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 …
A pretty dumb article.
Do you realise how long it'll take to upload my 60GB of photos over the 256kbps ADSL that I have?
A very long time.
And actually never, because I'll never trust anyone else with my data.
When the company is World's largest media distributor ;)
Not saying all files are pirated content, I got like 5 GB of completely legimate mp4 audio files and around 1TB of ripped DVDs here. Being part of media industry and knowing how these are produced, I don't even share them. The problem is, how to prove all data is legimately ripped? Impossible.
Your 60GB of photos has almost certainly accumulated over some time. So it's true that broadband is nothing like broad enough to solve every backup problem. But iCloud isn't about solving that legacy problem, it's about a whole different pattern where, whenever I create or acquire content, it automagically becomes available to me everywhere. Sometimes that will be instant, sometimes, fast, sometimes slow. But the real deal is that it will happen, and I don't have to think about it.
That's attractive. Maybe even compelling. But as ever, Apple isn't targeting the thin line of sophisticated technical users, it has in view the mass market who don't know and don't want to know there's such a thing as a 'file.'
That data that's in the cloud...
...what was it being stored on again?
It's the opposite
Caching of music etc on devices actually benefits from more storage.
So without memory expansion it eventually becomes obvious you have bought a turd.
Of course that may be to be benefit of Apple who will happily sell you yet another turd.
to many bites from the apple
"Smart phones and tablets are much easier to use than PCs" for a very limited range of things, usually consisting of consuming digital information and even then they are heavily restricted and cumbersome to use with anything but specific files and formats. I'd like to see you edit a photo, write a report or download a torrent on a portable device and then tell me that it is easier than using a PC/MAC.
Nice try but still a massive fail.
Can't work yet
The idea of cloud - or indeed any remote - storage replacing local storage just won't work with the technology we have now because disk subsystems have evolved to make use of local buses which don't translate well over network connections. There are disk operations that, even over high throughput LAN, simply don't work quickly enough and are susceptible to traffic congestion, faulty network links and so on. For example, try stat-ing a large number of files over a network file system. And wait. And wait. And wait. Why?
There's no command queueing because the controller on the remote machine doesn't know what the next command is going to be. The client can't optimise its instructions to the remote machine because it doesn't have a hollistic view of the filesystem on the remote. You can get around this using block network protocols like iSCSI, but they're expensive to implement and don't really fit into making mass storage cheap. Add to that network latency, which is is multiplied as a result of having to query and respond to each atomic operation, rather than plan ahead. Until these huge, fundamental problems are sovled, the idea of cloud storage which is as cheap and fast as local storage is a pipe dream.
Can't work yet but...
I agree with your general point but not necessarily the details. Network access of storage works fine on a nice fast wired local network. Once you get beyond that it falls apart. A NAS transfer can easily outrun a USB transfer. However, a WAN transfer is going to be far worse than either of those.
The network is the problem but networking in general is not the problem.
The world is not flat enough for the Cloud to work yet. If it were, then you could just have your own Cloud at home.
"Smart phones and tablets are much easier to use than PCs "
Ye-es. Let's leave that assumption right there, shall we?
There is a move away from the PC
The VMWare CEO is talking about a Post-PC era, too.
Let's see ...
Fanbois Now Writing For The Reg...
Geez, I like Apple products, but I'm not crazy enough to trust them with ~20 years of data. I don't care how careful they'd claim to be with it. Might as well put everything on floppies and hand it to Bill Gates to hold for me. Next year I'm putting in a NAS at home, with backup to offsite storage (also mine, not a cloud). Drives are cheap & reliable, as NO corporation is.
I just hope my mum doesn't shut off her internet for the offsite bit...
It gives us its lovely data my precious, and we stores it ever so safely and keeps it from the nasssssty dataminers so we does. It does its taxes and we stores the returns for it. It pays its bills and wee keeps the statements for it. We doesn't ever let anyone else look at them, does we?
No my precious, not ever ever never. Even if they asks nicely. There would be no chance that its documentses would be looked at secretly. No, none at all.
But doesn't the cloud have to have an end point somewhere? Somewhere with persistent storage? Otherwise, if someone turns off the interweb, like they did in 2003, there goes my Duke Nukem high score.
Surely somewhere in the world my saved Tetris game is safely spinning in limbo, not lollygagging around taking up room in someone's gazegabytes of memory?
Oh God! What about my TwitFace profile? Please tell me that is safely written away lest all my friends forget who I am...
Agree with some, but not all, of article
It will be a very long time before HDD is completely irrelevant. I can see the PC paradigm dying soon enough, but there will be need for mass storage way beyond cell phone/tablet usage. Even PCs will be needed for workstation usage. I can not ever see a tablet doing video recoding; playback, yes. And video storage will require ever larger HDDs.
Was it Steve Jobs?
I've got loads of spreadsheets and documents, going back to 2006, which have never been near a consumer hard drive. Same with calendars, whilst email goes back even further. Ubuntu One puts my music straight into the cloud, and has done for more than a year. I've got by with a 8gb flash drive in my netbook for more than 2 years now, with photos in the cloud and backups of crucial stuff on usb sticks. That won't change, nomatter how prevalent the cloud becomes.
Steve Jobs had nothing to do with this, but he's seen a trend and run with it, taking all the plaudits as he goes.
Dear bloke wat wrote this article,
I like to think this article is really just there to stimulate debate, rather than a deeply-held belief that HDDs will disappear in the near future. It has certainly worked!
I think of that Tomorrow's World clip from 1968 where it was predicted that 'home' computers would be dumb terminals connected to a central computer in every town. I suppose it's just going full circle!
Maybe St. Jobs could mention this to BT?
All the while 0.3Mbps is the normal upload speed, all this iCloud faff will be dead in the water.
Total and Utter Bollocks
This article is a joke at best. If we look at an average PC user, what takes up the most space on their hard drive? The answer is almost certainly applications. Even the most cloud aware games (like WoW for instance) take up tonnes of HDD space. This isn't going to change any time soon. Games have not been getting smaller over the last 10 years. In fact, network delivery makes cheap reusable storage even more important, which was why the XBox started having an HDD in it. Optical media was all well and good when all game delivery was by store sales, but with network application delivery being so popular you need something to store that app on. Also, many many applications now need regular updates for security or additional content delivery. HDDs make huge sense for that.
In my case, I can't see how I can ever get off local storage into the cloud. I've got about 12TB of home storage on 2 NASs. The biggest use of that is movies, but also music and pictures take up a sizeable chunk. Especially when I can go away on a 2 week safari in Africa and come back with 3000 12Mb pictures!
This article is complete and total fanbois fail.
Disks are safe for now.
The real money is in the enterprise market. Always has been. The consumer market could completely vanish tomorrow and the disk manufacturers would be fine for a few more years thanks to all those big corporate server rooms with their expensive drives and the desktops and notebooks that all those workers are tied to. That market's not going anywhere anytime soon. Sure, there will be a decline, but it's hardly 'the end for hard drives' yet.
Now give NAND a few more years to improve and THEN you'll see HDD's go the way of the dinosaur.
Like anyone would trust the cloud to look after their valued porn collection!
And, even if I were to commit such folly, how long before Apple starts to levy charges of 99c to download one of my own pictures?
Oh. Yes. I forgot. The charges won't ever happen because Apple is pure.
(Paris coz she's into porn)
To be fair to Steve Job's
To be fair to Steve Job's I think iCloud is all about getting people to get more music books and films from iTunes Store i.e. more profit for Apple. They see competition coming from subscription services like Spotify and want people to keep buying music instead. Now you can buy your music from iTunes and stream it to anywhere ( As long as you use Apple devices ). Yes you can use iCloud for data, calendars etc but the main thrust is for streaming music and films.
You know what bothers me?
Apple owns a tested technology like XGrid which is actively used by advanced users, developers and scientists for a long time. E.g. XCode will take advantage of it.
Whenever they say "cloud", something like realtime video transcoding, 48mpixel image effects, pixar quality stuff etc. comes to mind and it ends up something like Dropbox.
I hoped Apple, with such a massive datacenter and technology built into every mac didn't join companies abusing the "cloud" name.
It is not cloud. Amazon's stuff is cloud.
I don't thing that HDD vendors will be upset. I'll bet the margin on their consumer product is rather thin. They will be selling plenty of disc and SAN capacity into all the data centers needed to support this Cloudy vision of the world.
I shall be happy keeping all my data, particularly films and music and bank statements, on a couple of well sync'd personal HDD storage devices.
delusions of a dying man
Apple is last to the cloud party, really whatever they think is irrelevant. Just let steve wither and fade.
HDD manufacturers should love Jobs
There are three broad possibilities for the future of (ever-growing) storage, and what Jobs is setting out is great for HDD manaufacturers.
In the first option, bulk data lives in the home/premise, backup is a hybrid of local (which will often be a theoretical possibility not a practical face) and web-based, and shared content is managed on a partial sync basis. In this world, most data is stored locally 1-2 times. This is essentially the recent past.
In the second option, bulk data lives in the cloud, with some content cached on local devices. In this world, most data isn't stored locally at all. This is Google's ideal.
And in the third, Jobsian world, bulk data has its master copy in the cloud and is stored on every single relevant device. In this world, most data is stored locally 2-3 times. This is the Jobs vision. And HDD manufacturers will be rooting for it.
Put All Your Eggs in One Cloud?
And for those of us who've been without *need* or even want to go mobile, this 'cloud' offers what?
Boldly go Leash Free
Well, that''s nice but I'm afraid it's only wishful thinking.
WiFi and mobile internet is far, very far, from being practical. WiFi access pint still suck in most of the EU and specially in countries like mine, the Netherlands (one of the two or three countries with a bigger internet user percentage in the world). WiFi access pints, be it public or paid are slow, unreliable and the coverage is just crap. 3G networks are definitely not what you want to use except for browsing normally. We do have internet in the trains, the airport (I work there) and even so I am forced to read my mail through 3G and wait for syncing my gadgets until I am at home inside my own WiFI LAN. And I again kindly point to the fact that this is one of the most advanced countries in regard to technologies. Just think how the situation may be in the bandwagon of the EU... not to talk about the developing countries and the EU.
I cannot see any serious computer user interested in the "iCloud". We have five Macs, and my desktop alone has three terabytes of hard disk.
Its like those people who ask me why I use a 160 gig iPod Classic, when I could be using a 16 gig iPod touch. 16 gig is NOTHING! Who is getting all worked up about this little dribble of storage space? Its a convenience for file transfer, that's it.
Its like being asked why I have an apartment when I could live in my car? This is for the normals, the sort of people who think two gig is PLENTY for a music player, and never replace a disk unless the old one fails.
The end of hard drives?
I still don't get this cloud thing. If its mainly a question of synching devices fair enough, storing my sensitive data no thanks. As for the end of hard drives? doesn't make any sense to me.
I am just getting around to doing some video edting and now have an HD camcorder. Judging buy (ahem) the price I paid for it there is a large market. and people will want to store their footage if not edit them. Without a large hard drive or two I can't see how I can make films and store the original material except by using SD cards, which I'll have to index by assigning a number to them as there is no room to write anything of any length. I would have thought that hard drives have a long healthy life ahead of them. SSD are faster but more expensive and for large storage needs the hard drive makes more sense.
Tape? I am just completing several weeks work copying VHS and SVHS footage to DV tape and will then be able to edit the material after capturing it to my PC. The VHS tape dates back to the early 1990s and amazingly has mainly been free of dropout and other defects.
Photos? these are smaller for storage compared to video but there are still worries about the possible loss of images from hard drives and other storage. Some photographers are even transferring digital material to film, which at least one can see! What I need is a means to store a lot of video material bearing in mind that one hour of raw footage needs 13GB of storage. I also have audio recordings - 83 GB recorded over 18 months or so. I would have thought that there is a growing need for Joe Public to have more hard drive storage than is present in their PC. My Dell 690 has space for five hard drives but then that is a workstation. Yet at present I am using a 490 with three hard drives: a 500GB and two one Terabyte drives. I do have several external hard drives but these are largely unused - they are not very large anyway.
For security a RAID 5 setup would be desirable? So I can hardly imagine a future reduction in hard drive sales, rather the reverse. What I would like is a cheap "box" that will allow access to a bank of Terabyte hard drives over a gigabyte network.
At present I use SyncToy 2 to sync folders over my network, I am not tempted to use "cloud" storage, the closest I have got to the cloud is to open a Dropbox account, at present unused. But then I don't use many portable devices. My grandchildren might be more interested in not having to syhnch their iPods on a PC but then, they have the PCs and what school is mad enough to restrict their students to a Mac envirionment?
I have never had a PC fail on me, ie it had to be scrapped due to mechanical failure. And my first PC was an Amstrad 386, which was reluctantly taken to recycling, simply as it didn't have a CD drive and at that time an external CD drive would have set me back £140.
A very long and slow death
My experience with large companies and organisations is that unless there is a complete and miraculous conversion, these IT departments will not allow their subjects, sorry clients and employees, to switch to the cloud. Drives are here to stay for a long time.
I know no-one who's ever bought a PC in order to sync their music collection. iCloud is a great idea if youre on 50mb broadband but the average UK is nowhere near it.