Time Capsule: The storage reality

Writing a blog is an open invitation to correction, ridicule and abuse, and writing a blog entry about anything to do with Apple greatly magnifies all those possibilities.

Writing a blog is an open invitation to correction, ridicule and abuse, and writing a blog entry about anything to do with Apple greatly magnifies all those possibilities. I'm not a practicing masochist, but even so I can't resist reacting briefly to some of the responses to my recent post about Time Capsule.

The notion that I'm a shameless fan of Microsoft made me laugh out loud (one counterexample can be found here), though this reflex defence is astoundingly common. A production error which saw US$ appended to the prices (which were Australian) was also a popular target, and we freely apologise for that.

The most common response, however, was to suggest that there was no point in criticising the Time Capsule in an enterprise context, since that manifestly wasn't its target market.

"This is a blatantly consumer-oriented product, and I don't think I've seen a single other article even suggesting its use in a business environment," was one of the more charitable responses.

In a world where only authorised equipment ever got installed on corporate premises, that might be a fair call. But in the modern IT environment where fighting off iPods can be a full-time job, it's naïve to believe that someone isn't going to attempt to secrete a Time Capsule in their office sometime soon.

A recent survey of 700 CIOs from Accenture makes the point explicitly.

"Consumer technology is now outpacing enterprise technology, leaving employees frustrated by the inadequacy of the technology they're using at the office," Accenture chief technology strategist Bob Suh noted in a press release announcing the survey results.

"Consequently, employees are introducing their personal technologies into the workplace, even if the organisation does not support them."

Accenture calls this "user-determined computing". From a managerial perspective, I'd call it a right pain in the backside. But pretending that it's not a challenge to be faced -- which is what the "Time Capsule is only intended for home use" argument boils down to -- is no help at all.

Of course, that doesn't mean that some form of wireless backup solution might not be the best choice in certain environments. But I suspect that as a solution, it still would only have appeal for a small group of organisations, and the number of environments where Time Capsule would meet all the other criteria a business might set is smaller still.

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