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Storage in the Cloud

I wrote earlier on ways I’m storing some of my files offsite. Since then I’ve made a small change.

Previously I used JungleDisk to copy shared folders on my HP Windows Home Server to Amazon S3.  The newer HP MediaSmart’s come with special HP software that performs the same function.  Last week HP released the MediaSmart Server Online Backup for S3 for owners of older devices and I migrated from JungleDisk.  I never had any problems with JungleDisk.  I just felt more comfortable with officially released and supported software.

You can specify which shares you want to backup and during what hours the backup should run.  I set mine to run from 11PM to 6AM.  When you configure storage in S3 you give it a bucket name to store the backups.

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I used a different bucket than I used for my JungleDisk backups.  Now I was going to have every file up there twice and get charged for it.  I started looking for a way to delete my old bucket.  Amazon doesn’t provide any tools to manage what’s stored on S3 that I could find.  They give you a full-featured API and let you do the rest.  After some searching I stumbled across a number of interesting S3 utilities.  The one I’m using now is SpaceBlock.  It’s open sourced through CodePlex.  It’s not a “fully featured” application but it’s been able to accomplish the limited number of tasks I’ve needed.  It also includes a browser for searching through S3 buckets for files.

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One interesting thing about S3 is that you can’t delete a bucket until you’ve deleted all the files in the bucket.  SpaceBlock is currently 38% of the way through my 42,547 items.  It probably has another hour or two to go.

There are quite a few other interesting S3-related utilities available on CodePlex.

Azure has quite a few applications also.  Unfortunately until my Windows Home Server lets me backup to Azure I’m an S3 guy.

Print | posted on Tuesday, June 02, 2009 7:51 PM | Filed Under [ Miscellaneous ]

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# re: Storage in the Cloud

This is very interesting and Spaceblock is a nice tool - thanks for the tip ! Here is a tip of my own in return ;-) I've been using S3 to store my files for a while but find myself using different clients which becomes a problem when using Jungle Disk as accessing Jungle Disk stored files from other tools makes the files illegible. After searching on Google for a while I came across SMEStorage.com who allow you to use your own Amazon S3 keys with their service via registering at OpenS3.com for the beta. Once you've done this and been accepted you sync your Amazon S3 account. Once you've done this you can use your account with any of their tools which include a very nice web file browser with integrations to things like Zoho, Picnik, Twitter etc, windows tools, that include integrations with the windows shell, virtual drive, MS office etc, and a nice iPhone web client to manage and view your files on the move.

You can schedule regular syncs which run at specified times of the day which is great if you use other clients to update your account. You can also use the web tools to manage your buckets. All in all its a nice addition to my suite of S3 tools and it is free :-)
6/3/2009 3:21 AM | Colin Woodrow
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# re: Storage in the Cloud

I always enjoy learning how other people employ Amazon S3 online storage. I am wondering if you can check out my very own freeware CloudBerry Explorer that helps to manage S3 on Windows and new CloudBerry Online Backup for Amazon S3 http://cloudberrylab.com/
6/3/2009 3:19 PM | Nadya
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# re: Storage in the Cloud

I'd just like to voice my support for CloudBerry. I recently found this application while I was trasitioning from Jungledisk to the HP version of the backup software. It has worked for everything I have needed, and it's free! Great app Nadya!
6/4/2009 2:40 PM | Michael Saul
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