Transparent - and free - massive storage

Transparent - and free - massive storage

Summary: Greener storage for the internet ageSETI@home and folding@home are two compute-intensive projects that use "contributed" CPU cycles for Really Big Problems. But RBPs often have Really Big Datasets, so how about "contributed" storage?

TOPICS: Storage

Greener storage for the internet age SETI@home and folding@home are two compute-intensive projects that use "contributed" CPU cycles for Really Big Problems. But RBPs often have Really Big Datasets, so how about "contributed" storage?

That's what “TFS: A Transparent File System for Contributory Storage

Topic: Storage

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Think more locally

    It might work for a local intranet, but not many businesses will want to risk potentially storing their data in some random competitor's drives. And home users would likely violate their ISP's TOS by operating what they would consider a server.
    • Don't be too sure !

      I believe this proposal has the seeds of the future embedded in it. This may well never come to pass, but if we follow the concept to the far end we come down to massive, enormously redundant storage where the whole of the Internet is storing and backing your data up across the whole earth. Talk about data redundancy!.

      Internet speeds will continue to climb, storage capacity will increase and processor power will exceed by far the needs of the average owner. I suspect a business model will emerge soon to capture those unused resources and profit from them, massively profit, I suspect.

      I have long thought that the Internet, in concept, resembles the development of a human brain, gradually becoming more complex, more capable and ever more interconnected. Even today, does everyone really know where all of their data is stored? Some of mine is local, some on a server, some is on an off-line device, some at Google, some at Yahoo and so on. Concerns of data integrity and privacy are answered in the technical domain, in other words, ?it won?t be a problem?.

      A sample of how this might come to be is represented by a network protocol (or is it a topology? - I'm never sure) called ?FreeNet?. FreeNet is much like TFS, being just such a shared storage network, one where no one person knows the identity or even location of another, yet all use the equivalent of a shared disk drive comprised of space contributed to a common pool by members. FreeNet is encrypted and anonymous, and most of what is stored on it is probably nasty or illegal since it?s heavily encrypted and expressly designed for anonymity.

      Even law enforcement is stymied when they seize a machine which participated in FreeNet and contributed disk space to the pool since neither they, nor even the owner [of the machine] can decipher what is stored there. While I?m not a part of FreeNet, I have investigated it and from my investigation I can see where TFS is going, and probably why the idea not only won?t go away but will likely prosper and eventually become the norm.

      There are simply too may unused resources in the great majority of computers. Nature hates waste and you can bet your life that someone, somewhere is clever enough to get rich from it. After all, who would have though there was a dime to be made by searching the Internet and storing the results.

      Less than ten years ago, we all knew where everything we wanted to find on the Internet was, so who needed to search?. Who would have thought the concept could become a multi billion dollar business in ten years.

      Unfortunately, it wasn?t me.....

  • Mass Storage is Already Crucial

    People are already trying to figure out how to get more storage. Wow. There are some serious attempts to penetrate this market. I have some forecasts that come to mind, reading this, and knowing the nature of the tech industry. Looking "way ahead" isn't really looking too chronologically far in tech.