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The Future of Data Storage

Sun was right. The network is the computer. A modern way to store data is to do it remotely (or very portably), and treat the computer you happen to be sitting at as simply a local cache of that data. (Even though we're talking about gigabytes nowadays.)

Here are some present day options. This is a quickly expanding niche. Better solutions are on the horizon.

Single-Computer, Encrypted (disk and transfer): Mozy. I use this service for my primary computer, and I recommend it. It's only about safe, automatic backups. But that's a good thing, in and of itself.

Multiple-Computer, Encrypted (disk), Synchronizable: The September 2006 Dr. Dobb's has an article by Eric Bergman-Terrell about a home-grown solution that synchronizes files with .NET 2.0, Amazon's S3 and FTP. (There's also rsync, but on a Windows system, I don't think there's a TortoiseRsync. ^_^)

Multiple-Computer, Encrypted (transfer), Synchronizable and Regressable: Use a Subversion repository over https or svn+ssh. A few web hosting companies already provide single-click solutions for creating repositories. On Windows systems, TortoiseSVN with PuTTY's Pageant makes for a very nice, seamless experience.

TechCrunch reviewed online storage alternatives here.