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(Archived) Can Evernote Sustain a Power Failure?

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Even living on the west coast and viewing the devastation in the northeast, I have been very impressed about being ready for any disaster or emergency. That was a significant storm! But I was thinking about how accessible any personal data I may have in Evernote will be if they have a power failure. I've been thinking about going paperless but realizing that I can only go so far. If I lose connection to the internet or evernote has a power failure, my access to needed documents is not there. The data may be secure but without power we have no access to it. Any thoughts or comments?

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Even living on the west coast and viewing the devastation in the northeast, I have been very impressed about being ready for any disaster or emergency. That was a significant storm! But I was thinking about how accessible any personal data I may have in Evernote will be if they have a power failure. I've been thinking about going paperless but realizing that I can only go so far. If I lose connection to the internet or evernote has a power failure, my access to needed documents is not there. The data may be secure but without power we have no access to it. Any thoughts or comments?

Great questions. Welcome to the forums. I don't know the answers, but it may be somewhere on the Internet. Here is a relevant post.

http://blog.evernote...outage-details/

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Don't forget that if you are using the Mac or Windows Evernote client, your data will be synchronized locally to your computer. So even if evernote.com goes down (or you can't get to it), you shouldn't lose access to your paperless documents.

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Don't forget that if you are using the Mac or Windows Evernote client, your data will be synchronized locally to your computer. So even if evernote.com goes down (or you can't get to it), you shouldn't lose access to your paperless documents.

Also true if you have your notebooks made offline on the mobile devices.

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Don't forget that if you are using the Mac or Windows Evernote client, your data will be synchronized locally to your computer. So even if evernote.com goes down (or you can't get to it), you shouldn't lose access to your paperless documents.

I realize that the documents are also on my desktop but if I'm a victim of Sandy, then I don't have electricity. And, depending where Evernote is located, they my not have electricity either. So the paperless thing assumes we will always have electricity.

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I realize that the documents are also on my desktop but if I'm a victim of Sandy, then I don't have electricity. And, depending where Evernote is located, they my not have electricity either. So the paperless thing assumes we will always have electricity.

Well, yes, that is definitely true if we're talking about going paperless in general. You'd clearly need electricity. I was referring to Evernote specifically which shouldn't be a problem.

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I realize that the documents are also on my desktop but if I'm a victim of Sandy, then I don't have electricity. And, depending where Evernote is located, they my not have electricity either. So the paperless thing assumes we will always have electricity.

Of course. But sometimes you're just between a rock & a hard spot. If you don't have electricity, you can use a flashlight to find your paper documents. But that's also assuming your paper files have survived something like Sandy/Katrina & that you can even get to them & that the filing cabinet is not blocked by part of your roof that caved in or that you're still able to be in your home rather than be evacuated. There are always going to be certain instances where our notes are inaccessible - NOTHING is infallible. But IMO, going paperless & having a lot of backups is the most reliable way. That includes having all the very important things backed up to a cloud app like Evernote/Dropbox/Whatever, in the event your home & all your backups get destroyed.

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Don't forget that if you are using the Mac or Windows Evernote client, your data will be synchronized locally to your computer. So even if evernote.com goes down (or you can't get to it), you shouldn't lose access to your paperless documents.

I realize that the documents are also on my desktop but if I'm a victim of Sandy, then I don't have electricity. And, depending where Evernote is located, they my not have electricity either. So the paperless thing assumes we will always have electricity.

Sure. But, if your house is burned to the ground, washed away, or was burglarized (these things happened during Sandy), then you are out of luck as well. If you travel overseas for a couple of weeks, you'll also lose access to your papers. There are certainly trade-offs, but on the whole, I prefer the paperless experience.

As for Sandy, I was in it, and had a few days without electricity. You get by. There isn't much to do with your papers in the dark anyhow :)

Still, if you are seriously concerned about your own power loss, then I'd invest in a generator and a system for storing fuel to power it. In addition, it might be worth looking into something like a Kindle, which has a couple months of battery life. We ordered a second one after Sandy. One isn't enough for two people, and the iPad / Nexus 7 didn't make it through the day.

And, in a worst-case scenario of World War Z proportions, I've got backups of my files (including backups of my Evernote database) in several physical locations. It is at least unlikely that I will ever lose any data again. I'd certainly recommend a robust mix of physical and cloud backup solutions to make sure you aren't caught flat-footed by an emergency.

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On a semi-related topic, even though I have been called "Mr. Paperless", I have a printed copy of any critical papers (insurance, ID, etc.) in my emergency kit. Even though we don't get hurricanes here in Vancouver, we are always told that the "big one" is coming earthquake-wise. If I'm in a situation where I lose access to my electronic documents for a few days, I probably have bigger problems to worry about.

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In addition, it might be worth looking into something like a Kindle, which has a couple months of battery life. We ordered a second one after Sandy. One isn't enough for two people, and the iPad / Nexus 7 didn't make it through the day.

Interesting!

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If I'm in a situation where I lose access to my electronic documents for a few days, I probably have bigger problems to worry about.

That's what I figure.

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What I think the OP might be looking for is a synopsis of Evernote's design for High Availability. 2+ data centres, some distance apart with live data replication would be good. Parallel Sysplex is, sadly, unlikely. But then to talk about that is to stray onto what MY customers do. :-)

I guess it would be obscure to talk about Evernote surviving an A380 Abend as well as a B737 one. :-)

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From memory (something from the Tech blog...), I believe that pretty much everything is in a single data center in the US. The newish Chinese service is obviously the other side of the wall.

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In addition, it might be worth looking into something like a Kindle, which has a couple months of battery life. We ordered a second one after Sandy. One isn't enough for two people, and the iPad / Nexus 7 didn't make it through the day.

Interesting!

If you have a system like mine (which I do), you can export all of your notes as HTML files (convert them if you'd like into .txt files), and upload them onto your Kindles in just a few minutes.

Because I no longer use Evernote to store attachments (with the exception of shared notes), and work almost entirely with text, my 25GB database is now down to about 100 MB (for some reason, Evernote on the Mac inflates this to about 1 GB, but that is a story for another thread). It fits anywhere, and with the Kindle battery life, is accessible for quite a long time.

All of my important papers and other files can easily be loaded onto my Kindle as well. I've got those in the cloud already, but also in a folder for easy access. Between the Kindle, iPad, and Nexus 7, I have no fears about my insurance papers being inaccessible, even in the worst disaster.

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This topic is definitely making me think. I live in Montana and telecommute to a company mostly located in Illinois. You wouldn't think Sandy would have affected us, but most of our virtual machines and servers were hosted in a data center on the East coast. So we lost access to those machines for about a week due to power outages. It is amazing how something on the other side of the country can affect you in this network-connected world!

I've no idea where the Evernote data center is, but wherever it is located, there is bound to be some sort of natural disaster common to the area (hurricane, earthquake, flood, tornado, fire, whatever). I think this is a good reason to always use a desktop client in addition to the phone/tablet versions so that you have access to your notes even if the data center is down. And backups! I backup my Evernote account via time machine so I am not completely dependent on the cloud if something happens to my laptop. I do need to find some sort of off-site backup in case my house burns down, of course.

I also have a kindle, although I've never thought about copying my important documents there. That is a great idea.

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This topic is definitely making me think. I live in Montana and telecommute to a company mostly located in Illinois. You wouldn't think Sandy would have affected us, but most of our virtual machines and servers were hosted in a data center on the East coast. So we lost access to those machines for about a week due to power outages. It is amazing how something on the other side of the country can affect you in this network-connected world!

I've no idea where the Evernote data center is, but wherever it is located, there is bound to be some sort of natural disaster common to the area (hurricane, earthquake, flood, tornado, fire, whatever). I think this is a good reason to always use a desktop client in addition to the phone/tablet versions so that you have access to your notes even if the data center is down. And backups! I backup my Evernote account via time machine so I am not completely dependent on the cloud if something happens to my laptop. I do need to find some sort of off-site backup in case my house burns down, of course.

I also have a kindle, although I've never thought about copying my important documents there. That is a great idea.

Offline notebooks on the mobile work as well, so you don't have to use a desktop client to have access to everything, but for things like backups, you'll definitely need a desktop.

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What I think the OP might be looking for is a synopsis of Evernote's design for High Availability. 2+ data centres, some distance apart with live data replication would be good. Parallel Sysplex is, sadly, unlikely. But then to talk about that is to stray onto what MY customers do. :-)

I guess it would be obscure to talk about Evernote surviving an A380 Abend as well as a B737 one. :-)

I remember concern a couple of years ago when there was a big earthquake in CA. Dave posted the various info but I'm not able to find that post. IDK if I'm just not finding it or if it was collateral damage when the new message board was implemented. As I recall, it was pretty impressive & allayed the fears of most (all?) those who posted in the thread.

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What I think the OP might be looking for is a synopsis of Evernote's design for High Availability. 2+ data centres, some distance apart with live data replication would be good. Parallel Sysplex is, sadly, unlikely. But then to talk about that is to stray onto what MY customers do. :-)

I guess it would be obscure to talk about Evernote surviving an A380 Abend as well as a B737 one. :-)

I remember concern a couple of years ago when there was a big earthquake in CA. Dave posted the various info but I'm not able to find that post. IDK if I'm just not finding it or if it was collateral damage when the new message board was implemented. As I recall, it was pretty impressive & allayed the fears of most (all?) those who posted in the thread.

I don't remember seeing that thread, but I imagine that Evernote has prepared well for this kind of thing. I'd like to know more, of course, but maybe this is helpful (from the three laws).

In addition, we take many precautions to protect your data from accidental loss and theft. Everything you put into an Evernote synchronized notebook is stored in our secure data center with multiple redundant servers, storage devices and off-site backups. Communication between Evernote clients and our servers is encrypted via industry-standard SSL. We don’t store your password on our servers and no one at Evernote will ever ask you for it.

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The only concern I have with keeping local copies (which I do on Mac, Windows-under-KVM and various iPads and iPhones) is the following:

What happens if the restored server copy thinks the locally-saved note shouldn't exist? In other words restoring synchronisation. That might be fraught and I hope it's been thoroughly tested...

Backup is easy. Recovery not so much. :-)

(I should confess I'm not an availability specialist but I have seen enough enterprise customer crises to know a little something about it.) :-)

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The only concern I have with keeping local copies (which I do on Mac, Windows-under-KVM and various iPads and iPhones) is the following:

What happens if the restored server copy thinks the locally-saved note shouldn't exist? In other words restoring synchronisation. That might be fraught and I hope it's been thoroughly tested...

I personally wasn't much interested in this thread until I read this post. Yes, this is a very real concern, not necessarily with Evernote but with any product that syncs and I have actually heard of as we'll as experienced products which experience an error on the server side and actually wipe out all data on the client side! It happened to me with Delicious. I was under the impression I was playing it extra safe because my bookmarks were stored locally AND in the cloud. Until one day delicious went down and was nice enough to completely WIPE thousands of bookmarks from my local machine! Luckily they did ultimately fix their system and I was able to resync.

I don't know if this has ever happened to anyone with EN, i do recall reading a few people writing angry psts about losing everything but of course its always hard to know if user error was involved. EN does employ a waste basket which is very good, but I don't know if a sync were to wipe everything out if the data would end up there.

Anyhow, I'd say that backing up data even if it is in the cloud is still probably a good practice.

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