Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Unlimited Storage

Wouldn't this be great?
Google Inc. (GOOG) is preparing to offer online storage to Web users, creating a mirror image of data stored on consumer hard drives, according to company documents that were mistakenly released on the Web.
This isn't some kind of fake out, either.
When asked to confirm plans for a GDrive, a Google spokeswoman declined to comment on any specific service but confirmed that presentation containing the notes had been mistakenly released on the Web.
The main point is pretty clear:
"With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including e-mails, Web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc., and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc)," the notes in the original Google presentation state.

Chief Executive Eric Schmidt in his presentation made a cryptic comment that one goal of Google was to "store 100 percent" of consumer information.
I'm not quite sure what that last line means - it sounds a little overambitious and strange, but in a sense it's a wonderful concept. Users would now have a way to back everything up off their own computers, which would be huge.

In a sense, though, bloggers are already doing this, especially those on BlogSpot. We're storing incredible amounts of information (even if most of it is simple text) online for free. If you keep something as a draft, nobody else can see it, either. It's the not the greatest storage place, but it's a pretty good one. I've often wondered about storing other files online for easy and quick access; Google is apparently still working out the kinks on this. But if it would be as fast to get to as my hard drive, or even remotely close... I'd be pretty happy.


  1. Once, someone created their own GDrive program by using Google mail and a simple piece of software that mounted the mail in a special format to make it look like a local drive - one that you could share with your other machines,and it was password-protected. It held 2 gig. Unfortunately, Google changed their mail protocol and it no longer works; but obviously Google took notice.

  2. It...won't be fast. There's just no way without a serious infrastructure change. It will be useful for critical information, but it won't be fast for a good long while.

  3. EoZ - Cool! Smart guy...

    GT - It sounds like they can have it pretty fast for those people with high-speed internet, but I'm sure the reason they're not officially announcing it is to work out the kinks; this likely being the most important factor.

  4. Its a great concept in many practical ways, but you still have to be concerned about constant uploads and downloads. If you have a movie file on your computer, its instantly accesible, same for music. To put this on a google server would require enormous amounts of upload time and it would require downloading every time you wanted access and this is still a tedious process for even high-speed users.

    Additionally, this would require outrageous amounts of bandwidth and I can only imagine how frequently such a site would be overcrowded. If you do not have local files on your harddrive, during these periods you would be left without access to your files.

    Finally, Im a bit of a conspiracy freak and I think this sort of thing would make too much available to too many. Hackers or Patriot Act believers would now have complete access to everything you have, should they gain access.

  5. This does sound cool, but I'm with XVI in my worries abotu the security risks. I mean, I would think it would make it very easy to spider everything, and pick up a ton of informaiton on a ton of people, including people who did not necessarily make submissions themselves, in a very short amount of time. On the flip side, for a traveller like me it would be tremendously useful.

  6. I'd wait and see how secure it is before even thinking about using it, but the idea is still excellent. I wouldn't mind keeping media files and the like on a GDrive while keeping more important files on my own hard drive.

  7. Yes, this is wise. Take all your data and upload it to a server where system admins can access all your personal files.

    If you're really paranoid, buy a swapable drive bay and two drives, and carry one drive with you at all times after backing up.

    Or get a Mac mini and keep it in your bag!

  8. Mordechai, call me nuts, but I've been saving back-ups of my most important files in Yahoo e-mail for years. The downside is that, every now and then, dem bums close an account for no discernible reason and delete everything in it. My son gave me a flash drive (well "gave" is a relative term--I probably paid for it in the first place :) ), so I have the most important files backed up there, too.

    The plus side of using e-mail for storage is that hackers wouldn't think to look for information there, whereas a site that's specifically set up for storage would be a prime target. Of course, I may be hopelessly naive about e-mail being a safe storage place.

  9. Sally,

    e-mail's nominally better than a storage site, yes. A Google storage site is like painting a giant target saying "Hack us! Hack us NOW!"

  10. Ezzie,

    Good pick-up! Along similar lines, I've been watching recently as Google attempts to re-create Microsoft Office online...