Aaron Cordova's Blog

Cloud Storage For Consumers

cloud storage for consumers

Recently I've been considering using AllMyData.com as a place to store everything that I want to keep for a long time, like digital photos and home movies, and everything that is too big to fit on a single server, all my movies, music, etc. AllMyData uses an encrypted, distributed, filesystem so it's perfect for such usage.

This reminded me of the way I used to think of cloud computing before businesses got all excited about it, that is, what cloud computing promised to deliver to me as a consumer. I think the most attractive thing is to be able to store my data out on the cloud where I don't have to worry about machine failures or adding more hardware and where I can access it from any computer anytime, so I don't have to worry about syncing lots of different machines with each other, just each machine with the cloud.

This is really nice, and basically the only solution for long term storage. Writable DVDs and CDs are susceptible to decay, sometimes after only a few years. Data must be continually copied to new harddrives, which is a royal pain, unless you're doing it in the cloud.

Also, consumer data is growing faster than even the quick pace that hard drives are expanding. Digital cameras and video cameras can easily produce enough data to fill a single hard drive quickly. Producing and archiving that data over time gets harder and harder, and requires more effort. Making the jump to the cloud now means that someone else, ideally some smart software, will copy my data from machine to machine as needed and that my data can continue to grow without my having to make changes in the way I do things.

As an experiment in moving to the cloud I plan to point iTunes to a transparent filesystem interface in front of cloud-based storage so it thinks I'm storing things to my local hard drive when in fact it's being encrypted and distributed to lots of remote servers. I'll post again with the results.