Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Online data storage is a pain

Recently, I decided to give JungleDisk (powered by Amazon's S3 service) a test-drive. JungleDisk provides a toolkit for online data storage. Basically, I can store a bunch of stuff (music, docs, videos, etc.) remotely on Amazon's servers instead of my own local harddrives. The benefits include safe and super-reliable access to my data from wherever I am, at any time. I was thinking what a cool idea it would be to store all my music there , so I could stream it from any computer. In fact, I think storing things like pictures and music on local harddrives is a total waste. For the most part, this media just sits around on a harddrive doing nothing. Perhaps you occasionally search it for that wedding photo your mom wants to see. And then, at some point, the harddrive fails for some reason or another. Then you're really screwed. Online data solutions, on the other hand, have backups for their backups. And streaming pics or music is just fine for me. As long as it's on-demand, I'm happy. The transfer AND data storage are encrypted so I decided to give it a spin.

I installed the linux client for JungleDisk, fired it up, and started copying. My entire music collection. Hundreds of songs. Maybe thousands? I'm not sure. I started at 8pm CDT on April 7th. It is now 9:30pm on April 8th, and IT'S STILL UPLOADING!!! Let me be clear that this is NOT JungleDisk's fault. I happen to be the proud owner of a business-class 5Mb down/512Kb up cable internet line. And therein lies the bottleneck. The 512Kb upload speed is CRAZY slow. I have never really appreciated that until now. My upload speed is maxed out and I'm only to Jay-Z. At this rate, I won't be done till Thursday! But I'm in with both feet, so I'm damn sure not stopping now. I'll post an update when this is complete...

Residential internet is just not ready for online data storage/backup. My business-class line has DOUBLE the capacity of my provider's residential plan, and this is still taking me forever. What we all need is a strong dose of the Verizon FIOS 20Mb up/20Mb down. That's the sweet spot. Until then, do yourself a favor and buy a portable harddrive that I told you was a waste of time a couple of paragraphs ago. They're really cheap now...
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