Space Monkey Cloud Storage Kickstarter campaign reaches goal in only a few hours

The Space Monkey Kickstarter campaign has reached it $100k goal in only a few hours. The campaign launched earlier today and it's designed to help Space Monkey ship and test the first large scale application of their cloud storage solution.

But what exactly is Space Monkey? The short version is that they're a cloud storage solution with a hardware twist. Just like Dropbox or Skydrive they offer cloud storage to their customers, but unlike those services, Space Monkey actually ships you a physical device.

The small device is basically an external hard drive that you connect to your PC or Mac, set up and then leave connected to your network. Then you simply add your files to the Space Monkey folder on your device and they will be transferred to this external drive and then uploaded to the cloud automatically, without you having to keep your laptop on for hours until the files finish uploading. Once encoded and uploaded your files are spread out across all the other Space Monkey devices out there.

By distributing your files this way you actually have a lot more redundancy than you would by simply uploading them to a data center (or three). And the price of storage comes down dramatically too. Space Monkey, once it goes to mass market, will offer 1TB of storage for $10/month. That is considerably cheaper than all the other cloud storage services out there.

And, according to the team behind the project, there's another perk in using Space Monkey: it's green. At least greener than a data center. That's because a large data center uses tons of energy and manpower for cooling, emergency systems, security and so on. This device only uses a bit of energy for the HDD while cooling and everything else happens passively. Of course that might be more marketing spiel than scientific data but if it's true it's definitely a nice bonus.

If this sounds like your cup of tea you can still back the Kickstarter project here, though most of the cool perks are already sold out.

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This reminds me of a feature that Wuala used to have when I used it.

You could trade space on your hard drive in return for space on the cloud. Your files were split up, encrypted, and then sent to multiple machines that were sharing their space.

Space Monkey seems similar, except you get a small, dedicated, always-on machine, rather than having to leave your computer on.

I don't get it, shouldn't they be paying users for hosting these mini-servers? After all, the users are the ones paying for the internet connection & electric costs. It sounds like the company wants to host their servers offsite _and_ let the offsite providers pay for the privilege of doing so.

Maybe if the users hosting the servers get to use the service for free, while others w/o the equipment pay $10/month or whatever. That would make more sense but would be way less profitable.

Outside of that, this just sounds like a less anonymous Freenet (or other P2P-like systems where you get to host blobs of data for the network to thrive).

Actually if you think about it..

It's a damn good business plan to maximize profits. Since you can say whatever in Kickstarter and give out some words that the consumers want to hear you can sell everything.

Gotta hand it to these guys.

I pay $49/yr and get unlimited storage in the cloud. Storing about 500GB right now. Encrypted with my own key before they're sent up to the netherworlds of the webs. Something about this set up makes me uncomfortable - relying on other people to keep their monkeys plugged to the internet. And relying on their upload speeds to get my files.

This is just a glorified torrenting system repackaged for dumb end users. The elephant in the room people are missing is that your box will be holding other peoples' files until you fill the drive with your own files. And that means your bandwidth will be eaten up storing and retrieving other peoples' data too.

And what if that data from strangers ending up on your drive is child porn? Are you liable since the device is in your possession? Its encrypted, so what, that'll be broken in short order and I'm not sure the law cares.

Edited by MVD, Apr 18 2013, 12:22am :

Be interested to know a bit more about the software in use really. Such as the sort of encryption its using / the sort of protocol is being used to distribute and track the encrypted copies of the files?

I also note, other than saying it will try to only use "excess" a bandwidth, it doesn't really mention how much bandwidth the device is likely to be sucking down on a day to day basis "/

and what happens when all space monkey devices holding your data are disconnected? You'll just lose your data forever. How many devices are your files spread across? Obviously it can't be all of them.

That's the problem though isn't it... You've got a 3rd party device on your network. "Hacking" is the first thing that comes to mind...


And, according to the team behind the project, there's another perk in using Space Monkey: it's green. At least greener than a data center.

1,000 hard drives in one room or 1,000 hard drives spread across 1,000 rooms... no, it's not greener, it's just cheaper for them. They're just passing off all costs to you.

In fact, it probably requires significantly more electricity overall. 100,000 users.... 100,000 hard drives. It probably scales less efficiently.

rfirth said,

1,000 hard drives in one room or 1,000 hard drives spread across 1,000 rooms... no, it's not greener, it's just cheaper for them. They're just passing off all costs to you.

In fact, it probably requires significantly more electricity overall. 100,000 users.... 100,000 hard drives. It probably scales less efficiently.

I had to laugh for that one too. The green marketing method is a joke. Do you know what else is green? BS is green.

rfirth said,

1,000 hard drives in one room or 1,000 hard drives spread across 1,000 rooms... no, it's not greener, it's just cheaper for them. They're just passing off all costs to you.

In fact, it probably requires significantly more electricity overall. 100,000 users.... 100,000 hard drives. It probably scales less efficiently.

But if all there is to it is a passively cooled hard drive...how is it not "greener"? There would only be a negligible increase in energy meaning negligible increases it whatever comes with that.

You don't have a huge data center running 1000's of servers cooled by huge AC units sucking down huge mountains of energy. You just have a tiny hard drive that even if multiplied by 100k or even a million, still uses less energy than the data center(s) that would be required to do same thing the normal way.

Erm, it's always connected to the network and receiving/sending data. Which means it has a processor/memory/network chipset built in. The fact that those are not cooled by a fan doesn't mean they don't use energy

I'm still surprised no ones used the word "Nebula" in a product name yet. After all, it means "Cloud" in Latin.