3 Reasons Why Personal Cloud Services Need to Be Home Server Based

Originally I was going to write a post on a cool new service called ZumoCast for Windows and Mac PCs that enables iPad owners to stream media files instantly from their home computer for playback without taking up any storage on their device. But then I got to thinking… there’s something wrong here.

1. No one wants to keep their PC on 24/7

Beside the obvious security vulnerability, no one wants to keep their main PC powered up all day and night — especially when taking the rising cost of electricity into account. Plus, more and more people are shifting from traditional desktops to laptops, which would not be ideal for this type of use case.

2. Storage capacity is relative

Sure, we’ve seen an influx of multi-terabyte hard drives hitting the market. However, most people aren’t keeping 100% of their files and media on a single PC. These days people are keeping their important files and large, space-hogging media files (i.e. movie rips) on network storage devices and servers.

3. People want to access network shared content beside what’s on a single PC

As previously stated, people are backing up or storing their important and large media files on network storage devices. Being the case, a true collection of available media a person would like to access would most likely be available there, through a shared folder system. Unfortunately, though, many of the popular low cost networked storage devices on the market (i.e. Apple Time Capsule, WD My Book, etc.) won’t be able to handle transcoding process intensive HD video. Hence the x86 PC processor powered home server, with a decent amount of RAM, being the ultimate solution.


My advice to companies like ZumoCast, StreamToMe: Go ahead and give users an easy to setup single PC Mac/Windows solution, but think long-term and consider creating add-ons for Windows Home Server/HP MediaSmart Server, Netgear’s ReadyNAS Ultra (includes Skifta, Orb support), and other PC chip powered Linux NAS solutions or operating systems. In any case, thanks from saving us all from ridiculous cloud sync ‘n serve solutions, which customers monthly pay an arm and a leg for decent storage options (but no where near on par to capacities of current HDD).

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Filed in: Digital Media Servers, Op-Ed, Portable Media Players, Software, Streaming Media Devices

2 Reactions to “3 Reasons Why Personal Cloud Services Need to Be Home Server Based”

  1. aart12 says:

    I certainly agree with the premise of your article, Alex. I can't believe that someone has not developed a WHS app that would allow one to run something like a DropBox on/from their WHS. With the ability to share files and certain folders with individuals, regardless of platform (PC, MAC, SmartPhone, etc.), who may or may not be on their network… the collaboration potential is sky-high… as is the market for such an app. If I knew how to program, I'd have a real winner on my hands.

    • Scott Palmer says:

      Why make it for WHS? MS has a horrible record for uptime. Factor in the TCO and the frequent reboots when patching and you have a fail solution.

      Linux is free and much better suited to the task. Use MS for PDC, Exchange and SQL Server. It loses to *nix otherwise.

      Also, GNU/Linux runs on non x86 chips which makes it ideal for low power usage deployment.