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A Terabyte in the home?

by Hu Yoshida on Jun 16, 2007

The other day I heard a speaker talk about having a terabyte of storage in his home. He talked about all the technology he had, PCs, iPods, Tivos, game boxes, and how that required storage. He even went so far as to suggest that we would need a centralized storage unit in our homes.


While I am not against technology, especially technology that drives demand for storage, I hope I never have a storage unit in my home. Why have storage in my home if I can access information and data without it. Why be limited to one or two terabytes of data when I can access an infinite amount of data over the net? I don’t want to store and manage and maintain data in my home. I prefer to have someone else do that for me. I also spend a lot of time away from home, so I don’t want to be limited to accessing my data from a home based storage unit.


 People used to think that we would be creating and sharing digital photos and videos and generate gigabytes of data which we would need to store on our PC’s. Today, we are generating lots of pictures and videos and sharing them across the web, but with services like YouTube and Flickr, we don’t need to send a copy of the data and load down everybody’s in-box. We post it to a website, and send a link to our friends and relatives. They can view it without having to store it.


Unlike the need for home PC’s,  I don’t believe there will be a market for home storage units. I believe internet service providers will provide the storage and data management for our personal data. They will provide it as a service which we will be able to access whenever and where ever we want. Instead of trusting my data to a low cost home storage unit, I believe an ISP will be able to store it more reliably and cost effectively on a large enterprise class storage system which they can leverage across many thousands of users.


Enterprise class storage will support the fabric of our personal storage needs.

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Comments (10 )

Isabel Wang on 18 Jun 2007 at 7:16 am

Hi Hu,

If ISPs and content sharing services like YouTube and Flickr can meet our personal data management needs, can they also serve SMBs’ storage requirements? What about large enterprises? Is there a certain point at which on-premise storage systems start making sense? Or do you see most storage units being maintained by 3rd party service providers on behalf of end user orgs?

the storage anarchist on 21 Jun 2007 at 8:46 am

0.012: a terabyte isn’t enough for my home…

As I noted in my introductory post to my blog (thestorageanarchist.typepad.com), I already have multiple terabytes of storage in my home. I actually NEED a home storage appliance, and I honestly doubt an enterpirse-class storage array out in the WWW ca…

jackieo on 21 Jun 2007 at 2:51 pm

I couldn’t disagree more. I got rid of a lot of the extraneous PCs, Macs, and external storage devices the last time I cleaned out my house, but I’m still left with 3 PC laptops, 3 servers, 2 MACs, and 4 external storage devices. Not only would I love to consolidate all of this storage onto a manageable and affordable platform, but I want it “in house” (literally) without having to worry about internet connectivity, bandwidth, ISP availability, security, or the added cost of storing it somewhere else.

John McArthur on 27 Jun 2007 at 2:16 pm

I have problems with any premise based upon an assumption that there is only one “right” way to store information (personal or corporate). With six PCs in my household of four, we probably have well over a terabyte of storage. I agree with you that jobs like “sharing content” are better accomplished out there in the ether. However, when I want to see my content and a monster thunderstorm is coming through town, or I need to work on an airplane, I want my content local and untethered. I guarantee you that my local home network goes down less frequently than my external network. Then there’s the small matter of guessing which of these ad-revenue supported content repositories will be around in 10 years. I bet incorrectly on http://www.excite.com and lost some treasured emails in the process. Migrating content from one home storage devise to another can be difficult, but I sure do enjoy watching those 8mm films of my great grandparents in the 1930s, now that I’ve got them on stored on DVDs. Now, if I do post them out there in the ether, I do hope they are on a high-quality storage system like HDS.

Nigel on 04 Jul 2007 at 10:24 am

Hi Hu,

I see a requirement for both home based storage units as well as service providers. For me this would provide the best of both worlds –

I would have fast realiable access for when at home, but content availble remotely for when Im on the road.

Basically I see a big demand for storage in the home as well as with service providers. A home unit is may be something that Hitachi/HDS should look in to.

A big part of the trick for me will be the ability to easily synchronise from my home storage centre, to my work laptop, my macbook as well as my service provider.


Jeremiah Owyang on 14 Jul 2007 at 7:59 am

Being a “Web guy” I prefer to have my data out on the “Cloud”, on the internet.

The benefits of having my data out on the cloud means that I can access it from wherever, whenever (assuming technology continues to progress the way it has been).

Secondly, there’s so much risk of having all of one’s individual data in one area, what happens during a burglary or home fire? There’s too much at risk. I’d rather have it on the cloud.

The risk? security and privacy. So it goes, when we join the network.

[...] My former CTO, Hu Yoshida at Hitachi Data Systems wrote an interesting post of why he hopes he never has to have a Terabyte of data centralized at his home. I agree. [...]

Christo on 18 Jul 2007 at 2:28 am

Hi Hu,

I’ve been in storage for close on 18 years, and over time my home pc’s have grown in terms of numbers, as well as the amount of data stored on them – my kids pc’s are not only used for entertainment – gaming/dvd/music, but store all there own photos taken with digital cameras. Now over here, in our side of the world, bandwidth is expensive! 1st of all, it will cost me about $600 to send all the photos to a website that will store it – that is on top of the line rental of $100, I pay the Telco for having my super fast 1Mb link – every month …

I’m currently looking at buying a Raid protected sub-subsystems to store my important data. Via VPN I can still have access to the data that I need when on the move – but makes more sense in my case to store the data on a sub-system at home – with 1TB Sata drives available for fairly cheap, it is becoming more and more inviting to store the data on something that supports Raid-5. Just BTW, my own PC has Raid-0 +4 Sata-2 disks that gives me a 1.2TB, “very nice performing” drive…

(A bit over the top for a gaming rig – but man, does it outperform my Seagate 10K Baracuda Scsi drive….

[...] Hu Yoshida speculated in his blog that most folks would rather outsource their home media storage than keep terabytes of storage in their home. Sure, he was speaking for HDS, which has no home storage ambitions, but I respect him and can understand his point. I already outsource my personal email because I can get better features, access, and reliability that way. But there’s no way I would outsource my media, and this is the real storage king in my multi-terabyte home. [...]

[...] Like Hu Yoshida, who claimed we home users would rely on service providers rather than have a terabyte in our home, Mark assumes plentiful and cheap bandwidth. But this is simply not the case for many organizations – bandwidth is one of the biggest IT costs, especially for small companies, and other issues like latency and availability abound. Even with technical fixes like WAFS compression and acceleration, many organizations will not be able to replicate much of their storage for the time being. Unless there is some new blossoming of bandwidth, I don’t see this changing. [...]

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