As I was perusing one of the multiple CES exhibit halls yesterday, one exhibitor in particular caught my eye. It wasn’t because of a huge 3-D theater or booth babes leaving precious little to the imagination, but, rather, because of its unique take on leveraging cloud storage. CloudOptix is peddling a service called MeghaWare, which, when it officially launches in the spring, will give users a single portal to view and manage the entirety of their web identities — from Google Apps to Netflix to, interestingly, Amazon S3. In fact, the service is set to work not only with S3, but also with Google Storage, Windows Azure and AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service. It’s a strange combination of services, until you consider the business model.
I asked the representative if the company has seen beta users or has received interest from users that actually want to manage their cloud storage accounts in the same panel as their Facebook account, and he answered in the negative. However, providing support for these more-advanced cloud-storage offerings gives CloudOptix the opportunity to play broker between the cloud providers and customers they might never have reached otherwise. If MeghaWare users want to back up their files, or want a bit more privacy than storing content with Facebook, they can choose a cloud provider with which to store it, and MeghaWare will take care of getting it there. The product road map includes the ability for users to share access to these files with their various web contacts, but without making it accessible to the world, or even to the prying eyes of social-media data analysts.
It’s an interesting concept, which I think could might be the next big thing for cloud storage providers; first it was developers, then businesses and, next, consumers. With services like MeghaWare providing the customer interface, all cloud providers need to do is play along. Who knows whether MeghaWare will be the service that makes this happen, but with countless petabytes of digital images and other consumer content already being stored in the cloud and more certainly to come, this is a prime opportunity for cloud storage providers to attract non-IT-savvy consumers that might never approach their products otherwise.
Image courtesy of Flickr user KairosPhotography.
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