In theory it can scale more than any alternative. In reality this will need to be sufficiently proven in our Pilot.
The main premise of distributed data storage is its taking out the “middleman” – the intermediary. Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, and the Google Cloud are all centralized in a way and controlled by one business. Having that said, even they could in theory also become a part of a distributed data storage solution. This would be on top of any other unused storage space that will be targeted anyway. The main advantage of distributed data storage is then the unique scalability of its storage volume and the access to any kind of storage supply, by definition exceeding any of its sub-components. This then also lends itself to “fog computing” which takes advantage of geographical proximity, leading to improved performance.
The result is more, and more flexible, supply. If properly implemented this should result in clearly lower cost, more flexible use cases, and overall higher performance. This is the theory and it is not a new one and has been proven in reality within some constraints.
Healid’s Pilot will need to prove that it can scale out as a low-cost, flexible, and high performance solution to take care of the massive data volume required for our initiative. However, even if we would encounter challenges to the low-cost aspect when the data volume grows too fast, the offering of a massive enough data set should be enough of a value to researchers to make accessibility economical for that reason only.