Blog Post

The Terabyte Omes

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

I just did a quick inventory at home and discovered that my local storage has zoomed past a terabyte! How did this happen? A Maxtor drive with 250 gigabytes of backed up data, a Buffalo LinkStation for about 250 gigabytes of music, a 200 GB Western Digital firewire drive that is home to Broadbandits related research. And an 80 gigabyte Mirra back-up drive, just in case. Just got another LinkStation to back-up websites on a daily basis. (Once bitten twice shy!) Add to this 140 gigabytes of storage on my two Powerbooks, 4GB IPod Mini, 1 GB Ipod Shuffle, a 5 GB Toshiba PCMCIA drive for the notebook and a couple of sundry drives including a 1 GB card for Treo 600.

I know that I might not be a typical case, but apparently the whole digital-broadband revolution is boosting demand for storage drives like never before. The networked drives are even hotter, according to Parks Associates. That’s great news for tiny guys like IOGear, Ximeta’s NetDisk Wireless, Mirra, and every other networked drive in the business.

Among households with a home network, 27% of those who are enthusiastic about digital content and services (digital entertainment enthusiasts have large amount of digital content stored on their home networks and are early adopters of digital entertainment services) are highly interested in a networked storage device, defined as a high-capacity hard drive that can connect to the home network to enable multiple PCs, printers, and other digital devices (such as an iPod) to store, share, and access content. “Enthusiasm for digital entertainment content and services is translating into greater interest in networked storage devices,” said Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, senior analyst at Parks Associates. “Companies manufacturing networked storage solutions would benefit from cross-promoting their solutions with digital entertainment devices such as DVRs and portable digital music players or with digital entertainment services such as online movie or music services.”

I guess with most of having more than 2 personal computers at home, a notebook or two, IPods and more digital clutter, we need to find ways to store and share data. Despite all the progress, it is still early days. I think the big opportunity for any start-up here is not making these devices, but instead in trying to figure out a way to store-and-retrieve data in an easy to use manner. I know it currently not possible because I spend hours searching for this information.

8 Responses to “The Terabyte Omes”

  1. Centralized storage isn’t too much of a problem. One can turn an (relatively, in computer-age) old PC into a dedicated Linux fileserver for very little. I currently run an AthlonXP 1700+ with Slackware Linux 10.2 as my fileserver. It acts as the central storage for all of my music, movies, documents and software installation files (CD Images, etc). It is accessible from Windows, Linux, and shouldn’t have a problem with Mac systems (I’m not a Mac user, so I haven’t tested this). I currently have 250 GB worth of storage capacity, but plan to move to at least .75 TB by the end of the year, due to growing needs. With a journaled filesystem and backups of really essential data (user home directories are backed up to an 8 GB Travan tape weekly), data loss isn’t too much of a worry. Add a second IDE controller, and you can run 8 IDE drives simultaneously, or RAID them together — if you didn’t want to go for RAID, you could use external FireWire drives, which would also allow you to remove volumes to take with you, since 250 GB of data is quite a lot to attempt to transfer to another device!

  2. Dear Mr. M., I eat terabytes for breakfast and move on to petabytes for afternoon tea.

    The terabyte seemed ridiculously large to me about 2 or 3 years ago, until I realized that my office full of several freelancers was already above a terabyte.

    I now own three drives that, together, are a terabyte JUST for backup. It cost $1,000 for a terabyte of FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) equipped 7200 rpm drives in enclosures. Yikes.