In recent years, Autodesk has been increasingly adding cloud services to our extensive range of desktop software solutions. The result is that Autodesk’s ‘traditional’ ‘desktop’ solutions have evolved into hybrid solutions – combining the best features of desktop software and cloud services – thereby creating a product that is greater than the sum of its parts.
However, despite the advantages offered by ‘infinite’ (cloud) computing, many people still have significant concerns about storing their data online. Their argument is simple – once they put their data online, they have no control over its security and over who might get access to it. Such concerns are not unreasonable - there have been many well-publicized instances of online data security breaches (the most notable recent example being the Sony hack) - even though a significant body of research has consistently demonstrated that cloud solutions are generally more secure than traditional IT systems. Whether these concerns are logical or emotional is irrelevant: because the concerns exist, every software company has to make a choice:
- Ignore these concerned customers and focus on those who are willing to adopt cloud solutions;
- Try to persuade these concerned customers that the benefits of their online solutions outweigh the risks; or
- Provide complementary solutions that are palatable to this section of their customer base.
Today, I’m proud to announce a new Autodesk product to be launched within the next few months – the Autodesk Ultra-Private Storage Solution (AUPSS) – designed to provide a personal, private document storage solution for customers unwilling or unable to store their data on the cloud.
Before diving into the technical specifications for this new product, let’s spend a little more time reviewing the reasoning behind its introduction. The reason so many people are concerned about leaving the security of their data to a cloud service provider, is because (in the business world) your data is your intellectual property. Your data is, to all intents and purpose, your money.
So if your data is like money, we should store it for you in the same way people store (save) their money. And how do people store their money? Your grandma probably put her savings under her mattress. Since your grandma’s time, and until a few years ago, most people have come to accept that a bank is a safe place to put their money. However, as a result of the financial crisis of 2008 and recent events on the Eurozone, ‘money in the bank’ is not considered as safe as it once was – especially if you have a lot of money (i.e. more than the FDIC insured amount, or whatever your local equivalent of FDIC is). And the interest rates currently offered by banks are so pitiful, that there is no profit to be made from depositing your hard-earned cash. Putting this another way, we’re reaching a time when the risk of banking your money is once again starting to outweigh the rewards. This means that many people are going back to grandma’s method – and storing their money under their mattresses again.
Therefore, the best place to store you data is also under your mattress.
AUPSS consists of two components: a high speed laser printer/scanner and a robotic arm – both of which are installed in your bedroom. When you transfer a document from any Autodesk software product to your AUPSS, the laser printer/scanner prints your document in ASCII format (one character = one byte), and the robot arm then lifts your mattress and places the printed document on the your bed base, replacing the mattress afterwards. To retrieve a document from storage, the robot arm will transfer the printed document back to the laser printer/scanner to be scanned. To delete a document, the printed version is transferred to your wastepaper bin (or your floor, depending how tidy you like your bedroom to be).
One of our current challenges is data density - something we expect to improve significantly in future releases. A single (twin) American bed is 39 in × 75 in, allowing storage of approximately 24 ‘Letter’ sized sheets of paper. A small (but still machine readable) font of 3pt allows storage of roughly 50K of data per page, giving a storage density of 1.2MB per layer. It is possible to store paper to about 12 inches (or 3000 paper sheets) depth before the mattress above it becomes unstable and starts slipping. Hence this configuration gives a total storage of approx. 3.6GB. This currently limits AUPSS for use with only your most important documents. Storage can be increased by upgrading your mattress to ‘Double’, “Queen’, ‘King’, etc.
Click here to pre-order your Autodesk Ultra-Private Storage Solution.