Right now it’s hard to read about the Internet without coming across the topic of “Cloud Based Data Storage”. Why such a Hot Topic suddenly? Marketing media hype will tell you, because it is cool, low cost (or Free) and the data is SYNCED. I want to offer explanation based on a different focus – ALWAYS.
Cloud Based Data Storage is a pretty simple concept really – pay some money to store your “digital stuff” on an off-premise hard-drive managed and backed up by someone else. Just like the thousands of self-serve storage facilities built across the US in the last 30 years, where we pay someone to store our “tangible property stuff”. Doesn’t matter what your stuff is, how much you have, nor how valuable it is – or isn’t. All that matters is you want to put it somewhere other than where you have been keeping it, the reason(s) why are varied and many.
With “digital data storage” the reasons become more complex and varied – so also do the variety of solutions. This is true because Digital Stuff (data) differs in a distinct and major way from Tangible Stuff (physical property). Namely it can be altered, transported and duplicated instantly, silently and virtually invisibly. This characteristic has a major domino effect on what we can and want to do with digital data.
I offer that the impact and significance of Synced Cloud Based Data Storage goes well beyond “cost savings or convenience”. Remember the days of “dial up” internet? It got the job done, linking you to the WEB and giving access to its many features – but re-establishing the connection was tedious, slow and annoying. It’s commonly thought the value of Broadband Internet connections (T1, DSL, Cable, Wireless etc) was added speed and lower per megabit cost. But the really significant factor that radically expanded people’s use of the WEB was the “ALWAYS ON” connection.
When people no longer had to constantly repeat the “connection routine” they were far more inclined to use the Internet. This was true on both ends, when people knew a recipient would receive and see an email or chat message shortly after it was sent, they tended to send a lot more messages. Today virtually no one even thinks about “connecting” to the Internet, at least not after they sign a contract for service with an ISP (Internet Service Provider).
In the last year Cloud Based Data Storage has gone through radical change. Products such as Dropbox, SugarSync and Box.Net have introduced the concept of automatic syncing of data files across multiple and varied computing devices. As of April 2012, the Big 3 consumer service providers, are offering FREE and PAID versions of Synced Cloud Based Data Storage.
Hundreds of articles will be found discussing the pros and cons of each service. Yet the truly important element is the common denominator of having and coming to expect ALWAYS ON access to ALWAYS CURRENT data regardless of your location or device, including smart phones. Like the “Dail-up to Broadband” transition, this evolution in digital data storage will further fuse our lives to the WEB, and continue to bring new offerings in applications and technology’s role in our lives.
I will discuss some of the specific and fundamental differences between the various services in subsequent blog posts. Until then, if you are looking for additional information on Google Drive or Google Apps provided Cloud based Data Storage, call me at 303-932-8146.