Storage in the Cloud

You can find safe, reliable storage in the cloud for all your personal needs if you look carefully

By , ITworld |  Storage, Linux, storage

This is cross-platform, too: Windows and OS X users can use all of Mesh's toolset, and Linux users can access the online folders -- though active synchronization and remote desktop tools are unavailable.

If you are looking for full-on synchronization of your files, then right now Live Mesh is the way to go, because it enables file and folder syncing across all of your Windows and OS X machines, plus throws in 5Gb of extra storage space, all for free. The capacity isn't a lot, but if you have other platforms, you can use the storage area as a way to manually get files from one machine to another, especially if you're using Linux or Solaris.

Storage seekers will appreciate SkyDrive. It's not active syncing--it's still uploading and downloading--but 25Gb is a nice piece of free real estate on the storage landscape.

Other Storage Units In the Internet Warehouse District

There are, of course, other storage clouds out on the great wide Internet. Third-party cloud providers are popping up all over the place, offering a wide variety of capacity/pricing plans. Here's a round up of how each one stacks up in terms of cost, size, and operating system compatibility.

Google Drive--But Don't Call It That

Ever since Google tossed out then-unheard of amounts of free storage for its Gmail users, consumers have been clamoring for more storage from the search engine giant. In the mid 2000s, this culminated in rumors of the Gdrive, where Google would let users store any file online. Alas, the Gdrive never really came to pass. Users could store some documents online, though only those compatible with Google Docs.

Then, in late 2009, Google let it be known that any file could be uploaded and stored through Google Docs. So, not just documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, but any file 1Gb or smaller. This applies to any platform, so anyone with a browser can participate.

Google doesn't want to call it the Gdrive, Google Drive, or any other such label, which leads analysts to wonder if they won't be expanding to a more detached storage plan later.

Other evidence for this is the amount of free space offered: a mere 1Gb. Compared to other services, indeed, even Gmail, this is a bit paltry.

Google's pricing starts low, too. It runs from $5/year for 20Gb to $50/year for 200Gb to $256/year for 1Tb of storage. Got serious storage needs? You can even jump up to 16Tb of online storage for $4,096 annually.

Clearly, Google's looking at storage as a revenue generator for their company. Which makes sense, because the 8Gb of Gmail storage is the loss leader, since ads show up in Gmail, and not Google Docs.

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