Personal cloud storage cannot be underestimated as a market priority. The numbers of personal computers and laptops which have been shipped has dropped because of increased cloud storage and more tablets in the marketplace, according to Trefis analysis. The personal cloud platform is a storage option that can take advantage of spending from the consumers, too, Trefis adds.
For instance, Western Digital (News - Alert) launched My Cloud, a personal cloud storage drive, recently for network attached storage offerings to be offered to individual customers – not just enterprises. My Cloud is accessible across laptops, PCs, tablets and smartphones, and uses such operating systems as Android (News - Alert), iOS and Windows. My Cloud also provides a four-bay cloud storage system, for professionals and small workgroups that need large amounts of digital data.
These trends come as accounts associated with personal cloud storage services were to have surpassed one billion at the end of 2013, according to ABI Research (News - Alert). That represents close to twice as many as were present a year ago.
Looking ahead, the number of accounts will more than triple worldwide, and will reach 3.61 billion by the end of 2018, the “Personal Cloud Storage and Synchronization” study from ABI predicts. Over the same five years, the total data storage used by personal cloud services will jump from 685 petabytes in 2013 to 3,520 petabytes in 2018, the study said.
“Various factors are contributing to the rapidly increasing personal cloud uptake, including the consumerization of enterprise IT and multiple device ownership,” Aapo Markkanen, an ABI analyst, said in a statement. “For storage needs, the most far-reaching driver is the expansion and improvement of camera technologies. In particular, cameras embedded in smartphones have generated large amounts of high-resolution image and video content. This trend toward ubiquitous cameras is only set to intensify, as camera capabilities gain traction in wearable computing and the Internet of Things.”
In light of these trends, personal cloud is vital for digital ecosystems. Alibaba, Apple (News - Alert), Google, Microsoft, and Yandex use their storage services to improve consumer relationships, ABI adds.
“These services are posing a challenge to dedicated, platform-agnostic cloud services, but ABI Research expects the latter service category to co-exist with the ecosystem clouds,” according to a statement from the firm.
“Of the standalone providers, we expect the early leader, Dropbox, to double down on the enterprise, as a way to attract more premium accounts,” Dan Shey, ABI practice director, said. “Meanwhile, it is also interesting to see start-ups with new and arguably more innovative technology propositions entering the market. Players like Bitcasa and Space Monkey are out to test the premise that the cloud could ultimately replace the native device as the primary storage for users’ data.”
In response, Jonathan Feldman recently predicted in Informationweek that “a more pervasive distribution of personally owned compute and storage assets will change the face of IT as we know it.”
A new concern for IT is how employees could decide to bring their own storage to the workplace. “The notion of company employees moving all kinds of data into personally owned compute and storage clouds will freak out IT control freaks as much as employees doing the same with their personally owned devices. But ‘bring your own compute’ and ‘bring your own storage’ are going to happen, and the question is: Will it hit you unaware, or will you plan for it?” Feldman adds.
The 2013 revelations about NSA spying also has led to distrust of the government, distrust of providers of public cloud services, and distrust of security protocols found with the Internet. Private clouds can be a viable alternative.
As these trends continue, Lenovo (News - Alert) announced during the recent International Consumer Electronics Show its Beacon personal cloud storage device, which marks its entry into a promising sector. “Beacon allows users to easily store and share multimedia via their PC or mobile device in the home or remotely. Using the downloadable Android app created for Beacon, users can even turn their Android smartphone into a remote control for the Personal Cloud Storage Device,” according to a company statement. The Lenovo Beacon personal cloud storage device will be available in April. Prices start at $199.
“You can think of it as a home server, everything you’d expect from your home server now, but it’s also your home cloud,” Lenovo’s Stephen Miller told Silicon Angle about the Lenovo Beacon Home Cloud Center.
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