You probably use cloud storage in your daily life. You may use a Google Drive account to store your personal documents or your team at work may use a shared Microsoft OneDrive repository. The convenience of being able to access your files from virtually anywhere is something we've become dependent on in our personal and professional lives. But keeping track of all those files can quickly become unmanageable, especially if we don't take the time to properly organize the files when we upload them. For those who subscribe to multiple services—and there are many who do exactly that—the task of getting your files becomes even more of a headache. There are other pain points involved as well: What happens if you accidentally delete one of your files or a file becomes corrupted? What if your account is hacked and the attackers are holding your login information for ransom? Cloud storage is convenient but it does open up users to a number of dangers.
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Provo, UT-based startup FileShadow is aiming to solve these problems. FileShadow is a service that automatically archives every file from all of your cloud storage accounts. Today at the IBM Think conference in Las Vegas, the company plans to announce support for Drobo network-attached storage (NAS) devices in addition to its cloud compatibility. The company will also announce that it has also recently moved its data to the IBM Cloud.
Cloud Archiving 101
Before discussing their announcements, it's important to explain exactly what FileShadow is and how the company wants to help customers. The service is very straightforward. You simply create an account on the FileShadow website, link whatever accounts you have, and that's it. The service will archive anything you upload into those services. FileShadow will handle all of the filing and version control of your documents. According to the company, file transfers are protected with an individual key per file and every individual file is encrypted.
Fast and easy retrieval of your files is another design goal of the service. The company also offers a unique indexing engine that catalogs all of your file content and metadata thanks to the Elasticssearch engine. FileShadow said that it has a module that does document analysis that can find correlations between your files, making it easier to find documents that you may have forgotten the file name of.
It also leverages the Google Vision and Watson Vision application programming interfaces (APIs), which can scan image files and create metadata for them. This feature is designed to accommodate the sloppy nature in which most people load their files into cloud services. Upload a picture of a fishing boat but forgot to name the file appropriately? Simply type in "boat" into FileShadow's search engine and your image will be there.
NAS Device Support
In addition to supporting the most popular cloud services, FileShadow is announcing today that it is supporting NAS devices from Drobo, particularly the 5N, 5N2, and B810N models. FileShadow users who upload their content to these devices will now be granted the capability of having their files also archived in the cloud.
The company says that this is a response to requests from medical offices and other types of users who use NAS devices but also want to keep their files should something happen to the device. If the customer suffers from a fire, a flood, or some other disaster, then they will be able to recover their encrypted files from the cloud. According to a statement issued by the company, this announcement is aimed, in particular, at small to midsize businesses (SMBs).
"File services have long been at the heart of many SMB workflows," remarked Howard Marks, a long-time storage commentator and Chief Scientist at DeepStorage. "While vendors like Drobo have delivered NAS systems that meet their cost, performance, and ease of use requirements, these smaller organizations have had a limited set of bad options for data protection and archiving. FileShadow fills that gap by connecting the Drobo NAS to the cloud to archive, protect, and provide access to their valuable data."
11 Nines of Durability
When you keep your files in a cloud repository, you might be thinking you may need the file again in the coming weeks or months. But if you are thinking in longer terms than that, then FileShadow will reportedly keep your files safe for the rest of your life. Recently, the company moved its service from being stored on the Google Cloud platform to the IBM Cloud. They say the change means better data durability for the customer.
When files come into the FileShadow system, they are placed into IBM's Cloud Object Storage system. The files are then stored in one of IBM's three data centers. According to FileShadow, IBM's platform is especially effective, preserving customer data up to "11 nines of durability." What exactly does that mean?
"Each data center has its own durability number," said Jeff Looman, Director of Engineering at FileShadow. "And right now, IBM is claiming that their number is '11 nines.' What they mean is, if you try to retrieve your data, you have a 99.999999999 percent chance of getting that data back. And even if one data center goes down, that's okay. There's enough additional information stored with each piece of data that, if a data center goes down, it can be completely reconstructed and come back out of the data center. "