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Hey, start-ups: Why do you only cater to storage SIZE QUEENS?

We shouldn't assume that object-stores should be large

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StorageBod Blog One of the most impressive demonstrations I saw at SNW Europe was from the guys at Amplidata. On their stand, they had a tiny implementation of Amplistor with the back-end storage being USB memory sticks. This enabled a quick and effective demonstration of their erasure encoding protect and the different protection levels on offer; pull one stick and both video streams kept working, pull another and one stopped, while the other kept playing.

It was a nice little demonstration of the power of their solution - well, I liked it.

But it did start me thinking... Why do we assume that object-stores should be large? Why do the start-ups really only target petabyte+ requirements? Certainly those who are putting together hardware appliances seem to want to play in that space.

Is there not a market for a consumer-level device? Actually, as we move to a mixed-tier environment even at the consumer level - with SSD for application/operating system and SATA for content - this might start to make a lot of sense.

We could start to choose protection levels for content appropriate to the content, so we might have a much higher level of protection for our unique content - think photos and videos of the kids - we might even look at some kind of cloud storage integration for off-site.

And then I started to think some more; is there not a market for an consumer device which talks NFS, SMB and S3? Probably not yet but there may well be in the future as applications begin to support things like S3 natively. I can see this playing especially well for consumers who use tablets as their primary computing device, many apps already talk to the various cloud storage providers and it is not a stretch to think that they might be able to talk to a local cloud/object store as well.

I have seen home NAS boxes which support S3 as a back-up target; actually another device that I saw at SNW which is more a SMB device than a home NAS supports a plethora of Cloud Storage options. The Imation Dataguard Data Protection Device looks very interesting from that point of view. So when will we see the likes of Synology, Drobo and competitors serve object storage and not just use it as a back-up target?

I think it will happen but the question is, will Microsoft, Apple etc. beat the object storage vendors to the punch and integrate it into the operating system?

StorageBod has established himself and his blog as the most-read source of informed user comments and thoughts on storage matters.

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