Extending the cloud with backup services

Looking over my earlier post about backup strategies made me wonder how I could simplify my own process further. The basics of local backups of web services, backing up my local drive to another local drive, syncing critical files, and backing up my local drive to the cloud aren’t as simple as they need to be for most people. I try hard to eliminate the complexity but the truth is that backing up so many 3rd party services is the biggest chore.

It seems that the cloud storage/backup services could collectively agree to support some sort of standardized authentication protocol to allow web applications (Google Calendar, Delicious, etc.) to automatically backup your data to your cloud backup service – without first having to make local backups.

I can imagine a preference screen in Google Docs that lets me select my backup vendor and uses an oAuth-style authentication scheme to make the process quick and painless. Set it once, and forget about it until you need to recover data. Backup only works when it’s invisible to the user.