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CES 2009: Storage vendors should embrace the cloud, Iomega rep says [day 4]

I had a great discussion with Jeff Graham, Iomega's B2B product manager for network storage products, about what the cloud means for his company and other companies whose primary focus is physical storage. I asked him, "What will the cloud do to your business?
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Written by Andrew Nusca on

I had a great discussion with Jeff Graham, Iomega's B2B product manager for network storage products, about what the cloud means for his company and other companies whose primary focus is physical storage. I asked him, "What will the cloud do to your business?" and he surprised me by saying that it would only make it better.

According to Graham, a storage veteran, the cloud and physical storage can coexist peacefully, and in fact in many ways need each other. He suggested people should use the cloud as a backup for the physical storage backup already taking place with such products as external hard drives, so that if, say, a California wildfire whipped through and destroyed everything, you'd have an emergency copy in the cloud.

The same process works the other way -- if the cloud goes down, you've still got your physical backup, so long as it's been synced correctly. Think of the cloud as a disaster recovery plan, he suggested.

Clearly, we're not there just yet -- many companies, Iomega included, have cloud solutions, but keep them proprietary so you must use their service with their physical storage device. (In other words, it's not like I can easily backup my Iomega drive somewhere else in the cloud.) Still, it's a plan.

Nevertheless, we're stuck with download and upload speeds, even on something as a T1 network. What about all those movies and music files? Terabytes just can't happen immediately.

He suggested an automated system that synced over time. I countered with the suggestion that perhaps there could be a tiered system so that important things such as tax information and other critical files could be frequently updated while less important things (such as movies) could be updated infrequently, since you can always get them again (especially if digital licensing loosens its reins on digital copies per user).

Either way, the cloud can very well benefit a storage company like Iomega. Competition? Hardly.

[photo: Iomega's 1TB Home Media Network, announced this week at Macworld]

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