Has Apple prophet Steve Jobs just foretold the end of the desktop hard drive? He has brought down his tablets from Apple's mountain and the word from fanbois heaven is that the PC is just another device; iPad, iPod and iPhone users don't need to be tethered to it anymore. Instead of their PC and its hard drive being the main …
You should really see my g WiFi over here. Sometimes it gets knocked down to 18Mbps, which is probably competing with 10BaseT or 802.11b at most.
Wired kit, even the cheapest kit, will always be faster than wireless.
Not really... not really.
You're numbers are bizarre.
Consumer wired networking is 1000mb/s. Even cheap crappy systems have GigE now and the associated switch gear is cheap.
A wired NAS can easily do 80MB/sec or more.
Wireless in general is a big problem. It's a mess in general. Slow. Insecure. Difficult to deal with.
Once you get into this "Cloud" thing forget about it. Minutes quickly turn into hours or even days.
Tin foil suit
100 megabytes in the (shielded) wires sounds fine to me, but 100 megabytes over a wireless, add a parity and a check bit and a few more bits for the protocol layers that sounds like a frequency around 1GhZ, that’s halfway to microwave energy, will I be able to warm pizza by placing it between the antenna of my router? Will I have to wear a tin foil suit to sit near the router so that my little programmers don’t get cooked?
At least I can keep my beer cool with the fans I will have to install to keep my HDDs cool
Paris, who has been known to heat up an antenna or two in her lifetime
The demand for hard drives will simply shift from the consumer side to the enterprise side as an ever increasing shift in cloud computing will require massive investment in data center storage. Data has to be stored somewhere. Only difference is, now it will stored in massive data centers instead of user's desktops. Combine that with requirements of geographic mirroring, backups, redundancy for uptime SLAs and what not. And flash isn't going to be cheap enough or reliable enough to handle this workload. So the hard drives are here to stay.
Bulk cloud storage has much lower margins
1) Because any big cloud operator will be calling off drives from a huge contract, and so will pay much less than retail, and
2) You and I have lots of wasted space on our drives. So we have paid for much more than we need. The cloud provider over-sells his capacity, and only stuffs more drives in his arrays when the increase in usage pushes the utilisation beyond what's safe.
Except of course....
....every gigabyte of whatever that's no longer held on spinning rust in the user's PC will be held on spinning rust in a cloud service.
So the cheap consumer commodity hard disk business dies off and the humungo-markup enterprise hard disk business grows like topsy. What's not to like there for the HDD makers?
Also, in that world, nobody's going to drop their rust en masse for flash. They're far more likely to go for a tiered approach dependant on access requirements with flash reserved for indexing, cacheing and such. Nobody needs the access speeds of flash to pipe the raw user crud over the Internet.......
Must have been two decades ago that ferric oxide was obsoleted.
Even in 2001 they were using a high-tech coating of rare magnetic alloys sprinkled with three atomic thicknesses of pixie dust. (Google IBM "pixie dust" if you don't believe me)
Western Digital still have my business
I run my own NAS box. It's like a cloud, but better, because it resides in the same country as I do and so my data is not mysteriously subject to a different set of laws than I am. It also allows me to slot in an extra couple of TB whenever I want at very marginal cost with no silly subscription fees to pay. Just as long as I can afford to pay the electricity, the data is there.
Only problem is, I have exactly 0% need for any kind of "cloud". If the data isn't important enough for me to make a conscious effort to carry it around, then it is not worth having with me anyway. QED. I don't take the fucking toilet brush with me when I go to work do I (actually I do, just kidding). Is nothing sacred?
My NAS supports off-site backup to Amazon's cloud (AWS) - useful should there be a house fire or someone tried to steal all of my equipment. Alas, there's no support for an encrypted backup.
When we all have 1Gb/s to our homes and 10Mb/s to our phones, I think Steve Jobs and the other could advocates will be right - no HDDs require, not even DVDs/BluRay disks - until then...
Yup - me too
Clouds have FAR too fluffy edges re. privacy and ownership for me to use them - and that includes private use. The brainwashing didn't work for me, I still appreciate my privacy..
Was that Irony, trollling, or what?
While spinny disks may face competition from SSDs, that is merely a change in the underlying technology used for bulk storage. Indeed, the advent of large, cheap and, most significantly, *fast* SSDs will be more likely to save the "desktop" PC then herald its demise.
The problems with the "cloud" are manifold. Speed is a big issue. Even if you have a 20MB broadband service (that actually delivers that speed), then placing and retrieving files from the cloud is several orders of magnitude slower than doing the same from a local HD (particularly if its an SSD). Then there's the availability of a connection. It may work fine on your home broadband, but what about on the train? No such problem accessing files on your laptop HD . Cost is also a consideration. How much is cloud storage going to cost in mobile broadband and PAYG wi-fi fees, not to mention the cost of storage itself.
Oh, and lets not forget that the iCloud is going to be for iThings, only (well, apart from Windows PCs). Work colleague has an Android tablet? Blackberry? Want him to access your proposal on the iCloud? Forget it.
2GB of cloudy storage for free, synced to all your local computing devices and it has a 'Public' folder, from which you can give links to people for individual files. Apply your own encryption for confidential stuff, obviously.
>> "The problems with the "cloud" are manifold. Speed is a big issue. Even if you have a 20MB broadband service (that actually delivers that speed), then placing and retrieving files from the cloud is several orders of magnitude slower than doing the same from a local HD (particularly if its an SSD). Then there's the availability of a connection. It may work fine on your home broadband, but what about on the train?"
The problems with the "cloud" may indeed be manifold, but it is not fair to attribute them to iCloud, for it does not really follow the conventional "cloud" service others have been touting.
For instance, iCloud is going to *sync* your devices, not necessarily store your stuff for you. As per your example, presumably you'll have little reason to sync while on the train. When you are unable to connect to the network, your devices will still work with whatever local content was sync'ed before.
Nothing has changed in that regard, only the way to sync has been moved from a tethered connection to a PC to a wireless background process with the iCloud back-end.
I still have an innate fear of giving all my data to somebody else to look after on terms and conditions they can change whenever they want http://www.geek.com/articles/news/ftc-complaint-says-dropbox-lied-about-data-security-20110516/
So iCloud has reinvented Dropbox then? Is Apple's next move going to be suing Dropbox, claiming Apple invented it first?
Doesn't the cloud also use HDDs?
Isn't this all about moving said HDDs from people's homes to distributed datacentres?
Sure, some reduction will be achieved due to better utilisation, and the HDD manufacturers may loose money by having to sell larger volumes at lower profit margins to bigger players, but surely it's a bit soon to be ringing the death bell for HDDs?
My 2 pence
no, it's better then that
It's about syncing data between home PC and other devices. HD manufacturers are downright salivating over this... they sell you one in your PC, the sell apple one for iCloud, the sell another (10) in the flash for your iDevice(s).
it's like printing money, Chris Mellor could only be more wrong if he said it harolds a new coming of Xenu.
What on earth?
What exactly does the Word of Jobs have to do with the fact that traditional HDD's have been in decline for longer than Jobs has been playing with tablets (of the computing variety at least).
It's pointless articles like this; that marry known facts to Job's rain-making, that bring a little tear to my eye. El Reg - you should know better.
It's not so much that Steve and Apple are single-handledly foisting change on the whole industry, but that Apple is the most likely company to leap toward change first. You could also argue that Apple destroyed the floppy drive industry. But it was more a case that technology had marched inexorably forward and Steve was the first to bring down the axe (and what an uproar that caused).
What are cloud drives made from - clouds?
I see it as a big plus for the fixed disk manufacturers, demand for enterprise storage is rising faster than in decades and we still need a desktop or laptop for most of what we do with computers.
It may end up being a smaller SSD, but that's got nothing to do with the cloud and everything to do with new tech. WD et al should get into making SSDs if they don't want their consumer market (and even high end enterprise market) walking away from them.
For music, movies etc. The hard disk model is one copy per consumer stored on the consumer's HD. The cloud model is a few copies stored on cloud servers and transmitted to the consumer on demand.
Cloud makes sense (a) for commercially sold read-only media, (b) if there's sufficient cheap network bandwidth, and (c) if the consumer trusts that the cloud entities won't ever revoke or lose their rights to view or listen to their purchases (i.e. how much do you trust Sony?). From a HD manufacturer's perspective it may well take a big bite out of their market.
I don't think it'll be very long before a typical PC or equivalent has an SSD (probably built onto the mainboard) and no HD. Storage options beyond a few GB on the SSD will be burn to DVD, copy to own USB HD or USB memory-stick, backup or copy to cloud.
the market for HDs is going to mature and go into long-term decline. They won't disappear in the next few decades, but HD manufacture is not going to remain a growth industry. Not unlike tape, really. Sure that the HD manufacturers have worked this out. IBM did so ahead of the pack, and sold to HGST, in what was regarded as a strange move at the time. Now HGST wants out.
Disk drives doomed?
No. I, for one, will not be welcoming the onslaught of the physical storage medium but a bunch of unconscionable corporate overlords. For me, at least, high storage capacity is a must on any device. Sod the cloud, I will not have my data beholden to the interests and whims of anyone but myself and I would hope that there are many others like me who are intensely cynical of the so called benefits of cloud computing.
There's at least one
I will never use cloud based storage for anything of any value. If I was guaranteed 100% availability, 100% reliability and the systems, that's the hardware and software, were 100% secure.
There is a human involved somewhere, hardly infallible are humans. Some of them are greedy for possessions and money, some get into debt, some do naughty things that leave them open to blackmail.
Basically human integrity can be bought. Each person has his price.
Ok, so what is the non-infringing use of local storage?
CDs? iCloud has that covered.
DVDs? oooh, you had to break the encryption, not allowed!
Ok, that's two major chunks of requirement gone, so what now?
Ah, you take photographs. And Videos. Hmm, what possible reason could you have for not wanting the State to keep an eye on them for you, hmm? Nothing to hide, nothing to fear!
So, the only reason you want large amounts of local storage is to keep your pirate music and films collection, and to hide your dirty, possibly illegal photographs!
Cheaper? Soon you'll need a license for a home hard drive!
If it's my DVD then it's my personal property, period.
That said. It's plenty easy to fill up hard drives with your own still photos and high res video.
They sell consumer cameras that record in the same format that BluRay uses. So the idea that an individual can't "legally" have hundreds of Gigs or even Terabytes of storage is simply bogus.
Even my "small personal media files" will choke a cablemodem or 3G connection. Cloud storage is just not cost effective and the network is crap. There's a middle man everywhere trying to extract money from you like some sort of bridge troll.
iCloud is a solution for lame devices that should be less lame.
They'll have to...
...pry my disk drives from my cold, dead, fingers.
I'm sorry but what?
I really am struggling to following the reasoning behind this article.
"Windows must follow suit, embracing what Apple is calling the post-PC era, not wanting to lag behind in the ease of use stakes. Thus, consumers won't buy so many PCs,"
Based on what, exactly? I don't recall seeing any figures backing this up. I own a tablet, and a netbook, and a desktop PC. Neither the netbook nor the tablet nor, for that matter, my phone is in any way an acceptable substitute for a proper PC.
Are you saying that people are going to stop buying PCs because they can store all their data on the cloud? Really? Considering the restrictions most British ISPs put on bandwidth, I fail to see this being a reliable or acceptable substitute for locally stored data. Given the Amazon cloud outage, which lead to some folks data being lost without hope of recovery, are you honestly trying to say this is an outcome people will want or embrace?
And what about gaming? While I am aware OnLive is attempting to punt a streaming games solution, many of us have no interest in that, and certainly refuse to pay a subscription to access their content, are you saying that the cloud is a viable solution for gamers?
Nope, sorry. Utter nonsense from start to finish. The only part of it I DID agree with was your comment about the uptake of flash drives compared to platters, the rest is just pie in the sky nonsense with nothing to back it up.
What will this data be stored on in the cloud then? cotton wool?
Drives will still be needed, they'll just be in a different location.
Am I just an old fogey?
Or will the sound of the iCloud (or whatever it's called) crashing in a few years time signal the end of Western Civilisation, India and China all in one go? Then there will be the legislation enacted next year by all major governments giving themselves unfettered access to the data (with the US Government first in line, with priority access).
Oh and *what* a juicy target for the ungodly!
I really expect to see everyone who has from several hundred Gigabytes to several Terabytes of media, to instantly transfer everything to the cloud. Not!
Almost 5 months
Using the lousy 1 Meg upload Virgin Media has kindly allowed me to have it would take almost 5 months or uninterrupted 24/7 connectivity to move my computers contents into the cloud.
Luckily I have absolutely no plans to give my data to Jobs or any other privacy flouting mega corp.
1 Meg upload? Branston only provides me with 51k.
Verity or Troll?
This is a Troll article right?
So when my misses has her >50GB of RAW files from her camera (each day!), where does she put them? I think it would take days to upload them with our available internet connection. Then she has to edit them on an iPad over Wi-Fi? Riiiight
And if they are stored on "the cloud", what are they stored on exactly? If they really are stored on vapour, I can see how that would be bad for the HDD industry, but I expect them to be stored on HDDs. Since "Tape is Dead" [sic] there will need to be multiple copies of the files on multiple disks, needing even more disks.
I'm sure it will happen eventually in the future, but I'm not holding my breath.
I agree. For the huge consumer market that doesn't do anything with their PC other than games, movies, music and porn there is probably a lot of truth in this article. It doesn't apply to people who actually use their PC's though. Software developers writing, debugging, and compiling code in the cloud; nope. Graphic designers and photograhpers editing images in the cloud; nope. Engineers building huge CAD models in the cloud; nope. The list goes on.
Contrary to popular belief, the Fruity Ones don't control all human behaviour...
As far as I can tell, this article is basically saying "Because Apple says so, everyone will shove *all their stuff* on the cloud and stop having local copies or backups of anything".
That seems a bit suspect to me
In some alternate world, personal computers were developed. In ours of course, the constant advancement of dumb terminals eventually led to this thing we now call Cloud Computing.
Yes, I know, it is the stuff of purple prose and lurid Science Fiction but I often wonder what we could have done if we all had a personal computer.
And that was John Stepp reporting from Steve Jobs mind. (30)
Short answer: no
Let's summarise: The figurehead (retired) of a niche electronics firm has decided that one of their applications won't need users to have a PC any more.
What does that mean for the 90-something percent of ordinary folk who don't use their products? Answer: not a single dam' thing. The key to this answer is to realise that just because Apple is a "noisy" marketer -- the amount of publicity they produce is disproportionate to the number of units they sell -- doesn't mean they affect the lives of most computer users.
Actually, anyone with a 3GS (the best iPhone) who signed up to MobileMe for the excellent 'Find my Phone' service (the only reason to sign up), will probably not be happy about losing it?
Disk going the same way as tape?
You mean hanging around and going nowhere fast??
Maybe all local storage
I must admit that since using Spotify for my mobile music needs I've not bothered to replace the paltry 4GB micro SD card in my phone. Why bother, I can cache a few albums, stream any I forgot to cache, and replace the cached albums quickly?
Extrapolating from that, maybe it won't be long before not much local storage is needed at all if it is all in "the cloud".
You haven't really thought this through, have you?
Right. So you'd be happy doing the same thing with movies, would you? Oh, wait, there's no film equivalent of Spotify. Oh, wait, the bandwidth involved in streaming films is punishing when compared to the standards imposed by most ISPs (especially if you're including mobile telcos in that equation). And that's before we get to games - I'm far from a hardcore gamer but the last 4 games I bought on steam were 26GB of downloads between 'em (Portal 2, Arkham Asylum, Far Cry 1 & 2) - fancy streaming that each time you want to play?
What's that, you say? You're in the boonies and there's no signal, and the only place you can get network access is a hotel charging you through the nose for a share of a crappy highly-contented 1MB/s line? Sucks to be you.
There may be certain areas where the need for local spinning-platter storage is diminishing, but to extrapolate from there to all other areas is the reasoning of a five-star numpty.
And what will the iCloud run on?
Sure the consumer disk industry is probably on its way out but someone has got to buy hard drives to store that data on at some point whether it be the customers or Apple/Microsoft etc. Besides, spinning disks have been on their way out for some time now even in PCs and laptops. Much like they always do, Apple have seen a situation at tipping point, pushed everyone over the edge that was waiting patiently and then claimed they were the ones to "revolutionise" the industry; once again taking away all the kudos from the people who actually did the work to get them there in the first place.
Desktop harddrive maybe...
Whilst it is true that there maybe a decline in sales of desktop hard drives, don't forget that these same three hard disk manufacturers also build the hard drives that go into servers and storage devices. With more people untethering their mobile devices from their desktops, they will be increasing their reliance on "cloud storage". A cloud may sound very abstract, but concretely the data bust be "stored" somewhere, and this somewhere is a hard disk.
I would think that the hard drive manufacturers will simply see a shift in where their technology is used.
Surely a decline in the consumer storage market will be at least partially balanced out by increased demand from data centres storing all the 'cloudy stuff'?
Hard drive speed 100MBytes/s. Probably.
Most ADSL connections, 8Mbits/second download, 1MBit/s upload. Sometimes.
Anyone fancy syncing their photo collection at those sorts of speeds?
Nah, didnt think so.
Until conections to the net catch up there will always be a need for local storage, and HD are the cheapest way of doing it.
Racing the turtles...
> Most ADSL connections, 8Mbits/second download, 1MBit/s upload. Sometimes.
> Anyone fancy syncing their photo collection at those sorts of speeds?
I was playing around with Amazon's service. I have a cable modem service that's very assymetrical and I spend a little more than a day pushing my personal music files up to Amazon. My collection is not that big, only about 16G.
In the same amount of time, I can push about 1.5TB around my local network.
so more people store on the cloud - which are just servers somewhere - which use hard discs - which they will need more of - which are sold by the companies that you mention......how are they losing out?
Another journalist adds question mark to headline when answer is "no", shock
That is all.
PC = Control
A PC is a powerhouse that you can do virtually anything with and at a moments notice can unplug from the rest of the world. You can program for a PC on a PC, you can upgrade bits of it, you can change its OS without any other hardware (except maybe a blank DVD).
mobile phones and slates are no comparison. I could maybe see the death of the laptop but I really don't think cloud computing is going to kill the PC. It's just not how people think.
I think the end of the consumer hard disk drive is inevitable and has probably been accelerated by Apples iPad. However, people rushing to put all of their data on the Cloud is a worrying trend. The companies offering Cloud services to consumers make no significant promises on the security and availability of your data. People should read the Terms and Conditions of the Cloud suppliers. They will see that they are responsible for backing up their data. Just because it is "in the Cloud" does not mean it is going to be available tomorrow.
The IT literate people will probably continue to use home based storage for their music, video, photo's etc. for the foreseeable future. The rest will push everything into the Cloud and scream very loudly when the service goes tits-up.
Can I have my coat please as I need to see how my backups are going?