Reliant on the Cloud

1140171_messages_5This mornings well publicised outage of Googles email service has made me thing “what if…” regarding all the other “cloud” services I use.  Yes, Gmail was only down for 3 hours, but what if it had just disappeared.  What about Flickr.  What about Google Documents.

I need a backup strategy for this stuff, and a way to automate it (certainly for gMail anyway), and need to seriously consider moving my “cloud” based document storage (nothing vital, but would be annoying to lose it) off the cloud and back onto a physical machine.   Ideally without losing the ability to edit it from any net connected PC.

Email is (fairly) easy to back up – I guess I should be able to use POP or IMAP to pull email from Googles servers and store it somewhere locally – ideally within some kind of free mail server, so I could access the archive with nothing more than a standard POP3 client (like Thunderbird).

I have a Windows Home Server sitting at home, that I must be able to use for this kind of thing – I’ll need to look for a free/open source mail server that can pull mail over POP3 and store and serve it to other POP3 clients.  Anyone out there got any thoughts?

I’ll deal with email first – and then think about how to do something about the documents and photos too (although most of my photos are uploaded to Flickr from my PC, and the originals are all backed up…