New storage technologies for consumers

February 5, 2008

Consumers are essentially gobbling up storage faster than businesses are. When you stop to think about it, it’s not surprising, given the huge growth in digital cameras, the move to DVRs and digital videos, digital music (from MP3s to downloadable iTunes movies, TV shows and music), and more.

We can see the impact of the direction of this trend in some of the recent announcements by companies like Seagate and Maxtor, at January’s consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. For example, Seagate announced the introduction of its Maxtor® BlackArmour™ storage solution, a 2.5-inch consumer-friendly, portable AES government-grade encrypting external storage device that makes it simple for consumers (or business users) to securely and easily take their data with them. With hardware-level encryption, the device is designed to keep content locked even if it’s lost or stolen. Although these types of technologies have been around for years, what’s amazing is that you’ll get 160GB of portable, secure storage for a retail price of $149.99, all from your local Staples or electronics store.

Another interesting part of their announcement was the introduction of Maxtor Central Axis software, a software solution that enables users to remotely connect, access, upload, and share content on a Maxtor Shared Storage II drive, networked on your local home network—without breaching network firewalls. In effect, consumers and home office workers now have an easy way to share and access files remotely while maintaining a high level of security.

I believe that over the next few years we’ll see a huge change in the types and volume of storage devices that standard consumers are using in their homes. We’re going to see both a diversity of applications—from hard drives designed to move movies or music to automobile playback systems to home office storage, backup and remote access. In any case, a great many of these changes in the consumer storage technology landscape will undoubtedly filter back up to the enterprise, affecting the design, deployment and use of future business storage technologies for years to come.

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