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Feb 7 2013   8:40AM GMT

The Golden Age of Cloud Storage

Ron Miller Ron Miller Profile: Ron Miller

Cloud storage has gotten so ridiculously cheap, it’s hard to see why you wouldn’t be using it.

We are in a golden age of cloud storage. We can buy unlimited backup on BitCasa for $99 a year or 10 GB for free. There’s also Dropbox and Sky Drive and Box and Google Drive  and iCloud and Amazon — all offer a varying amount of free space and attractive pricing packages if you want more.  There are so many options for such low prices, it boggles the mind.

You want local storage, you say? We can get a 2TB portable drive for around $100. .

Like everything else in technology this march to cheap storage has been steady. My first PC had a 20 MB (that’s megabytes, folks) hard drive.  Today, I have a 4GB thumb drive on my key chain — one of those that’s just the USB connector and a rubber cover. I recently bought a light-weight 1 tb portable drive that fits in the palm of my hand for $99. It still blows my mind that this little thing holds a terabyte.

Yet even with the low cost of local storage, we never seem to have enough do we? Whether we are an individual or an enterprise, we always seem to fill whatever capacity we have.

I have been buying computers for a long time and each time I’ve bought one, the hard drive had ever  more capacity, and I would think — I’ll never fill up that much hard drive space — only to find I did. I’m sure many IT pros have thought the same thing with their storage arrays. There must be some kind of law like Moore’s Law around chip capacity that we will always fill whatever hard drive capacity we have.

That’s the beauty of the cloud. It’s like that old Jay Leno Dorito’s ad — “Don’t worry. We’ll make more. ” It will always scale for you. You don’t have to worry about it because the cloud provider does. I know personally I have at least half a dozen cloud storage accounts. My stuff is spread across the digital heavens because it’s so darn cheap.

Just this week, Bitcasa came out of Beta with a new storage product that provides unlimited storage for $99 a year. I find it hard to believe they can continue to offer unlimited storage for so little, but for now, that’s the price. What’s more, it has client-side encryption, so they have no idea what’s on there and claim there’s no way for them to know — even under threat of subpoena.

Even the most paranoid among us has to like that.

So sure at 2TB for $100 you could back up some stuff and have it locally where it can never be at the mercy of ‘The Man’ –whether the government or the service provider — but when you can get unlimited encrypted storage for $99 a year, that’s gotten to the point where it’s pretty darn hard to resist. And you can get your files anywhere from any device , as well as  mark files for offline access if you know you’re not going to have a WiFi connection.

It’s the golden age of cloud storage. You would foolish not take advantage.

Photo Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo

3  Comments on this Post

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  • FTClark
    It is unfortunate that not all of us have a high-speed Internet connection to make heavy use of cloud storage. Even those who do face the simple fact that no matter how fast and big there is the conundrum that FedEx is faster and cheaper, if you are aware of the hypothetical comparison figures. But, cloud storage is very useful to whatever extent you can use it so enjoy the "Golden Age?".
    1,280 pointsBadges:
  • Ron Miller
    Valid point. But Broadband is widely available in many areas now and those who don't have it, usually have cell service. If you're using a tablet or smartphone, you can still take advantage of the ubiquity and low cost of storage.
    585 pointsBadges:
  • TomLiotta
    I'm surrounded by forest on all sides, living on the west side of Puget Sound, at the end of a private road in an unincorporated area. Broadband comes to the house. In the USA, it's hard to imagine a business area that has use of significant cloud storage and doesn't have broadband availability. I'm sure it happens, but it doesn't seem significant to the industry. -- Tom
    125,585 pointsBadges:

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