That right there is my current collection of portable harddrives, from below with increasing capacity and technology as time went by, a 120GB IDE, a 320GB SATA, another one, and a 500GB SATA, the Hitachi at the bottom left and the bare harddrive on top of the pile are one and the same.
All of the data within them would easily fit a 1.5Tb container but is that a better option? There are stories I’m sure you’ve probably heard of about large capacity drives getting fried and the data along with it. Apart from a solution such as that, there is also the ‘cloud’ wherein which an amount of data, limited by cost as well, can be kept for better accessibility and integrity. Some of the concerns surrounding this option include highly compromise-able security and availability to third party entities (Yes, when you click on the Accept and Agreement button, that might be somewhere along the lines of digital fine print).
There is of course the classic DVD’s and BluRay Discs but since space is becoming somewhat of a premium, most people do not want this solution (as well as the obviously limiting capacity of both these two and the rate at which information can be transferred between them. With the advent of SSD, USB 3.0, eSATA, and the Intel Light Peak technology, more and more storage options will be presented and offered to the masses.
Will the cloud eventually eliminate hard disks? No one can really tell at this point in time but one thing is certain, continuous data sync and wireless mobility are becoming indespensible in this technological era, and at virtually zero cost, cloud computing might just take the cake. Maybe… a localized cloud with security levels (Im pretty sure there are lots of these already out there)? I guess we’ll just have to wait.