640kb ought to be enough for anybody” -Bill Gates
We are now in the world of Tera Bytes. Movies, Games, Music, Programs all are getting heaving and require lots and lots of storage. I remember the times when we had a 3.5 inch floppy of 1.4 mb capacity and we used to struggle to fit in data, games, music there. It was so in convinient and unreliable. They used to have such a short life span.
Then came the world of Cds. They were a huge leap from 1.4 mb to 700mb which made transfer of data between computers more easier. This also made data back up possible. Initially it only offered data to be written only once, however later multisession concepts were brought up and also Read and Write CDs were made. As time passed by 700mb was not getting enough; games, movies, songs were increasing in quality and size. Dvds were created offering storage upto 4.7 to 9.4 GBs. They were widely used for backups and transfering datas. However, they were prone to scratches which resulted in disks being damaged. So it was also not an answer to long term backup of datas, and since copying of data required cd/dvd burners it wasn’t much convinient for portability.
This gave rise to Flash Drives [USB], External Hard Disks. They came in variety of sizes as per requirements. A terabyte has become a necessity in current times. The reading and writing of data was much easier and the speed improvements during I/O operation were welcome addition. They could be used for backups and data portablility. Portable apps began to arise. MojoPac and other devices offered portable and private PC with own desktops. Well, it looked like we have our next generation of data storage. Something safe, easy and fast. However they do have a finite life span, and continuous plugging and unplugging [mating] will also wear out the device. I do have experience of loosing my datas on flash drives and external hard disks many times :(. So it was not the answer for backing up my datas for long term, as continuous use meant, you are killing your data after every use. If you simply write data to a USB flash drive and put it away in a safe place for 10 years, it will work again and all the data will still be there. But if you continue to use it over and over again, it will definitely wear out eventually. For me the best usage of flash drives is to copy and transfer files from one computer to another.
Now comes the current and promising era of Cloud Computing. If you want to know more about it, read it Here. Its basically uploading or backing up all our files into a cloud [server] which can be accessed anywhere. This seemed to be the future, all the big companies began to launch their own cloud storage. People began to upload their files, for portablility and backup; and why not? It is very much portable, all you need is Internet, No need of worrying about devices or loosing one. The backup is lifetime. I was really excited and attracted by this technology, I began to test various cloud storages, and started backing up data. For me, this is the most secure and portable storage solution but doubts started building in when I read about SkyDrive account suspensions. Read it here. This proves that you canâ€™t trust cloud storage, my datas are being watched? WTF. What if I upload some personal and important files, and my account gets banned for something I thought harmless. More importantly monitoring contents?
Google will own everything uploaded in google drive. So can we really use cloud storage for very confidential datas?
As for conclusion, I still say cloud storage is the best data backup solution, but not for every datas, External Hard Drives and Flash Drives are also a good options but its dependent on usuage, and can betray you at anytime. So do we have a secure, portable, easy to use storage solution? We have come to the time where we can cope with the capacity, however security and reliability still haunts us What do you recommend?