Traditional Files Do Matter and Will Always Matter

This came across my Google Alerts. “Who cares about Dropbox, SkyDrive, etc.? We’re moving to a world where traditional “files” don’t matter.” To summarize his collection of thoughts, he thinks because he can’t physically see the files from his GoogleDocs, iTunes, Evernote, or email that they are not actually files and thus rendering cloud storage (of “traditional” files) like DropBoxSkyDrive, & SmartFile useless in the future.  This guy is way off. This has really got me flustered.

He made the statement, “As the consumer moves to cloud based solutions they won’t need files?”. My thoughts:

  • Those Cloud services need a place to store files, a place to backup their database
  • When consumers want to pull a back-up out of their could service, that comes as a file. One example is where I backed up a family tree from a cloud genealogy service in a GEDCOM file. Another example, you can backup your WordPress site with SmartFile. This drops an archive file in your SmartFile account.

He goes on to ask, “Does Google Drive even have files?” While I can’t speak specifically to Google,in SmartFile we have actual files and then a database record to add additional information about the file such as permissions and tags/attributes.

Next up, “Email? Are those files?” I don’t think he has seen email servers. Yes the emails are each stored in a separate file until they leave the email server. That’s why I can take the output of the command line emails generated by my SmartFile development machine and put them into a .eml file and open them in Thunderbird or another email client.

Cloud storage isn’t dead. I see it as the next evolution of file storage. Some might say my opinion is a result of the business where I work. I don’t think so. I think past iterations of file storage improvements have focused on more space. (floppy, CD, DVD, thumb drive) These have each increased the amount of space. Cloud storage focuses on another facet of storage all together. The size increases haven’t helped because cloud storage focuses more on availability. So with cloud storage, we now have huge amounts of space and access to our files over the Internet on multiple computers. With SmartFile, we also make that available over multiple protocols, which is one step further with regard to availability.

SmartFile is a business file mangement platform that gives you more control, compliance and security.