Why I do not need my hard drive

* Why I currently do not have a hard drive.

Hello Dropbox. And no, it’s not actually hard (literally and metaphorically). It’s actually this super squishy, friendly, save your paper at 4 am in the library right before your hard drive crashes, college friendly, personal solution. The cloud allows me to upload all of my files remotely and to be able to access and pick up my work right where I left off on my; Android Nexus 5, iPhone 6, tablet and computer. A few years ago I used to email files to myself to access them on a separate device. Those days are numbered. As a college student who travels and is on the go frequently the cloud is an ideal companion. I used to worry about my computer getting smashed during my soccer team bus rides. All my data and files would be lost. The cloud fixed that. I used to worry about connecting to wifi  networks that could upload a virus onto my machine; compromising all of my data. The cloud solved that. http://pando.com/2013/11/20/if-you-think-the-cloud-isnt-secure-youre-dead-wrong/

Verizon Stock Image

And for the few times that I do travel around Rockbridge or the rest of the country, rain or shine, as long as my Verizon LTE network is available on my phone / phablet (see red coverage blanket) I can access my files over the network or off my laptop with my mobile hotspot. Yes, the cloud does that. http://referaat.cs.utwente.nl/conference/17/paper/7351/applying-the-cloud-computing-model-in-lte-based-cellular-systems.pdf

If for some strange reason I end up in the desert of Nevada, I have my Dropbox set up to “offline sync” the files I use most frequently to my SSD. Because really lets be honest, 99% of all files on our computer never get accessed. Who even needs 300GB these days anymore? My 128 GB of space is plenty to store my OSX, word docs and excel files. Email is a web based application and is already stored over a server (i.e. cloud), and can not be used offline. They can’t be stored. They are accessed. http://computer.howstuffworks.com/e-mail-messaging/email.htm

Seagate and Western Digital are the two big dinosaurs of this century at least. And we all know what happened to the dinosaurs. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130212–chicxulub-asteroid-dinosaurs-volcano-mass-extinction-environment-science/

2 thoughts on “Why I do not need my hard drive

  1. High data cell plans are absurdly expensive. Maybe you can afford it, and don’t travel to places without cell phone service. But I travel to places without cell phone service, much less WiFi, and I’m not about to pay $500 / year (or more) to bump up my data plan. Techies may desire 24 hour connectivity, but the value added for most of humanity and for most businesses is small.

    I have had a hard drive crash once, and I knew it was failing and was plugging in a backup drive when it happened. I back up regularly. And hard drives are becoming both cheaper and more reliable, as is flash storage.

    Oh, and I do not store my email on the server. I store it on my hard drive, and have a program to search the 10,000 or so messages I have on various topics.

    But what does this have to do with industrial organization? Cloud storage may or may not pan out. However, what are the substitutes? It’s not just hard drives on a device, or flash storage. Who needs other, more secure systems that will rely on in-house capabilities even if the concept is cloud-like? How easy is entry? Is the ownership and operation of physical servers separate from the provision of services? Is the “cloud” more a concept than a market?

  2. First off, I think it is appropriate to clear up a common misconception about what the “Cloud” really is. The cloud is a group of remote servers, which centralized across a network, allows for storage of data and online access to these resources. Our W&L server acts as a cloud as it allows me to store my data remotely and the ability to access it at any time.

    Unlimited data cellular plans have decreased in price and are extremely inexpensive. Sprint currently offers a $60 a month plan that offers unlimited talk, text and data. Many customers do not realize that they can use their unlimited data plan in conjunction with the free mobile hotspot app, to serve up wifi for their laptops and family in their own home. This reduces the need Xfinity high speed at home internet access unless the user is doing “extreme” online downloading and surfing. Paying a little more for a “better” plan with the perks of free wifi– and in return canceling an at home wifi subscription is a net cost savings.

    I agree that yes the prices of HDs have come down year over year. But this is due to a phenomenon called Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law in elementary terms states that every two years holding price constant, the size/speed of the electronic device should double. Hence a 1TB drive that costs $200 now should cost $100 two years from now.

    I think there is little to zero debate as to if cloud storage will or has panned out. Like it or not, most fortune 500 companies rely on cloud based systems (Sales Force, Box, Drop Box) to conduct business. Aside from enterprise customers personal customers will notice the mandatory push from consumer device manufacturers. Apple has made a mandatory setting upon downloading the new OSX for all its computers, iPads and iPhones to sign up for its iCloud services. Maybe you’re not a Mac user but the new Windows package is set to make consumers login to Microsoft’s sky drive to store all of their files remotely as well (just like Apple). If one chooses not to comply, eventually the software will refuse to be supported by the old operating system.

    The cloud will continue to be a market because technology is ever evolving. The business man, the stock trader and the professors of the 21st century will require on demand data that can be viewed, saved and edited across a suite of devices. Pulling up a word document that I worked on 2 minutes ago on my tablet on my computer is a huge perk that will streamline communications and the efficiency at which business is done.

Leave a Comment!