I have, in the past, been critical of Dropbox. I was a confirmed SugarSync enthusiast but I have to admit that for relative newcomers to online sync-n-storage services Dropbox is one of the simplest, working as it does straight out of the, er, box, so to speak. Given my criticism re security, referrals to the FTC, miserly 2gb of free space compared to SugarSync, Google Drive etc, why am I reviewing a book on Dropbox, a book that I actually paid for, it’s not a review copy?
One of the hot potatoes for CIOs at the moment – and believe me it isn’t going to get any easier – is how much access – if any – do you allow staff to access company data and email through their smartphones, iPADS, netbooks, etc while away from the office. The fortress mentality of old that “we’re the company, and we can build the walls high and tell you what you can and can not do and where you can and can not do it,” is starting to show cracks. As recent events in the Middle East have shown, a small groundswell can eventually lead to collapse of the status quo.
Block storage itself is a very old idea. Hard drives (and other storage media) present themselves to operating systems as a collection of blocks, each of which store data. The operating system is responsible for turning those blocks into something that applications can use. So when people say “block storage,” what they’re really talking about is storage that behaves like a hard drive.
“Cloud block storage is block storage that’s been built to integrate with cloud platforms. Usually cloud block storage is distributed across many computers and many hard drives,” explained Ross Turk, the VP of Community at Inktank, the commercial support company behind the open source storage project, Ceph.