Data Centers Of A Different Type
iCloud is Apple's version of a Cloud Locker, and it is just the beginning of a massive trend toward storing data online. Cloud lockers are the way people will free the space on their hard drives at home. For those not familiar with the trend, let's explain why it is a vital part of the present and future.
The mass amount of content now available online will only continue to grow. As users begin to acquire more digital content, whether it's books, music, video, personal photos, and more, there will be a greater need to find a place to store all of that data.
Data centers are where the storage will reside, not the home computer. PCs' days of being able to keep data are not ending, but mobile devices have made portability a critical issue. Using a flash drive was the preferred method of moving data just a couple of years ago, but the cloud has been relegating flash drives to the "also ran" pile of technology.
SMART PHONES AND TABLETS CHANGED THE PC
The cloud has been emerging rapidly since about 2008, roughly a year after the explosion of data streams over cellular networks gave companies the idea that perhaps data portability going to be the paramount demand of the consumer, whether professional or personal.
The result is things like Google Docs, Apple's iCloud, and emerging technology companies that are poised to capitalize on the trend. Those companies include temporary storage services such as YouSendIt.com and DropBox.com. But more permanent storage solutions are still emerging as the nascent demands for cloud lockers evolve to become common service requests.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU
The charts tell it all. Shipments of mobile devices surpassed PCs in February 2011. One year later, it is fully expected the smart phone and tablets will be the computer of choice for consumers in short order. As Jeremy Ferguson wrote, in SmartOnline.com, at the time, "While the new smartphone shipments have overtaken new PC shipments, in terms of total numbers already in use the PC is still leading. It’s only a matter of time before the tables turn!"
Indeed, mobile devices have far less storage space than desktop devices. That means one thing: investing in Cloud Lockers and companies that provide the service is a smart bet. In fact, betting against it is a sucker's bet.
Just look at what Morgan Stanley predicted for mobility versus PC, only four months before mobile overtook PC shipment.
Now it comes down to people finding and setting up the cloud locker. Then it's a matter of syncing content and access across multiple devices. Petabytes of data storage will be needed! Then people will have to access that content from multiple devices, including the PC!