iSMEStorage Cloud Storage Virtualisation App for iPad is in the App Store !

iSMEStorage 1.40 update has been approved by Apple and brings with it support for the iPad and IOS 4.

iSMEStorage for iPad enables you to seamlessly access multiple cloud storage services using only the iPad. Files are displayed in a Virtual Cloud File System (VCFS) and can be managed using directly using the iPad. Visually each Cloud Provided in the file system is now distinguishable by the relevant cloud logo.

Cloud Storage Services supported include Google Docs, Amazon S3, MobileMe,  SkyDrive, Live Mesh, Mezeo, Rackspace Cloud Files, Box.net, Gmail (GDrive), Email-as-a-Cloud, FTP Clouds, and also any cloud accessible via WebDav.

Files from all Clouds can be opened within SMEStorage and saved locally or can be opened in any other application that has support for document sharing. This means you can office docs from any cloud in Documents-to-Go or QuickOffice for example.

The Application has many business and collaboration features and you can check out a video of the iPad application below.

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SME enhance Amazon S3 RRS Bucket and file conversion with visual identification of RRS files

As per our prior blog post, we added support for users who use Amazon S3 with their own keys to be able convert Amazon S3 buckets and files to Amazons new Reduced Redundancy Storage, which can results in some big savings from a cost perspective.

Since then, we’ve had lots of our individual professional and business users want two extra things:

1. The ability to convert individual files

2. The ability to visually see which files are RRS S3 files.

In the last revision of our platform which was upgraded last night we added both these features. If you add files to the Cloud Clipboard, you can now choose to have these processed as RRS files. This is done from My Account->Providers->Amazon S3-Settings.

Once converted the files look different from normal Amazon S3 files which have the Amazon logo as they have a small red identifier in the bottom left corner to mark them out as RRS files. You can of course choose to convert individual files or buckets back from RRS to S3 any time you wish

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SME now offers 500MB free on Amazon S3 !

Today we increased the amount of free space we give to new users from 250MB to 500MB. This storage space is hosted on the Amazon S3 Cloud. We also retrospectively applied this to all existing accounts! You can choose to get 500MB free solely on Amazon S3 or you can choose to combine this with Box.net, RackSpace, or GMail (GDrive) accounts so that you can aggregate the storage space you have and view it from one file system.

If you ever choose to register for a premium account you can access up to 10 storage clouds from one Virtual Cloud File Systems (VCFS) giving you an amazing amount of aggregated storage.

Also unlike other Cloud companies that deal with data, we’ll let you get your data out anytime you want. You can use our Cloud Exchange to export your data to your own Amazon S3 account should you later get one, or you can export it to over 10 0ther Storage Clouds that we support, including Google Docs, RackSpace, MobileMe, SkyDrive etc.

At SMEStorage we are all about the Data Access, not the storage. Storage is a commodity. It is how you can access it and what you can do with it that counts.

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SME adds Amazon RRS support with additional options for conversion

Amazon S3 Redundancy Storage (RRS) that enables customers to reduce their costs by storing non-critical, reproducible data at lower levels of redundancy than the standard storage of Amazon S3. The RRS option stores objects on multiple devices across multiple facilities, providing 400 times the durability of a typical disk drive, but does not replicate objects as many times as standard Amazon S3 storage does, and thus is even more cost effective.

We’ve now added support for Amazon RRS to our Amazon S3 cloud storage management for our customers who use Amazon S3 with their own keys through the Individual Lifetime Cloud Account.

To configure an existing S3 bucket to use RRS for new uploads go to:

My Account->Providers->Amazon S3->settings->Manage buckets/containers

Select the default storage option for any of the buckets (Standard or RRS).  If you choose ‘RRS’ from that point on any new uploaded data to that bucket will use RRS.

To convert your existing data to use RRS again go to:

My Account->Providers->Amazon S3->settings->Convert files storage type

  • Select the bucket you want to convert from the drop down list
  • Select the storage option (RRS or Standard)
  • Select all files from bucket
  • and then press convert files all the files in that bucket are converted to  the chosen storage option

If you want to convert individual files from different buckets then you can also add the files you want to convert to the cloud clipboard when in the Cloud File Manager.  When you then process the convert this will change the storage option for the files you have in the clipboard.

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Cloud Storage update

A lot has been going on in the world of Cloud Storage in the last 24 hours ! Amazon have introduced a new storage option for Amazon S3 called Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) that enables customers to reduce their costs by storing non-critical, reproducible data at lower levels of redundancy than the standard storage of Amazon S3. We’ll be adding the ability to take advantage of RRS into our S3 solution in the next couple of weeks and will provide more details when this is done.

It seems that Google is also going to have a Google Storage solution similar to Amazon S3. Google is positioning this as a direct competitor with Amazon’s S3 cloud storage and the service will be called Google Storage for Developers, or ‘GS’.  We look forward to this launch. We already support a very fully-featured version of Google Docs and we will also  add support for this GS cloud as soon as it is available.

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Sync Files to Google Docs, Amazon S3 and other Clouds through the web browser with the SME Firefox Plugin

For a little while now we have had the SMEStorage Firefox Plug-In available as an option to use from the FireUploader tool as provided by Rahul Jonna. This is a great Plug-In to use to be able to bulk upload to any of the clouds we support, including of course Google Docs, Amazon S3, MobileMe, RackSpace Cloud Files, Microsoft Live Mesh / SkyDrive + more.

It has a lot more functionality than that providing the ability to share files by email, get a tinyurl link, use group collaboration and other functions SMEStorage overlays over the clouds.

Imagine if you could use a web browser plug-in like this to sync a local directory up to clouds like Google Docs or Amazon S3. Well now you can ! After registering for a SMEStorage account with the cloud of your choice you can use the plug-in to select a directory and Sync it to a folder called My Syncs on Google Docs, Amazon S3 et al.  If you change files, either on the cloud, or on the local file system then  then next time you sync, only the changed files will be uploaded or downloaded.

The Firefox tool is one of our oldest plug-ins and is built on the rich multi-cloud SMEStorage API. It is just one of the many data access points that SMEStorage provides into Cloud Storage. It’s been a while since it had an update, and you can download it from our Cloud Tools page.

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Multi-tenant use of Amazon S3 and billing different departments

One of the things we’ve been dealing with recently is how companies who use our Organisation Cloud can either:

– Use one set of Amazon S3 keys but bill different users or departments on their use

– Use different sets of Amazon Keys but still present a single user interface to their users.

Lets tackle the the former first. The SMEStorage Organisation Cloud enables Organisations to have a secure online environment in which to share files and collaborate. Unlike other solutions it does not tie you into the actual storage so you can use whatever cloud you like for the platform to sit on. One of the clouds supported is Amazon S3, so the Administrator of the Organisation Cloud can associate his companies Amazon S3 account with his Organisation Cloud.

Once he has done this he can invite users to the cloud. These users get their own login and password but the same set of keys are still used (although this is transparent to the users invited to the cloud). The login and username can be assigned by department or assigned to each user that reside in the different departments.

Once this is done, each user logins in and can upload and download files via any of the tools we support. Each user, and ultimately each departments bandwidth utilisation and file storage is recorded by the platform and is available to the Administrator. He can use this information to internally bill each department for their use of the Amazon Cloud.  Easy !

For the second question, using multiple sets of Amazon keys but presenting a united interface is again pretty easy. The Administrator of the Cloud can add more than one Amazon Account via the Cloud Provider Provider management screen. These accounts can be mapped to user and folders so that any data is stored there. Again, information on storage and bandwidth utilisation is available to the administrator of the cloud and can be used for billing.

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