back to article Blow me down with a feather, well, storage server software update gone awry: Nest vid streams go dark for 16 hours

Google has apologized for 16 hours of downtime for countless Nest cameras that left angry owners unable to watch live video streams from their gizmos. “We’re still doing some investigating, but at this point I can share that the issue was due to a scheduled storage server software update that didn’t go as intended,” explained …

  1. jake Silver badge

    Remind me again ...

    ... why I should have to upload ANYTHING generated by me, or equipment that I own, into "the cloud" (any cloud, not just the gookid's) before I can make use of it? Shirley it should initially be deposited on MY server, not somebody else's?

    One wonders if the GreatUnwashed will ever realize they are being played for suckers by the entire "cloud" thing.

    1. Martin Gregorie

      Re: Remind me again ...


      All daily backups here are automated and made to local media, which is permanently connected to the server but unmounted when not being written to. Backup times are under 15 minutes, so this makes this backup pretty much impervious to everything but a mains spike or a house fire.

      System updates are NOT automated because I want to make all backups to local media. Each backup is written to the oldest instance of a separate backup cycle, with all generations stored offline in a fire-safe except the one being written to, and immediately followed with a manually triggered system update and reboot. These backups should survive even the house fire and offer protection against a borked system update.

      This is the best way I can think of to keep my data safe and under my control at all times. As a bonus, I don't need to rent any cloud storage for backups or worry if they might be lost in a data centre crash and its cost is minimal.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Remind me again ...

        One thing you might want to add to that ... deposit an off-site backup onto the server you have hung off your favorite Great Aunt in Duluth's DSL line[0]. Offer to pay for her DSL (she'll probably decline), and promise to only use the bandwidth once per day in the wee hours Duluth time so you don't interrupt her viewing of cute cat videos. Offer to similarly backup her data (and cute cat pics) onto your home equipment. Automating both to happen at 3AM Duluth time should be trivial. Use the encryption method of your choice.

        Why bother? Because that home "fire safe" probably won't protect your data in a Tubbs-type event, but an easy to make off-site backup will. You can guess how I know this.

        Also, you can invite other relatives into your "circle of archive protection". Once you've got yours and the Great Aunt's automated, adding a few more archive sites is trivial. The first time it's needed, by any any one of them, for any reason, the minimal effort will have been worth it.

        [0] Insert other favorite elderly relative+city to meet your needs. An old, low power draw, headless laptop is ideal for this kind of thing. I run a very minimalistic BSD on mine, YMMV.

    2. aaaa
      IT Angle

      Re: Remind me again ...

      Look, I totally agree, but I'm also curious why so so so many disagree (and pay fist fulls of dollars to prove it).

      I saw things like 'back to my mac' as pretty awesome - the ability to travel anywhere in the world, but still get at my data on my home server. It was the direct opposite of 'the cloud'. But 'back to my mac' is no more, and the cloud is rather popular.

      I *think* the idea that *our* data should be on *our* computers failed because:

      1) there is more money to be made in cloud - people realise they lose everything the second they stop paying, so they keep paying. Increase price, repeat.

      2) NAT. UPnP just didn't work waaay too often. Though I usually found that Apple's implementation via 'back to my mac' worked pretty well, I saw plenty of discussion posts saying people had trouble getting routers/firewalls to play nice

      3) explaining it. Apple are masters of marketing, but even they couldn't turn this into a saleable pitch that could be understood by the masses.

      4) utility. If someone burns my house down, if the video is stored in the cloud, there is a chance I may catch the culprit via the stored video - but if the primary storage in in the house that burned down, or in the cameras that burned down in the house, then not so much. Cloud does have some advantages.

      5) luck. Most cloud service contracts I look at - everything from Amazon S3 to Office 365, the SLA is pretty rubblsh - but most people are pretty lucky - their cloud services don't fall over and lose all their data, so most people don't care.

      As for me - last year I was going to upgrade all my Nest cameras to the new 4K ones, but when I saw that they were moving everything into Google I put a halt on it. I think I'll go with the iCloud Secure Video solution instead - but I'm annoyed that so far there are only HD and no 4K implementations... Meanwhile I'll keep the Nest HD cameras and pay the subscription as long as I'm not forced to migrate my account. Until I find a better solution.

    3. Anonymous South African Coward

      Re: Remind me again ...

      <i.One wonders if the GreatUnwashed will ever realize they are being played for suckers by the entire "cloud" thing.</i>

      The Cloud thing is part and parcel of the Strategy Boutique to ensure steady revenue. That's all it is for.

      More often than not they'll offer you a "free" service, but it is next to useless, forcing you to purchase something better.

      1. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Re: Remind me again ...

        Of course! Free stuff is paid for by something. That shouldn't be a secret whispered by conspiracy theorists; it's things work.

    4. Psmo

      Re: Remind me again ...

      I've said it before:

      They'll never get me uploading anything without appropriate recompens-oh dammit.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      While I agree 100%

      Reg readers are outliers here. The vast majority of consumers do not know how to or even if they did want to set up a server in their home, and secure a firewall that would allow external access without compromising their overall security.

      So putting it in the cloud takes care of 99% of consumers, and the 1% that feel otherwise are not marketed to. Same reason you can't get a removable battery in a high end smartphone, fewer and fewer cars are offered with a manual transmission, and so forth.

      Now if you are in the 1% of the 1%, you will find a way to intercept the video stream of a Nest or Ring so you can save it on your server instead. Stop complaining and start hacking, then share with the rest of the class! :)

  2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    Total Inability To Stream Usual Pictures

    1. Bangem

      Re: TITSUP

      Total Inability To Spy Upon Postman

      1. Charlie van Becelaere

        Re: TITSUP

        Total Inability To Suck Up Privacy.

  3. Rob Moss

    I, personally, have no problem with Google trying to bring me and my stuff into its ecosystem, as long as they let me get the data out again. Most Nest users were pissed off with Google's decision because they used things like IFTTT to control Nest from elsewhere. It's a "learning thermostat," sure, but it can't automatically switch on the heating when my, my wife's or one of the kids' smartwatches realises someone is awake and moving around, as long as it's after a certain time in the morning, or switch it off when we've all gone to sleep. Despite the much-vaunted integration with Android phones' location services, it's pretty useless unless you use some third-party integration to work out whether at least one of six mobile phones is at home.

    I have no problem with advertising. I have no problem with information about me being provided to advertisers. It's a two-way thing. I get to use Google and its myriad of services for free and, in return, they present me with tailored advertising which, on occasion, is spectacularly useful. I am no privacy Nazi. I like shopping.

  4. Anonymous South African Coward

    I am planning on procuring a tape drive, do backups once a month, then store said tapes somewhere offsite.

    I don't have time for a "cloud backup" because things can go wrong.

    - corruption of data at a critical time

    - offline cloud storage when you need it the most

    - some hacker found its way into your storage and downloaded everything with the hope of decrypting it...

    - speed of the internet link, you are not always guaranteed a high speed as a DDoS may happen and prevent you from doing a successful backup

    - etc etc etc.

    Tapes are a bit more secure, since you'll need a tape drive to mount 'em and read 'em. And if the storage facility is up to date wrt security etc, nobody'll be able to blag a tape.

    Spinning rust? It may be dropped by accident, necessitating a costly recovery. Plus it got lots of electronics, any one of which may decide to do a Wuhan, go offline and leave you in the lurch.

    1. JacobZ

      Tape FTW

      After visiting one of Iron Mountain's underground facilities, I have a great deal of faith in the physical security of offsite tape. The onsite FBI office is quite reassuring, as are the submachines on the wall behind the receptionist.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Tapes are a bit more secure

      Really? In my experience, tapes fail when you need them most.. and require a significant management effort (you do do test restores every couple of months don't you?)..

  5. SVV

    All the expensive cameras I installed at my property are useless

    The IOT cloud fail brag

    Still, a little on the basic level in my judgement, so only 3 points from me : For the full 10 you'd have to be also telling the world that you can't get into your house because the smart lock's failed, and your dog's starving because the pet food dispenser went too.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: All the expensive cameras I installed at my property are useless

      If you have a smart lock, getting into the house is not going to be much of a problem. But at least if the dog's starving, he might have a greater incentive to bite anyone who tries. If you have enough of this stuff, their disparate failures bring complementary benefits.

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