Time for a bit of non-SharePoint/Learning Platform talk. As those of you who have followed the blog over the last 18 months will know I am very interested in cloud computing and love gadgets. One of my first ever blog posts back in January 2009 was about a new device which was launched back at CES. The device was called Pogoplug and Robert Scoble made a big noise about it.
Having lost touch with Pogoplug since then I was pleased to come across their 2nd Generation version in PC World last week. I could not help but pick one up as the ability to access my vast library (which currently sits on three large hard drives) from anywhere would be really useful. If you have not met Pogoplug before it is well worth watching this quick video below to get an overview of what it does.
Although the video was made by Pogoplug the hype was very much accurate. Within 60 seconds I was up and running with complete access to my 3 hard drives which are connected up to the Pogoplug and then into my modem. The web interface is simple and intuitive and very responsive. Given a cost of just £70 I was left wondering why would you pay for cloud storage on a monthly basis when you can own your own for a one off payment. One other bonus is the range of devices the Pogoplug can be accessed on and in my case the iPhone app will be my most common access point.
Pogoplug have also announced in the last week that they are launching a business version of Pogoplug with more details here. Demos of the Pogoplug will be posted when I have had more time to play with it.
During this week we have been focusing on the development of ‘Cloud Computing’ and how we are trying to use this at Twynham School with SharePoint. One of the related discussions we have been having in the systems team is about access through the cloud to your personal details. Much of what we are looking to do with students is develop SharePoint’s My Site as an online home drive or e-portfolio. There are huge challenges here with the widespread emergence of students and staff using video. This is even more challenging when you consider the impact of HD now and especially in the next few years. Although storage is rapidly coming down in price the simple reality is there isn’t enough space on school servers to put the entire contents of 2,000 staff and student’s digital resources.
The result is that much of this material stays trapped on laptop hard drives and over time gets transferred to external hard drives which often sit at home as a back up. During the last year I have been talking about the need for a simple and convenient way to access all your resources over the internet from your home broadband. Whilst there have been some development within the home through the use of Network Attached Storage (NAS) these often allow complicated access remotely via the internet and often usually with subscriptions. I have been impatient for a simple method of attaching all my resources to my broadband router on an external hard drive so that I might access them from anywhere in the world for free. Well it seems that we might have the answer through the product launch at CES of Pogoplug.
This cheap ($99 after CES) device does exactly what I and many people have been looking for- allows free access to all your digital media through the cloud. It is another example of how the internet continues to become more dominant in peoples lives as broadband speeds develop. Check out their product launch interview with Robert Scoble of Scobleizer and Fast Company.