Space Monkey + | Personal Cloud Makes More and More Sense

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Space Monkey device

The whole thing going on with Space Monkey makes me feel like agent Mulder — I want to believe. In case of wide adoption they may really change the preferred way of storing data. At least for photographers.

Of course it may fail as a cloud alternative just because of it’s P2P nature — Bitcasa seemed like a good idea too. But there is no doubt it will work great on your local network. After all, it’s still a common Network Attached Storage. Just suited up.

It’s NAS “descent” is the reason of my special interest. You probably already know that distributed storage is one of the main features of Almost any cloud service may be integrated allowing you to edit and manage images stored in Google Drive, Amazon S3, Glacier etc.

But many photographers already maintain enormous image archives. Alexandr Ambalov‘s, for example, is around 5Tb. Even the cheapest Glacier storage would cost him $50/mon. Luckily, he can just use his personal NAS instead. To make it work with we just need to deliver him custom Apache distributive. So he doesn’t need to rely on cloud storage services. Sounds great! But backups is still his headache, as well as a server’s uptime. That are the common problems of all personal cloud solutions based on NAS.

But there is a strong upside — working on the same local network as NAS gives significant performance boost. Space Monkey is very exciting in that context. If they provide an open API we won’t even need custom Apache distributive to let you start using with personal cloud. Space Monkey is here to offer you:

  • easy non-geeky installation;
  • backup that just works.

Let’s compare these 3 photo storage options.

Photo storage infographics

Space Monkey claims that storing 1Tb in the cloud will cost you $800/year. That’s actually isn’t true. At least if you’re a photographer. Let’s say I want to put all my images to the cloud. I have around 500Gb of photos on my desktop, but, frankly, most of the time I view photos in the galleries of social networks and photo-sharings. So full-size images are just bulked on my hard drive and I don’t use them frequently. Especially one’s that were captured 2-3 years ago. Even 2-3 month ago. OK, I’ll be honest, weeks. I bet kinda the same situation have most of you.

Full-size images are only crucial during editing and printing, so putting them to the storage like Glacier (backup storage, 4-hour delay getting files from it) is a real option. In that case 1Tb of space will cost you the same $10/mon Space Monkey charges. Of course, in order to view your images without waiting for several hours we must generate previews and put them to the storage with instant access to data (Google Drive, Dropbox). Those previews and thumbnails will take no more than 100Gb of storage space.

  • Jack

    They’ve mentioned in the public forum that Space Monkey will be extendable, either by adding additional units or some other means.

    • Konstantin Shtondenko

      Thanks, Jack. So to store 1,5Tb of photos I should order two modules, am I right? It’s actually a pretty big tier.