What is Cloud Storage?

Sure, you’ve heard about “the cloud” for years now, but what the heck does that really mean? Before marketers got ahold of the word, “cloud” actually meant something. Cloud computing is a distributed approach where the computing work is spread over a number of connected devices. The advantage of this approach is that you gain economies of scale, reduce vulnerability, and allow for rapid expansion of resources when necessary. No single system is responsible for any one single operation, so devices in the cloud can come on and go offline as needed.

Unfortunately, in practice, the term “cloud” is now used whenever a company is offering anything as a service over the internet, regardless of the underlying computing architecture. That is especially true for cloud storage, where all of your data may very well be sitting on one device in a data center somewhere in the high desert. Not very cloudy, is it?

Symform actually stands out in this space as a unique provider of what we would consider closer to “true” cloud storage. Before you think we are just a bunch of Seattle elitist hipsters (we are totally from Seattle, but not very hipstery), let me explain why. Symform’s revolutionary peer-to-peer cloud storage architecture spreads user data over a worldwide network of independent devices. As users join the network cloud storage capacity is added. As they leave it goes away. Symform acts as the central orchestration service, telling each device where to go to store and retrieve data. But there is no giant data center behind our cloud.

Of course this approach means we have to do more work on the backend than our peers, but the advantages are that Symform can be faster, cheaper, more secure, and greener than any other cloud storage out there.

4 thoughts on “What is Cloud Storage?

  1. I’m very interested in using Symform and contributing my unused storage in exchange for distributed anonymous storage. I think that is a great idea.

    Unfortunately the Linux client does not work. I let it do it’s thing on some test data set for 24-48 hours before giving up on it. The website showed no contributed storage (still training, which may be just fine given the time span) and no files backed up which makes no sense. Also, I cried a little on the inside when I installed mono dependencies.

    Any future blog entries on the status of the software? What’s wrong with the software, what’s changing in releases, what the team is working on, etc? If it wasn’t for the blog I would have skipped Symform as it appears defunct after attempting to use the software.

    • Kyle, without the software running on your device we can’t do much to diagnose the problem. If you want to try again and it doesn’t work I’d recommend putting in a support request at https://community.symform.com.

      We will certainly post when we have new features to talk about. We’ve got lots of stuff in the works, though our last couple of development cycles have all been focussed on back end stuff. Next major release will have an updated NAS/Linux client (mostly UI improvements). There is no plan to remove the mono dependencies, sorry.

  2. I hadn’t heard about you guys until now, as an IT backup company it’s awesome to see someone in the space sticking true to the original term ‘cloud’. You may have to do more work but the pay off ultimately for users has much greater benefits. Keep up the great work!

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