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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Google Cloud Storage for Backup and Access

imageGoogle has been providing cloud storage under the name of Google Storage for Developers for over two years. Recently it was renamed to Google Cloud Storage and graduated from the Google Code Lab.
There are many ways you can use the Google Cloud Storage. For example, you can use it to backup your files; use it as an external drive so you can drag and drop files to it.
This article will go over these two use cases with Google Cloud Storage.
We will use Gladinet Cloud Desktop for the demo purpose. The same use cases are covered by Gladinet Cloud Server and Gladinet Cloud for Teams too.

Step 1 – Activate Google Cloud Storage

If you have never used Google Cloud Storage before, the first step is to activate it for your Google Apps account or your GMail account.
goto http://code.google.com/apis/storage/, and click on the Activate Google Cloud Storage button.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Off-Site Backup with the Gladinet Cloud

gcloud200This is the last video demo of a 3-piece series about the Gladinet Cloud use case. In the previous two blog posts, we covered ‘Anywhere Access with a Cloud Drive’ and ‘Share Files with the Gladinet Cloud’. This demo is about a set-it-and-forget-it off-site backup feature in the Gladinet Cloud.
Same as the previous two YouTube videos, it is best to view the following video with 720p HD option and with full screen.

Anywhere Access with a Cloud Drive

iStock_000016817525XSmallThis is the second part of a 3-part video demo series about the Gladinet Cloud use cases.
In this article, we discuss having a cloud drive, where you can have native drive letter access on the desktop or have web browser access through the web.
Compares to the ‘Share Files with Gladinet Cloud’ in the first series, cloud drive focuses on the flexibility of how to quickly upload random files to the cloud drive and make it available to yourself or your team, while the ‘Share File’ series focus on how to quickly systematically share big folders from your desktop to the web.
This following video describes the ‘Cloud Drive’ feature and how you can have a drive, both on your PC’s desktop and on the web. The video is in YouTube 1280x720 HD format so it is best to view with the 720p option and with full screen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Share Files with Gladinet Cloud

iStock_000012965524XSmallWe will start a 3-part mini video demo series about the Gladinet Cloud and the 3 typical use cases it will serve.
In this series, we discuss sharing files among a small team. User Todd is a real estate business owner. He has arranged client files into client-per-folder under a root folder such as ‘Client Files’ on his desktop. He will need to share that with his partner in business, Mary.
We saw this use case repeated in the law business. Gary is a law business owner. He has arranged client files into several categories in his PC, such as “Category A”, “Category B”, “Category C”. All these folders are on the desktop.  He needs to share these 3 big folders on his desktop with his partner in the business, John.
This following video describes how you can use Gladinet Cloud to instantly share multiple desktop folders with Co-workers, thus your team.  The video is in YouTube 1280x720 HD format so it is best to view with the 720p option and Full Screen.

There are basically two steps to share files with co-workers.

Step 1 – Attach Local Folder to the Cloud

After a local folder is attached to the cloud, it is instantly available to you in the cloud, when you can visit the folder from a web browser.
This article went over the details of attaching local folder to the Cloud.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What can Gladinet Cloud do for You?

This morning Gladinet Cloud for Teams 1.0 was released. (as compared to Beta release 6 weeks ago).

Why Do You Need Gladinet Cloud for Teams?

Out of the box, Gladinet Cloud was designed to handle the following use cases. If you find a fit for the following use cases, Gladinet Cloud is for you.
iStock_000017151952XSmallUse Case 1 – Share Your Local Folder through the Cloud
You have several folders on your desktop, with your PC or Laptop. You want to instantly share the folder with your team members. On one hand, the folders will show up inside Gladinet Cloud web browser for your own access. On the other hand, you can publish these folders to your team members for shared access.  Both you and your team member can use Gladinet Cloud Desktop client to access the shared folder through a drive letter in your Windows Explorer.
Visit Attach Local Folder to the Cloud for step by step instruction

clouddriveUse Case 2 – Instant, Secure, Anywhere Access with a Cloud Drive
You want to move some of your folders to the cloud for easier access from multiple locations with a browser or native client. With the native desktop client,  Gladinet Cloud Desktop, you can quickly push big folders from your local PC to the cloud by a simple drag and drop to the Gladinet Cloud Drive inside your Windows Explorer. Once the file reaches the cloud, you can access it with a web browser. You can also access it from a different PC that has Gladinet Desktop client installed.  So now you have a private home drive in the cloud. And you can share files with your team from this cloud drive.

Transfer of documents.Use Case 3 – Backup Your Local Folder to the Cloud
You have some important folders on your desktop or server that you want to backup to the cloud. You want Gladinet software to continuously monitor these folders and backup changes to the cloud. Occasionally you will check on the web browser portal to see the contents there in the cloud. In the case of you replace your PC or file server, you can quickly restore the files to your new machine.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cloud Drive for Teams

iStock_000012049705XSmallIf you had a team and also a storage drive to share with the team, what are the desired features you need with the drive? You may be thinking about a hard-drive or NAS drive that you can share in the office. Now thinking in terms of a cloud drive based on cloud storage, what are the desired features come to your mind?
First you may wish the drive can have different folders assigned to each team member so each team member has a private home directory in the cloud drive.
Second you may wish the drive has some shared folders that everyone in the team can share.
Third, you may wish there is an easy way for you to put stuff like your local folder on your PC’s desktop in the cloud drive so you can access it everywhere. If you so desire, you can also share that local folder with your team over the cloud.
Forth, you may wish the drive comes out of the box with some backup software so you can easily backup some local folders into your private home directory in the cloud drive.
If the above four features meet your requirement, keep reading… You have found the product and service you need – The Gladinet Cloud for Teams.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Attach Local Folder to the Cloud

attach128Today we had an online meeting session with a law firm. The use case is very common and typical. The owner has a desktop PC that has several folders on the desktop that he wants to move to the cloud. He has several goals in mind.
Goal A: Share those folders with team members directly from desktop or from cloud.
Goal B: Easier access to those folders, such as web access, anytime access and drive letter/local drive kind of access.
Goal C: off-site backup of those folders.  
Goal D: Team members have easy access to those folders, preferably with web access.
This is a very common use case for a team environment, when everyone is roaming around, not necessarily in the same office. The team doesn’t want to maintain file server in the office, nor do they want any VPN kind of remote access solution.
Welcome to the cloud computing era, when these goals are so naturally achieved by the cloud.
With Gladinet Cloud for Teams, it is a feature called ‘Attach Local Folder to the Cloud’. The basic concept is you attach one or many of your local folders to the cloud. These folders will be accessible right away, while cloud migration happens in the back-ground.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The New Gladinet Cloud–Explained

gcloudGladinet has been providing Cloud Storage Access Solutions for over 3 years now. In the past, we saw Gladinet Cloud Desktop, Gladinet CloudAFS server, Gladinet Cloud Backup and Gladinet Cloud Space hit the market at different times.

Existing Products

Each of the Gladinet products serves a different use case. For example, Gladinet Cloud Desktop serves the use case from user’s desktop PC to connect cloud storage services from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Rackspace or EMC to their desktop PC or laptops.

Gladinet CloudAFS serves the use case that companies may want to attach cloud storage services to their file servers.

Gladinet Cloud Backup serves the backup purpose, such as taking snapshots of SQL Servers or folders.

Gladinet Cloud Space serve the use case of using iPad to remote visit files sitting on a Windows PC.

As you noticed from these previous generation of products, they all integrate Cloud Storage Services at the client side. In the Cloud Desktop case, the cloud storage is integrated directly from desktop. In the Cloud Server case, the cloud storage is integrated from server file system. Since the integration point is directly at the client devices such as the desktop or file server, it has to conform to the least common sub-set of cloud storage interfaces, such as read file, write file, read directories and etc.

These products are also loosely coupled, instead of strongly connected. For example, you can have Gladinet Cloud Desktop and Gladinet Cloud Server work together by pointing to the same Amazon S3 account. However, you can’t do file synchronization between the two yet.


Cloud Storage for Teams

Holding The SkyIn a team environment, what are some of the basic requirements when it comes to cloud storage use cases? As we look below, the requirements are very similar to the old Windows File Server requirements, with some new Cloud Storage twists.

Requirement A – User Home Directory

Every team member needs a private space that he or she can store work related folders and files.  Many companies used active directory to map a drive to user’s home directory on a Windows File Server.  User can roam from PC to PC inside the company and always connected to his/her own home directory.
This is the same requirement for cloud storage for teams. Each user needs to have a home directory. This requirement is served by the new Gladinet Cloud for Teams. Each user will have his own home directory.
With the cloud storage, the new requirement is that the user home directory needs to be accessible anywhere user goes, from company office to home to on the road.

Requirement B – Shared Team Folder

For easy collaboration purpose, there are places that all the team users or groups of team users have access to. These are shared team folders. In the windows world, administrator can right click a folder sitting on a Windows File Server and share the folder. After that, each user can do a drive mapping to the shared team folder.
This is one of the primary use case for cloud storage – making it easy for users to share data.
In Gladinet Cloud for Teams, administrator can take any of his/her directory and turn it into a shared team folder.