk Talk and he's getting 850mbit download and 920mbit upload! That's fast enough to use as long as the server at the other end can do likewise.

    For me, the paltry 5mbit upload still makes internet backups painful, so I have dual NAS systems.
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Depends on how it is being used. 10-20Mbit is plenty for a few images at a time. You would work out of RAM once opened, regardless.

    Flickr, etc, run pretty fast for photo viewing, even on low bandwidth.
  6. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    Adobe has a cloud storage option. If you are already using Adobe editing tools on your PC, it may be attractive.

    Adobe Creative Cloud FAQ
  7. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2016
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Rob Campbell
    Amazon Cloud Storage is "free" with Amazon Prime and has "Unlimited" photo storage. I have not tested this, but it's a slow way to upload. Their bandwidth is considerably less than my outgoing line (I've got 50Mbits down and 1 up, upload is nowhere near saturation with Amazon Cloud so they're limiting it).

    In theory, I could use this for slow backups, but at over 1TB of data in my photo collection, that would take Some Time.
  8. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Maybe you should look at a NAS with cloud capability and associated apps for your devices (iOD, Android, etc). That would give you the ability to access it from anywhere, and give you faster performance when at home. You can even build your own with the free OwnCloud software.

    Cloud = "someone else's computer". Putting your primary storage there seems to be a recipe for future frustration - you have no control over service outages, or even whether the provider will be there tomorrow. Sure you may well have backups elsewhere, but then you have to change to using those and figure out how to sync them again afterwards, etc.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    ... wait till you need to migrate that data off that "virtual server" onto another one. You can quickly build up some gigabytes of data. Server to Server channels are either slow or costly for bandwidth ... assuming that there is even an API to bulk pull down your stuff
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    I think snapfish lost data for a photographer I know a few years ago. No way this should happen but it did. so even the cloud is not foolproof for backup
  11. JensM

    JensM Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    Oslo(ish), Norway
    As screename
    Some colleagues and I discussed the whole cloud thing earlier, and one of the fellows just dropped the statement "Remember, the cloud is just someone else's computer", which may be worth some pondering. Personally, I am trying to get to grasps with my entire digital photo set-up, including reworking the entire file structure but are not negative to a cloud structure as a tertiary BU solution as well as running a stand-alone machine for in house BU. :) 
  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I actually manage a datacenter, so I know how it works. That's actually what I want! I want my photos on a server that is accessible from any of my devices. Well that part is easy, what I need is an interface and mechanism that lets me store them there and edit, upload and share them from whatever device I want. That works well currently for office documents and email, but for all the marketing I'm having a tough time seeing how it would work for a large photo collection with quality editing. If I just had smartphone photos, I'd use google photos (or icloud).
  13. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Uploading to "cloud" storage would take forever here. Trying to pull a backup back down boggles my mind. I have several HD's as backups that are directly connected to my computer and I use syncback.. I recently got a WD MyCloud NAS box which I can leave hooked up while I'm away and access my stuff from anywhere without leaving a computer on. Kinda like dropbox but with tons of storage and free. Still limited by my connection but works for a few photos.
  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I already do cloud backup. I calculate about 2-3 days to pull down a TB (I can download at 5MB/s) . Worst case, my provider (idrive) offers a service to ship a HDD with my most recent backup on it. Which I would probably do, since I think most major ISP flag you as an abuser if you hit 400MB in a month of downloads. I actually "uploaded" my initial data set via their HDD shipping service, which was nice. Now all I have to do is upload new and changed files automatically with their software.

    All my images are already in the cloud at idrive, it's just that I need a client to pull them out and browse them, so it's not seamless with editors and apps on other devices. I don't mind paying for a "real" service, I just am not seeing how to make it work for me other than backup.
  15. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2016
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Rob Campbell
    I like you people. You're even more paranoid than I am. :) 

    I use a synology NAS at home with DS Cloud for syncing.
  16. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Most home data plans are asymmetrical, with much faster download speeds (for media consumption) than upload speeds. Until that is addressed, uploading hundreds of photos to the cloud will continue to be arduous at best.
  17. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    the question is not "am I paranoid" it needs to be "am I paranoid enough?"
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. JDS

    JDS Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 11, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    David Schultz
    I upload everything to Flickr and OneDrive, as well as have it on my hard drive. Flickr is great (despite now charging for their Uploader service), 1TB free at full res (as long as the originals are 16mp or less), available everywhere, and easily shareable. I think you are at far more risk storing everything exclusively locally, just upload overnight if you have a lot of photos to store.
  19. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Somebody do the math for me...will I live long enough to see it complete?


    Seriously though, that was a really bad day. Things are generally better but not better enough to make cloud storage practical so on-site it's gonna be for the foreseeable future.
  20. Indianpeaksjoe

    Indianpeaksjoe Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I have a raspberry pi that I use to share my files over Wifi (using CIFS), I export my photos there and then use rdiff-backup to create backups on external sata drives. Every once in a while I bring a drive to my office as an offsite and swap in a new one.

    Then I use a time machine to backup my laptop which includes most of my photos as well. Belt and suspenders!

    But is the cloud provider going to be around in 5 years? I have been using Picasa to host my photos and well... it is going away for all intents and purposes now.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
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