Putting aside my personal option about Cloud Computing as detailed in a previous posting, there is no question that the cloud has emerged as being made for data storage. At its core, the cloud offers a nearly infinite space to store data, whether it’s for backup, business continuity, disaster recovery or any of the other myriad reasons.
For solution providers, offering Storage-as-a-Service, or offering the ability to back up or store data via the Internet, is creating a host of new opportunities. Online storage services allow you to back up your files on the internet where they are safe and easily accessed. There are many online storage services on the Internet so it’s wise to evaluate your storage needs and the quality of the service before creating an account.
As I mention in my Cloud Computing article, personally I still believe that it opens the door to Careless Computing, especially for Businesses that don’t recognize that they the lose control of their data, for example when the Cloud provider goes out of business, or the loss of their legal rights in protecting their data from authorities ensuring that there is a valid search warrant.
For the average user’s personal data all this may not be an issue, and therefore Cloud Storage is a valid solution not only to backup their data, but also to have a central location for all their data to be shared by all their devices where ever they may be.
Interesting enough, it seems that Cloud Storage Services (CSS) are expected to be a boon for tablets and iPads. The use of CSS can provide easy data access from multiple devices. CSS can provide synchronization of folders and files between different devices and easy data sharing options between users. CSS offerings from SkyDrive, Box.net, DropBox, and ADrive provide much more than storage, with data sharing and synchronization options included.
That sounds all good, but at least from my experience on my iPad, not all apps offer the use (link) to all those available CSSs. Apple’s iWork suite only allows access to iDisk and WebDAV servers. Sadly not all CSS solutions over a WebDAV interface. Users must either have accounts with one or more CSS, or be very selective in what apps they install to ensure that the can access their CSS of their choice.
I don’t see this problem going away soon, the efforts to create a open Cloud API (Simple Cloud API) failed to find acceptance and even with the availability of iCloud, there will be iPad apps that will not offer an interface to the service. The only way we will ever see a interoperable Cloud Storage solution is if someone can make a case that there is a ROI to create an international agreed standard API into place.