Gladinet - joining up the clouds [storage and apps]

Being a big fan of cloud application and to the extent I'm almost able to operate entirely using free online apps, I was delighted to be introduced to Gladinet, a brilliant free service that joins up cloud storage services with cloud applications.

Some of my concerns with any cloud application are a) where does my data live b) how portable is my data c) how reliable is the service provider. Gladinet helps overcome these fears by liberating data storage from cloud applications [or at least the ones it presently supports] and then enabling you to connect between them at will.

Windows only, you do need to install a small desktop application to use the service. The Gladinet software creates a virtual drive on your desktop from which you can access your online storage services as if they were local folders. You can also access the same folders from multiple PCs via the same Gladinet account.

Presently the service integrates with Microsoft SkyDrive [25gb of free storage], Amazon Simple Storage Service(S3), Google Docs and Google Picasa. You can also connect to folders on remote local computers that you have access to e.g. at home or at work. In effect it means your files can follow you.

It's easy to drop and drag files between your online and desktop folders, and the files become instantly available. You can also drop and drag files between cloud storage folders i.e. skydrive to google docs.

The "icing" comes from the ability to easily access online applications. Hence, your online or desktop files can be instantly opened within the web applications supported from Google Docs, Zoho and Think Free.

For example, you can elect to open a document stored on Skydrive in Google Docs. A temporary instance of the document is created in Google Docs but all the changes are instantly reflected by in the original source file when you save the document. Next time you open the document you could instead choose to use Think Free or Zoho to edit it, or perhaps use MS Word on your desktop. A point to note is that I found Google Docs considerably faster at opening files than Think Free.

Gladinet also lets you share your files by creating internet urls that you can send to others. If you choose to youcan protect your share with a password. You can also put a timer on the URL so it can expire at a specific time. Both features make the sharing experience more secure.

Gladinet doesn't provide any synchronisation capabilities between online and offline folders, leaving that to services such as Microsoft's Live Sync and Dropbox amongst others.

But here's a personal reason why I am enthusiased about this offering. When I installed Gladinet I simply couldn't get it to connect to the cloud storage services following the installation and got a Window error code. I dropped Gladinet an email asking for help and one of the founders, Jerry Huang, was kind enough to spend time investigation the problem with me online and despite it not being a Gladinet issue, tracked it down to a conflict with a very old Juniper Networks security application I had on my laptop, which I hadn't even been aware was still active. Thereafter things have been troublefree.

Whilst on the call, Jerry also took the time to give me some background on the company and a taste of their future plans, which were impressive.

Definitely a service to look at.

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posted by John Wilson @ 1:30 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


At 9:04 AM, Blogger alex o said...

I found out that is now offering Cloud Online 5GB Storage Drive for Free. I think this is a great deal for a document storage Perth online.

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous on demand bi said...

Its nice to see cloud computing and storages has moved much closer. Just matter of selecting these services is distinguishing between security, flexibility of services etc provided by each of them.

Software services on cloud also started rolling out as on demand services. Lot of vendors finding it viable and the users also benefits from low cost of implementation and licensing.

At 3:02 AM, Anonymous document scanning services said...

I remember storing my files on diskettes and floppy disks, thank you very much.


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