Dell recommends Windows 8.

3 Options for Tablet Storage

Curtis Franklin Jr., Executive Editor | 2/6/2013 | 60 comments

Curtis Franklin Jr.
Mobile devices. Cloud storage. New OS and apps. If that sounds like a recipe for your worst headache, ever, it's time you adjusted your thinking.

Here's the thing: You know that your employees are doing more and more on smartphones and tablets. You also know that Windows 8 is helping them do this by bringing a full Windows experience together with a mobile-friendly user interface. So far, so good. The problems start when the applications and datasets that users need begin to overrun the memory limitations of the teeny-tiny devices that are so mobile and useful. That's where things get complicated and the cloud can become your friend. Or your nemesis. It's really up to you.

Windows 8 tablets (full tablets, not tablet-laptop hybrids) are just beginning to hit the market. It's been assumed that many vendors and users have been waiting for Microsoft to release the Surface Pro as a way to both see what the minimum hardware configuration will be and to gauge user interest. Some people have already laid hands on the Microsoft system and they report that the 64GB version of the tablet has only 23GB of space left on the disk after Windows 8 and its basic associated apps are loaded. If that sounds like a lot of storage to you, then it's time to get back in your rocker on the ole' digital porch and let the kids take over.

By the time you add a few enterprise apps and the digital flotsam that tends to end up on any mobile device (yes, I'm looking at you, cat pictures), you're starting to get awfully tight on storage. There are three things you can do to boost the memory available for enterprise use. Each has its issues, but at least one of them should be on your radar before Windows 8 enterprise tablets start hitting your organization:

Option 1: cloud storage -- Cloud storage, either through public services like Dropbox or Microsoft Skydrive, or through private services you build for your enterprise, can help by keeping most of the data necessary for enterprise apps in the cloud, along with pretty much all the cat pictures an employee could want. There are a couple of issues, of course. One is connectivity -- the cloud is dramatically less useful if you don't have an Internet connection. The other is policy-based: You must decide how your organization is going to cope with cloud storage, how you'll make it fit within the regulatory frameworks that rule your life, and how to make sure all the cloud-dwelling data is secured. That makes for lots of questions circling some very small devices.

Option 2: virtual desktops -- If you have users connect to the enterprise applications via a virtual client the data never leaves the safe confines of the enterprise server, minimal space is required on the tablet, and all transactions are (presumably) secured via VPN. Of course, we're back to the whole connectivity issue, but 3G versions of tablets should help minimize those problems, though costs could rise. Many enterprise IT groups have decided to go this route, and it can be very effective.

Option 3: bigger tablets -- I'm not talking about larger screens (though I saw a 21-inch tablet at CES that was amazing), but about larger storage capacities. It may be that 128GB becomes the default enterprise capacity for professional Windows 8 tablets. The larger memory provides much more breathing room for data, though it comes at a cost -- the 128GB tablets can cost as much as a well-provisioned laptop.

So there you have it: one migration problem, three potential solutions. Which one do you think makes the most sense for your users? More importantly, did I miss something significant? Let's take it to the comments and see where the answers lie.

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PositivelyKeith   3 Options for Tablet Storage   3/31/2013 4:22:27 AM
government intervention
@michaelsumastre I think you are right about govt intervention. After all, they have money invested in businesses of along shapes and sizes and inventions such as the everlasting lightbulb or batteries with a significantly longer life can have a serious effect on whole sectors of industry that have grown up around them. These inventions could create significant imbalance - and we know what the internet has done to the high street retail sector!
PositivelyKeith   3 Options for Tablet Storage   3/31/2013 4:16:18 AM
Re: The options
@michaelsumastre I agree, we have just had a lad in UK paid millions for an app he designedtdesignedthat has just been bought by mobile phone co I think. Great thing is he says he is still going to complete his studies at school. The worry is that he''ll now have his creativity squashed blithe teachers that do not understand his talent.
michaelsumastre   3 Options for Tablet Storage   3/30/2013 8:15:08 PM
Re: The options
There will always be good and misguided people, and that thought also extends to teens and kids. Of course, I just wish more will follow suit or take a lot of inspiration from his story. I for one am inspired. If he can earn millions out of his app, why shouldn't I try it, right?

About commercial reality, who knows, the government has something to do with it as well? We all know that businesses cannot operate without following government policies and the latter cannot survive without the former. It's for this reason that we have lobbyists bringing "concerns" to Congress. 
PositivelyKeith   3 Options for Tablet Storage   3/30/2013 6:32:56 PM
Re: The options
@Susan haha positively a reality check!! Much as I try to see the best in everyone it does not take a rocket scientist to see the commercial reality..
PositivelyKeith   3 Options for Tablet Storage   3/30/2013 6:20:28 PM
Re: The options
@michaelsumastre I think it is amazing how we have such clever young people around us at a time when youngsters are so often pilloried for their actions. It is good to know.
Susan Fogarty   3 Options for Tablet Storage   3/29/2013 2:36:33 PM
Re: The options
PositivelyKeith, you are probably right, but that's definitely not a positive attitude I am seeing :)
michaelsumastre   3 Options for Tablet Storage   3/29/2013 12:30:20 PM
Re: The options
@PositivelyKeith, your story also reminds me of that brilliant boy who developed one of the most accurate, if not the best, screening test for pancreatic cancer. Just imagine how many lives this test can save. But then of course for it to be used by the public it should be funded by an organization, which may then have an underlying vested or corporate interest on the project. I think these days it's hard to find people who will work on something, more so spend huge bucks on research and implementation, while hardly asking if they're going to get something huge in return. 
michaelsumastre   3 Options for Tablet Storage   3/29/2013 12:26:43 PM
Dropbox Compromised?
The last time I checked, there's a growing concern with regard to the online security of Dropbox:

http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/03/dropbox-suffers-from-old-hack-as-users-email-addresses-become-compromised/

 

According to reports, users have been receiving a lot of spam lately. I wonder if Dropbox users here are going through the same thing. In my end, the frequency of spam hasn't really changed, and I haven't received anything that I might attribute to Dropbox's online security issue.

 

Honestly, of all the three, I prefer the cloud storage. So far, it's the most convenient and the cheapest, but with the above news, it may also prove to be the most vulnerable to security breaches. 
SaneIT   3 Options for Tablet Storage   3/29/2013 7:12:53 AM
Re: The options
I had not heard the light bulb story but I have heard recently that by 2017 lithium air batteries will have cars going 1000 miles between charges.  If that happens I don't know why we wouldn't get a tablet that could last a week between charging.
PositivelyKeith   3 Options for Tablet Storage   3/29/2013 5:59:48 AM
Re: The options
You know what @saneIT, I'll bet the solution is out there but who wants to sell it?

Think of all the repeat business battery manufacturers get and they are probably in cahoots with the energy companies too!

Just imagine how much less power we'd use in a day if we all chose not to recharge our smartphones, tablets, laptops for just one day!!

There was a rumour many years ago that one of the lightbulb companies had invented an everlasting lightbulb.  But if they produced and sold it, once everyone had one there's be no market and they'd go bust!!

 

 
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