Cloud computing is like the Borg – “Resistance is Futile”. So it was refreshing to visit a storage manufacturer during CES 2014 that gets it. I spent time with Seagate / LaCie learning about their new product lines and came away impressed. Instead of trying to fight cloud storage, their new offerings adhere to some very well though out axioms:
- Products should complement the cloud by integrating with existing cloud services
- The physical design should be simple and attractive
- The user interface, specifically for smartphones and tablets, should be consistent and easy-to-use across devices
When is comes to traditional hardware companies, I cannot emphasize how difficult it is to achieve the final point above. Building software that is easy to use with a consistent User Experience (UX) is just not in their DNA.
So I was pleasantly surprised when I walked through the new product offerings from Seagate/LaCie.
FAST – Mega back-up either at home or on the road
So it’s now 2014 and you have made “perform regular back-ups” a New Year’s resolution. To make this happen, get a Seagate Back-up Plus FAST. It’s the world’s first portable 4 GB external drive and it includes hardware RAID Level 0 for top data transfer performance. More importantly the drive connects interchangeably to both Windows and Mac systems without any reformatting required.
What really sets the FAST drive apart is its software and cloud connectivity. For the Windows and Mac systems, Seagate provides their Dashboard software that enables you to schedule regular back-ups of your system with minimal configuration
In addition, FAST enables smartphone and tablet back-ups of the critical pictures and videos on your portable devices. The Seagate Mobile Backup app is available from the Apple App store and Google Play store. Once it is installed on your smartphone, you can either back-up your pictures and videos via your local network – OR – via the cloud.
This is where the cloud-enabled features take over. FAST can actually back-up your smartphone files even when you are away from home via either Dropbox or Google Drive. The smartphone app uses these cloud services as a temporary storage location for your back-up and then syncs the back-up to your FAST drive at home.
Finally, FAST connects to your cloud-based social media content at Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. This provides you with back-up capability for all of the social media content you have uploaded.
FUEL – Remote storage for your portable devices
Complementing FAST, the LaCie FUEL drive is a portable media hub designed for the road warrior. With a 10 hour battery life and its own built-in wireless hub, FUEL provides up to 5 mobile users with wireless access to its conent. For HD video viewing, it can handle up to 3 simultaneous movie streams via its 1 TB of portable storage.
Again, the software and cloud capabilities are featured. The Seagate Media App goes onto your mobile device and enables you to select which files to view or play, For cloud connectivity, FUEL also connects to your Dropbox account to synch your files.
FUEL’s most common use case is as a traveling storage device and media server for movies and other media files. However, I’m going to use it a bit differently; in my quest to travel without a laptop (using just my iPad), I’m going to load up a FUEL all of my work documents so that I have instant access to everything I need when I travel.
If you’ve adopted the cloud as part of data universe, both FAST and FUEL are very nice complementary products. They fill the gaps in my current data strategy and FAST is going to become the back-up repository for all of my video files. It’s large enough to hold my complete library and since it’s portable, I can bring my entire library with me when working on a project. FUEL is going to become by travel repository for work files. With its built in wireless hub, it will provide my iPad with all of the needed files when on the road. Finally, both drives will be connected to my Dropbox account. When it comes to the cloud, I have been assimilated.