A startup that lets you have your own cloud servers at home is part of a movement that is turning its back on conventional cloud computing
IS THIS the death of the cloud as we know it? Space Monkey certainly seems to think so – it is planning to build a better one. When its Kickstarter campaign ended last week, the startup had received more than three times its $100,000 funding target.
Set to launch in the next few months, Space Monkey aims to replace public cloud service providers such as Dropbox and Google Drive with a cloud of thousands of devices that sit in our homes. For a monthly fee, Space Monkey will lease subscribers a device containing a 2-terabyte hard drive and software that connects to all other Space Monkey devices on the internet.
Only half the storage space is for you – the rest is filled with other subscribers' data. Everything stored on a Space Monkey device is copied and split into many encrypted pieces distributed over the network. If you want to watch one of your videos away from home, it will be put together from the pieces copied onto devices closest to your current location. It is much like torrent downloads from file-sharing websites, which assemble fragments of a file from different machines on a peer-to-peer network.
Space Monkey claims that its cloud will give users upload and download speeds that are 12 times as fast as those offered by existing services – and as the network of subscribers grows the rate could be 60 times faster. "Each new user adds bandwidth," says co-founder Alen Peacock.