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This is a problem that cloud service providers should be dealing with for the long term. Incidents like this have already happened with sites like geocities and live.com, e.g. One option for providers would be to charge a fee for movable storage. Though, I think the best answer is for providers to use open source coding. If the cloud vendors apps are open source, then it's possible for any individual client to take over their own apps, or transfer them to another provider, by copying the code. That's one of the great advantages to open source, but it means a change in mindset on the part of providers and users. Users would have to respect proprietary ownership, and not simply steal a company's framework to make it their own, as in the Skype debacle. And, providers would have to be able to think of open source as an advantage (flexibility, cost-effectiveness, the potential for continuous development) as opposed to a proprietary threat. Linux is doing some good work in this way. Read more here: http://software.intel.com/sites/oss/linuxkernel.php?cid=cim:ggl|oss_us_linux|ks13136|s
You’ll want to choose your cloud provider carefully before making it the primary recipient of your company’s data. First, check out potential vendors thoroughly. They need to be a big enough company with enough money in the bank so as to appear safe from takeover or management changes, or relatively safe from shifting their core business away from cloud services if the competition gets tougher (because it will). Also they should have non-restrictive policies allowing you to easily access your hosted data, while providing encryption and tested security methods to keep your data as safe as possible from hackers; little things like enforcing a password policy _do_ make some vendors safer than others from outside threats. Third, you’ll want to make regular on-site backups of your off-site hosted content. There’s nothing more frustrating than a vendor outage that lasts several days, when your business needs to deal with your customers TODAY. Recent outages at Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite, Vmware Cloud Foundry, and Amazon EC2 should be a lesson that decision-makers at those companies need to provide adequate redundancy in their networks, and your company should have contingency plans prepared for situations when their services are unavailable.