Cloud Engines, the company behind the so called Pogoplug Personal Cloud offering, today announced that they have received $15 Million in financing. This round is lead by Softbank Capital and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners (AIP) along with Foundry Group, their existing investor. This round of funding will help them expand their business globally.
What does Pogoplug do?
It is a storage offering targeted towards consumers and small businesses. It is a small device like a router that sits inside your home/office broadband connection to serve the files stored in your hard disks through internet. Users pay an one time small fee of $100 (for their pro version) and can serve files from their USB external hard disks. The device comes with 4 USB ports and gives enough leverage to have large amounts of storage accessible from anywhere.
Some of the features include:
- Unlimited and private file sharing
- Slideshows for photos, music and video streaming
- Easy sharing of folders and also web only viewing options
- Global search across many different drives (consolidation of your data and easy discovery)
- Desktop and Mobile apps
- Possible to print to printer connected to Pogoplug from anywhere in the world
These are pretty attractive features for the price point and will come handy for consumers and small businesses wanting to access their files from anywhere.
Is it cloud?
I really like the product and am planning to add it to my gadget pile pretty soon but I do have some issues with it. I thought I will use this post to highlight them.
- First, it is not cloud. It is plain cloud washing. It doesn’t fit the definition of cloud. For example, it doesn’t scale up automatically without any intervention. You have to buy a hard disk and add to it before you can scale up. Suppose if you are on an offsite and want more storage, there is nothing you can do. There is no concept of scale down after you shell out money for buying the necessary hard disks (capital expenses). If you buy this product thinking it is cloud, I would suggest that you go and get the right definition of cloud. If you want to buy it as another device which lets you access your files from internet, then it is a great device
- Also, your cost is not just $100 for the device, you need to pay for the hard disks too. When you make a comparison with external cloud storage services, take it into account along with costs associated with disk failure
- I don’t think it is a replacement for real cloud storage services. This device serves the files through your home broadband connection. Knowing the fact that broadband upload speeds are pathetic, you may not get a seamless user experience like external cloud services. Plus, I will never trust my broadband connection as the last mile path to my data
Having made my thoughts about the cloud part of their offerings clear, I still feel that it is a neat device to access data stored inside your house/business (not many will put all their data on cloud storage providers). It will be interesting to see their product evolution in the coming years.
- Cloud Engines raises $15M to turn old hard drives into private cloud servers (venturebeat.com)
- Pogoplug Maker Cloud Engines Raises $15 Million (gigaom.com)