Microsoft's free Office Live Workspace is a heavily customized SharePoint service that allows users to store documents of any type within the 5 GB service limit. Office Live Workspace is available via the Web, so if you're not able to access one of your usual machines, you can still access your files.
Microsoft provides add-ins for Office 2007 and Mac OS X that seamlessly integrate Office Live Workspace into Office 2007 and, to a lesser extent, Mac OS X. Mac users can use the Document Connection component, which does not integrate directly into Office for Mac — it simply sits in the Dock. Document Connection isn't necessarily better or worse that the Windows solution — it's just different.
Using Office Live Workspace for DR
Over the past couple of months, I've become a huge fan of Office Live Workspace. I use the service to store most of my articles since, on any given day, I might work on four or five computers, most of which are Windows machines. My laptop is a MacBook Pro (which also runs Windows 7 in VMware Fusion), so it used to be a real challenge to track personal documents.
I'm considering using Office Live Workspace for a Westminster College-related purpose — that is, backing up IT documentation vital to rebuilding our infrastructure in the event of a disaster or in the event that a critical system fails and documentation is inaccessible.
At Westminster, we store most of our network, server, database, and other IT-related documentation in file shares on our primary file server. We back up this information and keep copies safely tucked away elsewhere, but the pure accessibility of a solution such as Office Live Workspace makes it a compelling option. Our documentation is protected, so I'd be comfortable storing it at Office Live Workspace or some other secure cloud-based host.
Are you using Office Live Workspace or any service like it as an offline storage vault for IT documentation? Take the poll and share your thoughts in the discussion.
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Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive with CampusWorks, Inc. Scott is available for consulting, writing, and speaking engagements and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.