If you were interested in starting a bakery oriented food business

How to start a cupcake business:





Bakery business plan:








Taken right from www.PickYourOwn.org

Can I Sell My Home-Canned Salsa, Jams and Other Preserves?

Have you got a great recipe for home-made salsa, jam, jelly or other home-canned food? Your friends and family tell you that you should go into business selling it? And now you’re wondering what it would take to actually sell your award-winning tomato salsa, apple butter, applesauce or strawberry jam? This page should answer your questions to help you Decide if it’s right for you!

The production and sales of processed foods is governed by state and federal regulations. Each state is different, so proper advice is needed from a specialist in each state. Some states allow sales at farmer’s markets of select foods; others prohibit sales altogether.

A licensed kitchen

Food must be produced, processed, and held in a manner which prevents spoilage and contamination to keep it wholesome. Processing establishments must submit to unannounced inspections of the building and grounds. Unhealthy or ill persons must not be allowed to handle foods and pets are not allowed. For these reasons and others, home kitchens are not usually considered appropriate for processing purposes. In order to sell your homemade jams on a commercial basis, in most states, you’ll need to have your kitchen meet commercial grade kitchen standards and pass a health department inspection, like a restaurant. People who have done this tell me it can easily cost $50,000 to convert a home kitchen.

I’ve heard that there are a handful of states that have small quantity exceptions and exceptions for church sales, etc., but I haven’t see a comprehensive list.  If you know where to find your state’s webpage of rules for selling home canned goods, please send it to me, and I’ll make a list here.

Canneries and licensed kitchens – One way around this is to prepare your batches in kitchen that is already licensed. Some people rent restaurant kitchens during their off-hours and do the prep and canning there. In some cases, a local cannery is the way to go.  If they are licensed as a commercial kitchen (and many are), then you will be able to avoid the need and expense to rent a restaurant kitchen. See this page for local canneries.

Copackers manufacture and package foods for other companies to sell.  These products range from nationally-known brands to private labels.  Entrepreneurs choose to use the services of copackers for many reasons.  Copackers can provide entrepreneurs with a variety of services in addition to manufacturing and packaging products.  They can often help in the formulation of the product.  The copacker may function only as a packer of other people’s products or may be in business with his own product line.  They may be, in fact, manufacturing several competing products.  The range of services available from a copacker will vary depending on the size and experience of the copacker and the type of facilities and the capacity of their plant. See this article for more information about how to choose a copacker.

Other licenses

You may also need a state and/or local (city) business license. Your states’ “secretary of state” or taxation can tell you – look on your state’s government website. You may also need to check local zoning laws, if you plan canning at home and/or selling from home.

The product liability issue

As you may have noticed in news stores, anyone that sells prepared foods is beset with false (and real) claims of food poisoning, finding strange objects in the jars and loads of lawsuits.  It can be a fulltime job just fighting the frivolous lawsuits.

And there are the real cases: canning meats and dairy is very challenging to do at home; the risks are much greater for food poisoning than for high acid fruits and vegetables (like jam, applesauce and salsa).  The latter are much safer, but still pose some risks. On the other hand low acid foods like canned green beans are more risky than high acid foods, but a bit safer than meats and dairy.

Lab Testing

Obviously, you will need to test your products. Shelf-life determination of your product can be quite complicated. Shelf-life has many components, but can be broken down into three main categories:



organoleptic (sensory characteristics)

See this page for more information about testing.

See this page for a list of labs that can test your foods.

Food Regulations

Beyond the requirement to prepare the food in a licensed kitchen, there are food preparation, testing and labeling laws. Packaged foods, those which are wrapped and labeled for consumer purchase, are regulated by state agencies, usually under federal authority. Food regulations can be confusing and often complicated. In many cases, a single food product or production facility may be covered by multiple jurisdictions. Almost all processing of foods requires prior notification to the regulatory agency.

Because of the many rules for processing and preparing food for sale, the entrepreneur is advised to consult an expert prior to investing in a food processing venture. As in any business venture, know and understand the rules before you get started.

Most packaged foods are regulated by the state Department of Agriculture. There also are some basic regulations that all processing facilities must follow.  They include Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s) and Sanitation Standard Operation Procedures (SSOP’s).

SSOP’s are written procedures for sanitation activities. Click here for detailed information regarding SSOP’s.

Processed and packaged foods are regulated by the FDA.  They publish GMP’s, which are regulations set forth to ensure that every aspect of a new product, from formulation to processing to packaging and labeling to even distribution keeps the best quality product available to consumers. GMP’s are defined by the Code of Federal Regulations 21 CFR 110 as they are fundamental to food safety. The main topics discussed by this document include personnel, plant and grounds, sanitary operations, sanitary facilities and controls, equipment and utensils, processes and controls, warehousing and distribution, and natural or unavoidable defects. For a complete GMP checklist click here.

These regulations consist of Section 100 and 101 concerning labeling and Section 110 which covers Good Manufacturing Practices along with other sections that contain Standards of Identity, acceptable ingredients, and other rules. In special cases where foods are preserved with added acid or low-acid foods are canned, (pH at 4.6 and above) Sections 114 and 113 apply, respectively. These sections have special requirements, such as establishment registration under Section 108, filing of a scheduled process, and processing and packaging under the operating control of a certified supervisor.

Products held under constant refrigeration, or that are determined to be naturally acid foods with a pH of  4.6, or have a water activity (aw) of 0.85 are not covered by the provisions of 21CFR 113 or 114. However, Good Manufacturing Practices (21CFR 110) requires that adequate controls be in place to assure the products continue to meet these parameters.

There are also special regulations for canned foods specifically. Those regulations can all be found the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.

Low Acid Canned Foods
21 CFR Part 113

Acidified Canned Foods
21 CFR Part 114

Meat and Poultry
9 CFR Parts 300-592


Labeling requires its own explanation. “Labeling” includes all labels and any other written, printed, or graphic materials, either attached to an article or any of its containers or wrappers or accompanying the article. Brochures and other Point of Sale accompanying a food product are also considered labeling, particularly if they name or feature the food.

So who is responsible for correct labeling? In those instances where the buyer provides or prescribes the labeling, they may be held responsible, IN ADDITION TO, rather then instead of, the processor. A processor who ships unlabeled goods to be processed, labeled, or repacked at an establishment other than one he owns must have a written agreement between himself and the buyer, setting forth the specifications to be followed in labeling the goods.

See this page for news and other information about food labeling and nutrition..

With rising concerns as to food allergies the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires use of common English names for the major food allergens. Tree nuts must identify specific nuts such as “almonds”, “pecans”, or “walnuts”. Also, fish and shellfish must identify species such as “tuna”, “bass”, “flounder”, “shrimp”, and “lobster”. It also requires the labeling for flavors, colors, and incidental additives if they contain allergens. No minimum level of allergen is required before labeling is placed on the package. It is required regardless of the amount present in the product.

There are exemptions from the requirements for nutrition labeling (not ALL labeling requirements), provided there are no nutrition claims or other nutrition information on the label or in advertising. The exemptions apply to those firms:

of fewer than 100 full-time employees

that sell fewer than 100,000 units of a particular food, in any 12 month period

sold direct to consumers,

For labeling help, there are many places you can go for information:

What’s on a Label?

FDA CFR Title 21 Part 101

FDA Food Labeling Guide

Virginia Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures

NC State Univ – Labeling exemptions

Virginia’s Finest Program

Virginia Tech Department of Food Science

Publications for Developing a Food Business

Nutrition labeling questions and concerns can be taken to the FDA website for more guidance (Food Labeling Guide).


Almost all of the above issues involve some degree of paperwork. Most of the paperwork filed will be directly with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Paperwork dealing specifically with acidified foods (such as pickled foods and salsa) is a great area of importance. More information about filing an acidified food with the FDA can be found here.The FDA prefers that all paperwork is filed online.

Business Aspects

Presumably, you want to do this to make a profit (not to lose money or break even). You need to think through and be able to address these questions:

Do I understand the basic marketing aspects of my product?

Product Features

Target Audience



Price of Product

Cost of Manufacturing of Product (facilities, utilities, ingredients, packaging, licensing and governmental fees)

Other indirect costs (advertising, phones, postage, transportation, insurance)

Am I ready to start a food business?

Personal Characteristics

Business Plan

Time Commitment

Contacts & Assistance

Financial Status & Resources

Labor Pool & Costs

Still interested?

Now, if you are still interested in selling your homemade products; go for it! But be sure to consult a good lawyer, your state agriculture department (try your county extension agent) and your local health department first to understand what you need to do to be legal and to protect your business!

Preserving food for your own home (or non-commercial) use is not regulated; however, food preservation and processing for commercial purposes (i.e., for sale) is regulated. There are federal level regulations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (also USDA for meat and poultry products), state level regulations, and often county or city regulations. For a start, most states require that you have an inspected, licensed kitchen.  Just meeting the physical requirements often means spending tens of thousands of dollars to convert your home kitchen.

Some home canners gone commercial get around this by renting a commercially licensed kitchen, such as a restaurant’s kitchen, during their off-hours.

Even then, there are product liability issues.  If one jerk claims that he found a mouse in your jar of jam, the legal defense could wipe you out.

People HAVE done it: Famous Amos, Mrs. Fields are a couple examples of ordinary people who decided to sell their homemade foods.  But they also had a lot of legal advice and financial backing. See below for many more resources:

Processed Food Business Resources

First stop is to see what the U.S. FDA has to say at “Starting a Food Business”:

If you are wanting to sell canned, low-acid or acidified foods, also see “Acidified and Low-Acid Canned Foods”: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/lacf-toc.html

Search through some of the internet sites from Cooperative Extension Service programs or some other state-specific sites listed below. An excellent source is this web page from Penn State University Department of Food Science:http://foodsafety.cas.psu.edu/processor/resources.htm#Before

Contact your county Cooperative Extension Agent to locate a program in your state or contact your state university’s Food Science program. See:http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/index.html for a clickable map of contacts who can lead you to the right person. (This site is maintained by USDA, not the NCHFP.)

Check your state’s Department of Agriculture for resources. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture maintain a web site with links to state departments of agriculture at: http://www.nasda.org/nasda/nasda/member_information/usmap.htm

Look for “Value Added” programs that encourage small scale processing of foods. An example of a value added process is when a strawberry grower turns his strawberries into jam. Many state university Extension or other agriculture programs, state departments of agriculture or rural development centers have value-added initiatives and assistance. An internet search using terms such as “valued added agriculture” generates a list of web sites.

Check to see if your state has an incubator kitchen program. Some states have programs that help entrepreneurs develop recipes to commercialize. These are usually test kitchens that share resources. Again, state Departments of Agriculture or a state university’s food science department are good leads for finding incubator programs.

It is important to look for state-specific resources to help you know what regulations will apply to your situation. However, if you want to jump-start your thinking about whether a food processing business is right for you, this web page from Penn State University Department of Food Science has some links to helpful reading for early decision making:http://foodsafety.cas.psu.edu/processor/ent_res_text2.htm#Before

Question and Answer Guide for Starting and Growing Your Small Business

Starting a Food Business in Virginia

Starting a Successful Catering Business

Starting a Food Business (FDA)

Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses

Marketing Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers

How to Direct Market Your Beef

Federal Resources for Small Businesses

Starting a Food Business – Website from The U. S. Food and Drug Administration’s, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Internal Revenue Service

U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Copyright Office

Small Business Administration

FedWorld (Federal Agency Information)

The Bureau of Export Administration

Economic Development Administration

Minority Business Development Agency

National Technology Information Service

General Services Administration

National Archives

Social Security Administration

Postal Service

Trade and Development Agency

Credit is due to NC State Extension, VPI (Virgina Tech), Brian A. Nummer, Ph.D. and Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph. D., both of the National Center for Home Food Preservation for most of this information!


Cooperative Extension Program Links

State Resources
Alabama Starting A Food Processing Business? What You Should Know Before You Get Started
(HE-753, New May 1998, Alabama Cooperative Extension System)

(PDF version of above)

Alaska State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Alaska:

Arizona Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook
University of Arizona, Agricultural and Resource Economics:

California University of California-Davis, UC Food Safety Website
From Kitchen to Market Manufacturing Options
Getting Started in the Food Business

Colorado State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Colorado:

Connecticut Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship
(A Partnership of Cornell University and University of Vermont):

Delaware State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Delaware:

Florida University of Florida Center for Agribusiness:

Georgia Getting Started in the Food Specialty Business,
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin 1051:

Is Your Agribusiness Project Feasible?,
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin 1066: (pdf only)

Starting a New Food Business Website, with helpful links to regulations and University of Georgia Food Science and Technology resources available to help:

Hawaii Some Costs and Considerations for Establishing an Entrepreneurial Community Shared-Use Kitchen or “Test-Kitchen” Incubator,
University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service Publication FMT-2:

Idaho University of Idaho, Food Science & Toxicology Web Site
Food Processing Extension Programs:

Illinois University of Illinois, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics Website
Illinois Specialty Farm Products:

Indiana Purdue University, Department of Food Science,
Value-Added Processing Assistance Website:

Iowa Iowa State University Extension,
Website – Kitchen Incubators & Other Food-Related Small Business:

Selling Food Products,
North Central Regional Extension Publication No. 259:

Iowa Laws: Sale of Home-Prepared Foods,
Iowa State University Extension Publication PM 1294:

Kansas Kansas State University, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry Website:
Value Added Services and Programs:

Kansas Department of Commerce, Agriculture Marketing Development

Kentucky Home-Based Business: Making & Selling Food Products in Kentucky,
University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service Publication H.E. 9-100:

Louisiana Louisiana State University, Food Science Department:

Massachusettes Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship
(A Partnership of Cornell University and University of Vermont):

Maine Starting a Home Business in Tough Times,
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #4154:

Maryland State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Maryland:

Michigan Food Regulations For Small Home Business,
Michigan State University Extension Publication Small Business Bulletin E317921:

Minnesota Starting a Food Business in Minnesota,
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Publication:
http://www.mda. state.mn.us/dairyfood/startingfoodbiz.pdf

University of Minnesota, Department of Food Science and Nutrition Website – Pilot Plant:

Mississippi Exploring the Potential for New Food Products,
Mississippi State University Food and Fiber Center,
Extension Service Publication 2170:

Considerations Before Starting a Small Food-Processing Business,
Mississippi State University Extension Service Information Sheet 1554

Missouri University of Missouri, Outreach and Extension Website –
Missouri Value Added Development Center:

Getting from Idea to Implementation,
Missouri Department of Agriculture AG Innovation Guide:

Montana Starting A Specialty Food Business,
Montana State University Extension Service Resource Guide:

Montana State University, Extension Service Web Site (online training series) –
Growing A Small Business and Staying on Top:

Nebraska University of Nebraska, The Food Processing Center Web Site –

University of Nebraska, The Food Processing Center Web Site –
Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program:

Nevada State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Nevada:

New Hampshire New Hampshire Specialty Food Producers Handbook and Resource Guide,
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Publication:

Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship
(A Partnership of Cornell University and the University of Vermont):

New Jersey Rutgers State University, NJ Agricultural Experiment Station Web Site –
Food Innovation Research & Extension Center (FIRE):

New Mexico State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, New Mexico:

In the Specialty Food Business, Getting Started Is No Piece of Cake,
New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service News Release:

New York Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship (at Cornell University)

New York State Food Venture Center Publications (at Cornell University):

North Carolina North Carolina State University, Cooperative Extension Web Site –
Developing a Food Business:

North Carolina State University, Cooperative Extension Web Site –
Publications for Developing a Food Business:

North Dakota Food Entrepreneur, your Resource Guide to the Food Industry,
North Dakota State University Extension Service Online publication:

Developing a New Co-Owned Agricultural Business: How do we Start a Value-Added Firm?,
North Dakota State University Extension Service Publication EC-1137:

Ohio Ohio State University, Food Science and Technology Web Site –
Gould Food Industries Center:

Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Web Site –
Small Business Series (Entrepreneurhsip, Home Business & Micro Enterprises):

Oklahoma Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center Website:

Oregon Oregon State university and Oregon Department of Agriculture Web Site –
Food Innovation Center:

Oregond State University, Extension Service News Release (and contact for Food Marketing Specialist) –
OSU to Offer “Food School”:

Pennsylvania Penn State University, Deparment of Food Science Web Site –
Resources for Small Food Processors & Potential Entrepreneurs

Rhode Island Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneursheip
(A Partnership of Cornell University and University of Vermont):

South Carolina Starting a Food Business: An Overview,
Clemson Extension Home & Garden Information Center Publication HGIC 3867:

South Dakota South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Division of Ag Development Web Site –
The Value Added And Crop Marketing Program:

State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, South Dakota:

Tennessee Getting Started in a Food Manufacturing Business in Tennessee,
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Publication PB1399:

Starting Your Own Wine Business,
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Publication PB1688:

Considerations for a Value-Added Agribusiness,
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Publication PB1642:

Design and Construction of Food Processing Operations,
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Publication ADC Info #18:

Starting a Food Business: Overview of Marketing,
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Slide Set (Online):

Texas Texas A&M University, Texas Cooperative Extension Web Site –
Home-Based & Micro Business, Entrepreneurship:

Adding Value to Agricultural Products,
Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension Service Publication L-5361:

Evaluating Your Value-Added Business Plan,
Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension Service Publication L-5438:

Utah State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Utah:

Vermont Northeast center for Food Entrepreneurship
(A Partnership of Cornell University and University of Vermont):

Virginia Starting a Food Processing Business in Virginia,
Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension Publication 348-963:

Washington Producing Value-Added Products for Market: Start with Food Safety,
Washington State University Cooperative Extension Publication EB-1902:

Value-Added Enterprises for Small-Scale Farmers,
Washington State University Cooperative Extension, King County,
Agriculture and Natural Resources Fact Sheet #518:

Washington State University, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition Web Site –
Food Processing Pilot Plant:

West Virginia State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, West Virginia:

Wisconsin University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension Web Site –
Starting a Value-Added Farm-Food Business:

Wyoming Wyoming Business Council Division of Agriculture.
If your business is agriculture-related, the Wyoming Business Council Division of Agriculture may be able to offer you assistance with marketing, market research and training. Call Bill Bunce at (307) 777-6581.

Wyoming Business Council Web Site –
Promoting Products “Made in Wyoming”:

University of Wyoming, Small Business Development Center Web Site:



Backup Your Pictures **and Beyond.

I posted this last year but with so many people losing their digital images and data I thought it would be good to repost this as a reminder.   Some of this information is still very relevant but services like Live Mesh are going away.    The key to remember is that hard drives go bad and that memory cards are not good for long-term or permanent storage of pictures.   Remember to follow this easy process:

1) Move images/data from your device to a computer or external storage device.

2) Burn images to a DVD or Blu-ray media.

3) If you can make two copies, store one at home and one in a remote location.

4) Don’t rely on your computer or external hard disk.  (They will fail)


This should be short and effective. Over the past few years I have had people lose important data because they didn’t have a backup strategy. I have written instructions in the past for clients but backing up always seems to hard. It is always something that people “will get to” at some point. The problem is that some point comes quickly. I get a clicking hard drive or damaged device to look at. Sometimes I can get the data and sometimes I can’t. When I can’t if the pictures are really needed it will cost them.

There are many strategies for backing up pictures or important data. I am not going to get into all of them in this blog. What I am sharing here is some information for available low cost or even free services that we can use to backup our information.

I personally use Live Essentials Mesh to sync data between my work and home computer.  I use dropbox to share information with friends and family and I use Gladinet to sync up data for my Skydrive and Google docs.  I also use Icloud for an out of the house desktop and it works well from anywhere for that.  For pictures I archive our pictures on hard disk and back them up to DVD.  One thing you may consider is sending DVD’s to family or keeping them in a lockbox or bank vault.   For this blog, I wanted to consolidate some of the more common information for practical reference.  If you have any questions, let me know!

Google Docs Here

Windows Live (Skydrive) 25 GB
Windows Live Mesh (Skydrive) 5 GB

Box.net Here

How to use Live Mesh (out of beta) Click here

Icloud (10GB) Here

Dropbox (2+GB)Video here

How to use Gladinet? Click here

Carbononite here

Backup Your Photos Online, Preserve Memories Forever

Amit Agarwal

Secure storage SpiderOak

What’s the first thing that you do when you are back from a vacation or from a family wedding? You probably connect the digital camera to your computer and transfer the photographs (a better word would be “memories”) from the camera to your hard-drive.

You’ve following this routine for quite some time and, as a result, a few hundred thousand photographs reside on your computer now neatly tagged and arranged in folders. But wait, do you have a backup plan for these “priceless” digital photos?

How to Backup your Digital Photos
There are basically four ways by which you can backup your photos at home:

1. Backup your photos on CDs and DVDs – This is a cheap and easy option but please remember that disks have a finite shelf life so pictures that you burn today on to a DVD disk may not be accessible after few years.

2. Use an external hard drive – You can get a portable 500 GB drive for less than $100, they connect to your computer via USB (or Firewire) ports but again, you can’t expect an external hard drive to last forever.

3. Use Network Storage – If you have pictures across multiple computers, you can use a network attached storage (NAS) device like HP’s MediaSmart Home Server* or Apple’s Time Capsule to automatically backup all your digital content in one place.

[*] The HP device can transfer files to Amazon S3 so you have an added layer of protection.

4. Use an online backup services – You can use photo-sharing websites (like Flickr) or an online backup service (like Mozy) to put your photos on to the “cloud” and access them from any other computer.

For most users, the best option for preserving digital photographs is often “online backup” because it doesn’t require you to burn DVDs (which are unreliable anyway), you don’t have to invest in any new hardware and your photos are likely to last forever as long as you pay the yearly bills.

Online Backup for your Digital Photos
There are again four different routes for online backup:

#1. Online backup services like Mozy that offer unlimited storage and allow not just photographs but files of all types.

#2. Photo-sharing services like Flickr or Picasa Web Albums that allow you to store both photographs and video clips online.

#3. File-synchronization services like Dropbox, SugarSync or Windows Live Mesh.

#4. Online storage services like Amazon S3 or Windows Live SkyDrive.

Also see this comparison of Windows Live Mesh with SkyDrive.

What should you use?

Well, photo-sharing sites allow you to visually browse pictures in the web browser itself while a backup service like Mozy will first require you to download the photos on to the computer before you can show them to your visiting grand-parents.

File-synchronization services like Live Mesh not only provide online backup but they also save a copy of your digital files (pictures in this case) on to your other computers so even if your main hard-drive suffers a crash, you can quickly retrieve files from the other computers.

The Cost of Online Storage for Digital Photos

If you only have a few hundred photos on your computer that occupy anywhere between 1-2 GB of storage space, you can enjoy any of above backup services for free but if your storage requirements are slightly more, you probably need to for a paid version.

Now here’s a visual graph that compares the storage cost of various online backup services where you can safely store your priceless photos.

Flickr Pro costs around $25 an year and you can store unlimited number of pictures here though the maximum size of individual pictures should not exceed 20 MB (bad for professional photographs who shoot in RAW – see comments).

Picasa Web Albums on the other hand lets you purchase storage on-demand so you only pay $5 per year for 20 GB of online storage but end-up paying $100 for 400 GB of storage. Like Flickr, images uploaded to Picasa Web Albums can be no larger than 20MB and are restricted to 50 megapixels or less.

Live Skydrive is the best online storage service – it offers 25 GB of free space (50 MB limit for individual files) and that should be enough for most home users. You can upload picture libraries from your desktop to Windows Live SkyDrive using the free Windows Live Photo Gallery client though it’s only available for Windows.

Online backup services like Mozy cost around $60 per year respectively but here you get unlimited storage, your files are automatically backed up (in the background) and there are no restrictions on file-size.

SmugMug, another popular photo-sharing site, offers a service called SmugVault that uses Amazon S3 to backup your photos, videos and all other file-types that you can imagine. They have a relaxed 600 MB per file limit and you pay the normal Amazon S3 rent for files that are not photos.

Amazon S3, where you pay only for what you use, is very reliable (their SLA promises 99.9% uptime) turns out to be very expensive if your yearly storage requirement exceeds 10 GB.

Here’s another representation of the same graph – Yearly costs (in $) vs. storage offered (in GB).

Windows Live SkyDrive offers 25 GB of online storage space for your pictures for free though there’s no option to purchase extra storage. In paid services, Google’s Picasa offers the best value for money if your photo collection can fit in 20 GB else a Flickr Pro account probably makes more sense.

Picasa desktop software makes it easy for you to upload and download photos from Picasa Web Albums. Flickr provides an uploading utility but you need to rely on a third-party hacks to download the original (full-resolution) albums from Flickr.

Related: Never use your Web Host for File Backup


Wordle: KMi.open.ac.uk

Categories Uncategorized

Reasons that business may come asking for “Enterprise Architecture” | “To Be” Enterprise Architecture

Reasons that business may come asking for “Enterprise Architecture” | “To Be” Enterprise Architecture.

Categories Uncategorized

Year of the Cloud

I think that this is going to be the biggest year yet for cloud computing.   A lot of the startup’s have been acquired and the market is ripe for something new but familiar.   The only problem is that we are organizationally rushing into this without a strong foundation.   When I say strong foundation, I really mean high level governance.   I am involved in efforts that are deeply root in service orientation.   Short history clear shows that technically we are ahead of our policy, standards and guidance.   I kind of reminds me of when someone comes out with a new drug that is perfectly legal until it is discovered by some authority.

I guess cloud computing is like spice (hehe).    Look here is what I am saying, cloud concepts are appealing for a lot of reasons but we need to be careful for a number of reasons.   The more data you put out into a cloud, the more your risk increases with respect to securing that data.   Cloud computing can be secure but this security requires a significant effort in planning.

The federal government is ready to move into the cloud, but they haven’t even moved to virtualization as planned.  They haven’t mastered service orientation, and they haven’t written doctrine to support these technologies as required.   I have seen plenty of government dollars go to waste on concepts ill-defined.

There is nothing wrong with leveraging new technologies.  There is nothing wrong with looking at new concepts and coming up with new ideas.   There is nothing wrong with experimentation on these ideas.   All of these things need to happen by a process and practice.   Today we rush so quickly into technologies that we mistakenly invest all of our eggs into the new basket.  It costs money.    What we aren’t doing is weighing the benefits from the costs.

Back to my first point, this year will be a big year for cloud computing.  I think people like Thomas Erl and other SOA leaders will move full steam into this space.   There will be a cloud manifesto and organizations dedicated to the cloud and groups creating cloud types and taxonomies and lexicons and ontological cloud linkages.   All that is great and will generate buzz and lots of cash.  My question is,  if you put everything in the cloud and you have no understanding of what that means,  what will you have when you are standing on the ground looking up?   I don’t know, just something to think about.