Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 03, 2016, 03:50:25 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Google's Storage Problem  (Read 2850 times)

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,136
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Google's Storage Problem
« on: October 11, 2013, 11:10:40 PM »
There are a lot of discussion threads referring to the pros/cons/comparisons of different Cloud storage services of one form or another, and I wasn't sure which one to post this to, so here it is on its own. I thought it was potentially quite useful in making the points that it does:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Google's Storage Problem
A lot of people wonder what happens when you stop paying for additional Google storage. Google doesn't delete your files, but you're forced to delete some of them because you can't upload new files until you use less than 15GB of storage (your quota may be different).

A downside of Google's shared storage system is that it affects both Gmail and Google+ Photos, not just Google Drive. Gmail used to offer 10GB of free storage, Picasa Web/Google+ Photos only 1GB and Google Drive - 5GB. Small photos (< 2048x2048) and short videos (less than 15 minutes) uploaded using Google+ Photos, as well as the documents, spreadsheets and presentations created using Google's Drive apps don't count towards your storage limit.

"If you exceed your quota limit, you'll receive warnings in each product and you'll need to correct the issue as soon as you can. Otherwise, you'll be unable to upload additional items to your Drive or photos to Google+, and, after a period of time, incoming messages to your Gmail account will be returned to the sender and you won't be able to send new messages," explains Google.

Now that Yahoo Mail offers 1TB of free storage and Outlook.com "includes email storage that expands to provide you with as much storage space as you need", Gmail's 15GB limit doesn't look that impressive. Maybe Google wants to encourage people to use Google Drive for uploading files, instead of using Gmail attachments.

Yahoo's Flickr service offers 1TB of free photo storage. "No limited pixels, no cramped formats, no memories that fall flat." Suddenly, Google's photo offering is less impressive: you get unlimited photo storage, but only if you resize the photos.

It looks like Google no longer has the edge when it comes to free storage. Gmail offered 1GB of free storage when its main competitors only included a few megabytes of storage. Now roles are reversed.

Posted by Alex Chitu at 10/10/2013 01:41:00 PM

Jibz

  • Developer
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,125
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2013, 03:35:52 AM »
Quote
Now that Yahoo Mail offers 1TB of free storage and Outlook.com "includes email storage that expands to provide you with as much storage space as you need", Gmail's 15GB limit doesn't look that impressive. Maybe Google wants to encourage people to use Google Drive for uploading files, instead of using Gmail attachments.

As long as people are just storing regular email, promising 1 TB or unlimited space is a bit hollow, since nobody has that much normal email.

If people start using 3rd party tools that enable them to use ymail and outlook.com as cloud storage (like they did with gmail), I think it's likely they will find "as much storage space as you need" does probably not mean what it says, and 1 TB likely has some fair use limits as well.

For the file storage part (Drive), I agree that 15 GB is no longer anywhere near impressive. It's still better than the 2 GB offered by DropBox though.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 03:56:42 AM by Jibz »

saralynn

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 06:04:23 PM »
I'm looking forward to the prospect of decentralization, people using a "buddy system" (or whatever) to send backup copies of their files to friends' drives... rather than DEPENDING on the free (or freemium or commercial) offerings of commercial entities.

Storage capacity is cheaper-than-ever, yet people have allowed themselves to be steered into using phone or tablet form factor computing devices having minimal storage, with no choice (no SATA or USB port on the device) but to "upload it and store it in the (their) cloud". Post raspberryPi, I believe we're only a device generation (or 2) away from personal ARM -based wearable computers. In that scenario, I do expect the "personal cloud" paradigm to shift toward wearable and /or home-based "personal server(s)".

In the meantime, OwnCloud seems to be gaining traction. But (I say) if ya gotta authenticate through THEIR server... what's the sense in that?

SeraphimLabs

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2012
  • *
  • Posts: 497
  • Be Ready
    • View Profile
    • SeraphimLabs
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 05:16:08 PM »
Personal Clouds are already coming. Right now you can get a WD MyCloud device, which is a 2tb ($140) or 3tb ($170) network storage device that comes with software to automate setting up effectively a personal cloud with most common devices based on the MyCloud's 2-3TB hard drive. Doing this gets you effectively cloud-like data availability, while retaining the privacy and security of knowing the physical location of where your data is being stored.

I bought one at work for use as an onsite backup device since I wanted a network-attached drive instead of a USB one. Found a pleasant surprise in that I could SSH into it, revealing that it actually runs Debian 7 on a dual-core ARM CPU. Although I've configured that one as a stripped down bare file device suitable for rsync-backed data replication, I might buy a second unit for my own use and actually put the cloud capabilities to the test.

Google on the other hand is quickly falling victim to corporate greed. Their once unrivaled offerings are now merely "whatever works" grade. And with growing loss of trust in google because of their recent privacy policy changes, that's not going to be anywhere near enough for them to remain a big contender in that market.

Vurbal

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2012
  • **
  • Posts: 635
  • Mostly harmless
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 07:26:32 PM »
In the meantime, OwnCloud seems to be gaining traction. But (I say) if ya gotta authenticate through THEIR server... what's the sense in that?

I'm not sure I follow. If I setup an OwnCloud server at home I have to authenticate against my server to use it. You seem to be saying you have to authenticate against some third party server which isn't true. They may have a product that works that way but it's definitely not a requirement if you're running your own server.

The one downside to OwnCloud, assuming it hasn't improved since I looked into it a few months ago, is the encryption it uses is apparently a joke. It's not really a downside for me. My philosophy is not to rely on a single vendor or product to provide a complete solution. I would never rely on a single provider for both cloud storage and the encryption to protect my files. I avoid single points of failure whenever possible.

However for the average person - particularly when the cloud storage isn't provided by some big company - that's exactly what they want and need.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,471
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 07:45:31 PM »
^+1

You don't need to authenticate to any external server if you've set up OwnCloud on yours.

I've done it both on a VPS and on a XAMPP setup at home for testing to see if it suited my needs.

While it was an interesting idea I found it to be too slow for what I wanted.

There's a few other posts on the forum about OwnCloud, (someone else also set one up IIRC).

SeraphimLabs

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2012
  • *
  • Posts: 497
  • Be Ready
    • View Profile
    • SeraphimLabs
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 10:10:58 PM »
Yeah but there's already consumer products on the shelves that do this- the MyCloud device I mentioned that I installed at work, I picked that up off the shelf at Staples when replacing an external hard drive.

Instead of having to install and configure such a solution, you can just buy a device that is web-configured like any other soho box and have a ready to use private cloud with the data physically located in a stand alone device in your household- or anywhere convenient with suitable network access. It even attempts to upnp its way through your router if enabled, or you can configure the ports manually for those so inclined.

Problem is, its not really cloud then. Sure you get the same conveniences of cloud storage, but now all your data is on a single device that isn't necessarily backed up. The whole point of cloud was to have redundancy- it doesn't matter what the actual hardware is, because there is enough nodes attached to the cloud at any given time that your data will always be there on one or more nodes.

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,136
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2013, 11:50:36 PM »
I'm looking forward to the prospect of decentralization, people using a "buddy system" (or whatever) to send backup copies of their files to friends' drives... rather than DEPENDING on the free (or freemium or commercial) offerings of commercial entities.
Storage capacity is cheaper-than-ever, yet people have allowed themselves to be steered into using phone or tablet form factor computing devices having minimal storage, with no choice (no SATA or USB port on the device) but to "upload it and store it in the (their) cloud". Post raspberryPi, I believe we're only a device generation (or 2) away from personal ARM -based wearable computers. In that scenario, I do expect the "personal cloud" paradigm to shift toward wearable and /or home-based "personal server(s)".
In the meantime, OwnCloud seems to be gaining traction. But (I say) if ya gotta authenticate through THEIR server... what's the sense in that?
__________________________________

Yes, very good points. Reminded me of Digital Lifeboat - probably the most impenetrable encrypted "Anonymous buddy Cloud-based backup/recovery system" on the market. Except it is no longer on the market, having been inexplicably withdrawn.
There are two videos about it, but the most informative one is linked to in the quoted post below. I have copies of both in case they are expunged/censored from YouTube.

Doing some research to see if there was a really secure Cloud-based backup solution, I googled the subject, and one of the things I came up with was a rather novel (to me) service called Digital Lifeboat. The service was apparently launched sometime in early 2011, however, for unexplained reasons it is to be shut down on 2013-06-28.
If you go to their website: http://www.digitallifeboat.com/
you get shunted to: http://www.digitalli...om/ShuttingDown.aspx
- where you get this message: (see attachment in previous post)
The email sent to users apparently said (this from a utorrent forum post): (see attachment in previous post)
What is Digital Lifeboat?

  • The operational principle of the service seems to be automated data backup via distributed encrypted file fragments (using steganographic techniques) across a P2P network, offering a highly secure and sort of virtual RAID storage with "repairable" data. It looks amazingly secure and potentially useful for any PC user wishing to have a high level of security, privacy and anonymity of backup.

  • The concept is explained:

Whereas I would always evaluate such a service after trialling it and before using/buying it, my initial impression of this untried service is that it would seem to meet all the requirements for a high level of security, privacy and anonymity of backup, with the major potential costs being:
  • (a) the direct costs of service and
  • (b) the indirect costs of bandwidth utilisation.

Like most other Cloud-based solutions, one major risk this service has/had would relate to its potential for persistent reliability (QED, it has just been unilaterally and summarily discontinued). I would like to know why the service had to be killed.

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,713
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 12:29:14 AM »
I'm finding BitTorrent Sync to be mighty useful.

http://labs.bittorre...xperiments/sync.html

You can set up any folder (and multiple folders as well!) on your computer to be shared and synced with all of your devices or even with other people. It's private, encrypted, etc. It has apps for iOS and Android. And the only storage limit is the size of your hard drive.


IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,136
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 01:52:18 AM »
Thanks @Deozaan. Do you think you might be in a position to do a mini-review of BitTorrent Sync?
I had been meaning to trial it and write a review, but haven't had the spare bandwidth until recently.

In my comment above, I neglected to give the link (below), showing tracks for what others in DCF have discussed re BitTorrent Sync.
...I would like to know why the service had to be killed.
   I guessed that the reason was probably a financially non-viable business model, or infeasibility, or police/SS pressure that led to this "cryptographically unbreakable" data backup service being closed down. I suppose another reason could be a mixture of all three reasons.
   Because the Digital Lifeboat system was redolent of BitTorrent functionality, today I did a search of BitTorrent-related comments in the DC Forum, and then I realised why Digital Lifeboat may have been shut down - viz: it is an application concept that seems to be already being worked on and moved into the public domain.
   For example, including:

   I suspect that such a P2P "cryptographically unbreakable" data backup service would be anathema to the police/SS/NSA from a surveillance prospect.
   The thing about Cloud storage and Cloud-based services is that (as we now know thanks to the Snowden leaks) the "Big Data" and "Social Network" providers  - including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, for example - have been obliged to act as data suppliers to the NSA, for NSA (and other) surveillance agency purposes. So you categorically cannot expect the common "Big Data" and "Social Network" providers to be not breaching your privacy/security/confidentiality.
   Since Them are bigger than Us, I suspect that it may be only a matter of time before operating such P2P "cryptographically unbreakable" data backup services in what could effectively be a virtual "Dark Net" could become illegal, or at least "showing a suspicious intent".

Note: This might be handy as a BitTorrent summary: 4 Things You Didn’t Know About BitTorrent

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,713
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 05:10:07 AM »
Thanks @Deozaan. Do you think you might be in a position to do a mini-review of BitTorrent Sync?

Possibly. But the trouble is finding (read: making) the time for it.

So here's my mini-mini-review:

It's good. Use it. :Thmbsup:


Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,294
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2013, 06:56:59 AM »
So here's my mini-mini-review:

It's good. Use it. :Thmbsup:

Excellent synopsis...but I can't use it, because it's not available for the Windows phone. :(

Vurbal

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2012
  • **
  • Posts: 635
  • Mostly harmless
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Google's Storage Problem
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 07:43:15 AM »
Yeah but there's already consumer products on the shelves that do this- the MyCloud device I mentioned that I installed at work, I picked that up off the shelf at Staples when replacing an external hard drive.

Instead of having to install and configure such a solution, you can just buy a device that is web-configured like any other soho box and have a ready to use private cloud with the data physically located in a stand alone device in your household- or anywhere convenient with suitable network access. It even attempts to upnp its way through your router if enabled, or you can configure the ports manually for those so inclined.

You should actually be able to get something comparable by using a Turnkey Linux OwnCloud VM. The nice thing about Turnkey Linux is it's an entirely appliance oriented setup which utilizes standardized web interfaces, most commonly Webmin IIRC, to provide as user friendly and consistent an interface as possible. Since each appliance is designed for a narrowly defined purpose the basic configuration is typically fairly complete by default.

I've been thinking about converting my older Linux server to run a handful of Turnkey Linux VMs to simplify and segregate functionality.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 09:38:22 AM by Vurbal »