A cloud service should be a utility just like fresh water, electricity, gas or sewage disposal. In IT, we can nowadays take the same attitude to internet provision: we can change suppliers pretty easily, and what we get doesn’t really vary much. One shouldn’t need to be conscious of it, particularly, beyond having to pay for it. We don’t have to buy a special type electric fire to suit our current electricity supplier. Mercifully, water from one tap is very like water from another.
Current Cloud storage providers just don’t seem to understand this, and until they do it won’t be the universally-accepted way of dealing with information. Nowadays, we expect things to be there and work, whatever device we’re using. I’m used to dropping a modern network server such as the Synology server into a network and instantly having all the basic services there, managed from a single console. I can see, access, create and delete the files I’ve stored there from Linux, Windows, Mac, ipad, iPhone or Android. There’s a website, a scheduled download service, music streamer, photo viewer, email server, a domain server, database, scheduled backup, and a host of other services. Compared with what one can do with this, AMS and Azure are back in the pioneering days when you had to hack code to do stuff.
For a start, I need my Azure BLOB storage to appear just like any other remote drive. I want to be able to access files and data I put on Azure BLOB storage from my other silvery gadgets, such as camera, phone, tablet, or whatever. It’s been done so it can’t be that hard. If I want to change my service provider, or have two, I’d like to copy files between my accounts on different providers’ storage. I’d like to make files or sites available, but only to people I choose. I want to schedule the transfer of information from a URL to my cloud storage. One could go on and on. The odd thing is that this isn’t difficult, particularly for a company like Microsoft that owns a widely-used operating system.
So, instead of crowing that the Cloud is the Future, why not make it the Present?
Are there other essential features of cloud storage that are lacking? I'd be interested to hear about them.