I have a friend, he’s a technology guy and fairly savvy with hardware and software. We were talking recently and he said that he didn’t see the point in performing backups or even buying software for his machine anymore. He runs Windows and *Nix in various places, but uses GMail for messaging, Google Apps and Docs to store things, Picassa and Flickr to store photos, and Yahoo’s Calendar service (he’s been with them for years) to manage things. He syncs to his phone, and I think he’s even trying out Google Voice as the phone number management issue. When they start offering hosted servers or VMs, he’ll be looking to host there as well.
I questioned him about backups and he said that Google just does a better job than he could do. They have redundant everything and they have more knowledge about how to better store things. He trusts Google to do the job for the foreseeable future.
I’m not sure I’m quite there. I have lots of stuff stored at Google: various blogs, my calendar, my contacts, I use google Voice, etc. I have pictures up on various places, and I do think that having the cloud store my data makes sense. It allows me to sync things across multiple machines, as well as my phone.
But I don’t completely trust Google. There have been issues with GMail, and recently with the Sidekick servers at Microsoft. I still think I need to keep copies of things on my machines, and as backups.
I’ll just say the various cloud services, especially Live Mesh, make it easy for me to keep multiple copies, giving me an instant backup in multiple places.