Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Toolbox: Cloud Storage
Online services and software for protecting your image archive
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
Similarly, the CX cloud service offers CX Rewind for restoring unlimited file versions. The account starts off with a bang, with 10 GB of storage free of charge, as well as an extra potential 6 GB when you refer other users to the service. They also have custom plans for businesses and tiered plans for 25 GB, 50 GB and 175 GB accounts, which range in cost from $4.99 a month to $24.99 a month.
The comprehensive SugarSync has a slight edge over other services in that it allows you to decide which folders should be synced across multiple computers while most other services require a designated folder for updating files. Backups are automatic, and you can view and restore the last five versions of files. SugarSync's Web Archive, the location online where files are stored, is accessible from desktops and mobile devices, including a dedicated iPad app alongside iPhone/iPod touch, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Symbian applications. Capacity is free up to 5 GB, with extra capacity plans available in 30 GB, 60 GB, 100 GB, 250 GB and 500 GB at monthly or discounted annual subscriptions, starting at $4.99 a month.
Amazon offers a number of web services, including Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier, which is a very affordable long-term backup service. Amazon Glacier is expressly intended as an archival solution, however, because files are kept in remote servers spread across the globe. Compared to S3, which keeps files much closer at hand for easy, repeated access, Glacier tacks on an additional penalty charge for retrieving files, which also can take several hours to access. This gives you greater choices over cost and access, but Amazon's pricing structure is a bit convoluted, with prorated charges that are based on your storage and data transfer consumption.
Pricing for Amazon Glacier starts at a mere $0.01 per gigabyte per month (about $10 total a month for a terabyte) while Amazon S3 offers a starting price point of about $0.14 per gig. You can upload single files as large as 5 TB, and each archive will store up to 40 TB.
Keep in mind that Amazon prorates data-retrieval charges based on peak usage, which can add up if you need files quickly, so for files that require a lot of access, Amazon S3 is the more cost-effective solution in many cases. Setting up Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier also requires a bit of dedication. They're very tech-oriented services, but the cost savings and data "durability of 99.999999999% per archive" makes Glacier worth a serious look.
Amazon Cloud Drive is very similar in offerings to Dropbox and Google Drive with 5 GB of free storage and additional space starting with 20 GB at $10 a year and ranging up to 1000 GB at $500 a year. Uniquely, Amazon's Cloud Drive includes a Cloud Player for streaming music from the service.
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