We’re creating more digital content than ever before; both in terms of volume of files and actual file size. Ultra HD video, high-resolution audio and RAW image files are just three examples of formats that are filling up hard drives the world over. By Anamika Budree, sales manager: branded products at WD South Africa
We’re also becoming more aware of the need to back up our data. While there are many solutions available to us, Direct Attached Storage (DAS) is still an affordable and convenient option. New generation portable external hard drives are designed to keep up with the pace of change in how we create, consume and store files, offering high capacity drives with fast access and a great user experience. The channel has a real opportunity to offer DAS solutions to help solve storage issues, and new generation portable external hard drives are the ideal product.
These hard drives are not only an excellent sell on their own, they are also ideal as an ‘attach’ product to sell with solutions such as notebooks and desktops, or even with cameras. This helps the channel to not only add value, but by promoting external storage options, resellers can help preach the gospel of back-up, positioning them as a trusted partner with consumers and businesses.
Of course, it’s not just the hard drives of desktop and laptop PCs that are filling up quickly. Smartphones and tablets generally only have a few gigabytes to play with yet we use these to create massive amounts of content; chiefly photographs. As manufacturers continue to sacrifice storage capacity for thinner, lighter and more portable form factors, the overall market for storage is growing.
Equally, the move to mobile computing solutions exposes our data to the dangers of being lost or stolen. Portable devices are also prone to the types of damage that can crash hard drives, often rendering the data inaccessible. With so many precious memories being held in our hands or our handbags, having a backup solution is a necessity rather than a luxury.
While public cloud services remain a convenient option, they require media to be uploaded via the Internet, which is still a time consuming process in South Africa. Uploading terabytes worth of data is simply not affordable to the majority of us, and to those who can afford it, data speeds are also prohibitively slow. As an alternative, DAS solutions remain an easy, convenient and affordable solution to our storage dilemmas.
New generation portable external storage solutions are ideal because their cost and form factor make it viable for manufacturers to develop multiple SKUs for specific usage scenarios. Wireless portable hard drives containing SD card readers are targeted at photographers, while gamers can leverage the ease and convenience of extra storage capacity for their Xbox One and Xbox 360 gaming consoles. There is even a range of drives available that are ready-formatted for Mac users. Many of these drives also integrate with cloud storage such as Dropbox, providing additional functionality and convenience and recognising that cloud storage has value when seen as part of a broader back-up and storage strategy.
The great news for the channel is that the need for additional storage shows no sign of abating. In fact, DAS storage remains a very convenient and affordable option for large volumes of files. Portable DAS storage is reliable, cost effective and easy to transport, and as content generation and file sizes continue to grow, DAS storage is an attractive alternative for the channel, and for consumers themselves.