The death of the hard drive…

Cloud storage is nothing new, but Bitcasa are looking to revolutionise how we store data by killing the hard drive and storing all data in the cloud. Their new CloudFS software allows any device to access cloud storage automatically at the operating system level. Users don’t need to worry about how their files are stored as all content flows seamlessly into the Cloud.

According to Bitcasa, enabling their CloudFS software is as easy as adding a local drive. A cloud drive can be mounted to the OS using the software driver and APIs to allow communication between applications. The cloud drive then appears as another local drive and is managed through the device manager in the same way users would manage their local data storage. Encryption ensures that the data is completely safe whilst in transit.

But does it spell the end of the hard drive? Or is cloud storage likely to overtake local storage in the near future? Probably not yet. Hard drive and solid state drive manufacturers are still developing their products and these are becoming more efficient year after year. Cloud storage is not magic and it’s been around for decades. Essentially all Cloud storage does is store your data on server that can be reached over the internet. Users could rent their own internet server and achieve the same goal!

There are still many complications. Any system as only as good as its weakest link. Broadband connections, speeds and downtime are still issues for many users. Similarly there is a trust issue. Users still want their valuable data immediately accessible on their own drive. Cloud services can also be much more expensive than hard drives for most user’s needs.

Traditionally Cloud storage has been seen as a means to back up a user’s data. However there are now moves to store operating systems and applications, as well as primary information. In conclusion though, there doesn’t seem to be a mass exodus to Cloud storage against personal hard drives just yet. Perhaps when fibre optic broadband is standard everywhere users may adopt more Cloud services, but for the time being, not much is changing.