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.
We’ve added a new Remote Upload feature that works above any cloud. You can find this new feature in the file manager toolbar on SMEStorage.com (it has also been added to the iPhone iSMEStorage application and will be added to other client applications as we do update).
The remote upload feature saves bandwidth and the time of downloading something from the web and then uploading it back to your chosen cloud. Now all you have to do is click on Remote Upload and add enter the URL (it can be https:// http:// or ftp://). It will be added as a background task and processed on the server and will appear in whatever folder you were in when you process the remote upload.
The below blog post is taken from a recent blog by Roman Gelembjuk which we liked and thought it was worth re-posting here:
I have tested a lot of tool and services to store files online. I chosen SMEStorage.com and use it now. I found most problems of online storage services is the speed of accessing the file. If you need to get some file from your cloud you must:
Start The browser
Open the site (ex. storagemadeeasy.com)
Login to the site
Open the page with the relevant files
Also, sometimes you must to browse folders and this is a new page/data loading for each folder
What do you do if you have to get 1 file very quick and with a poor Internet connection?
I found a simple solution that works fine with slow connections, and this is a combination of the Linux Drive from SMEStorage.com and Midnight Commander. The Linux Cloud Drive is a tool that mounts the SMEStorage file system to the local file system (on linux). SMEStorage provides a cloud gateway in which it syncs the file meta-data from different storage clouds but all the files continue to reside on the original storage platform. The Cloud Storage Providers SMEStorage currently supports include Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud Files, Box.net, MobileME, Microsoft Live SkyDrive, Microsoft Live Mesh, GMail-as-a-Cloud, Email-as-a-Cloud, FTP-as-a-Cloud, and any WebDav enabled cloud.
It is possible to browse many different storage clouds using the SMEStorage Linux Cloud Drive with any filemanager after it is mounted. Usually, linux filemanagers (in different distributions) try to preload some files (documents, images) to create thumbnails . This is fine if the files are stored locally but not good if they are not, because of the time needed to load all the file information from the remote server .
I found an easy solution to prevent this – using Midnight Commander. This filemanager doesn’t load any files . That is why it works very fast with file systems that are not local. So now when i want to get some file very quick from my cloud I Run SMEStorage Linux Drive, mount it and the run Midnight Commander, browse the relevant folder, and get the required file. This is very fast!
The recent release of the iPhone iSMEStorage version 1.02 with its support for video uploads to any cloud has been highly publicised and reported upon and it has been video reviewed on a couple of sites. Below is a video review featured on Vodpod.
As a Cloud vendor, one of the most repetitive things we get asked is about Security, and this is often followed by “where are my documents stored” ? Rapidly followed by a soliloquy of questions relating to this, i.e. “How can I prove what country I was in when I signed and uploaded them” “Where where they actually deposited” etc.
These are fair questions, and we don’t pretend to be experts in legislation for document storage which can vary depending on the Industry. What we can do however is try to make our platform easier for you to get these answers. To that end we have added integration with a GEO Location Service for all files that are uploaded. Using a GEO Location service enables us to figure out where you were when you uploaded a document and to what endpoint the document was sent to. We can then store this information with each file.
To access this information all you have to do from the File Manager is click “Show File Info”. There is an example screenshot of this below:
You can see from this Screenshot where the file was uploaded from, and where it was uploaded to, down to the town, country and Country with detailed latitude and longitude. You can also see which Cloud. In the screenshot above this is stored on the SMEStorage Cloud which is underpinned by Amazon S3.
This service works across all 10 clouds that we currently support, if you upload your files to your cloud via SMStorage. If you upload them direct with your Cloud Provider then we will still have some file meta-information but there will be no GEO information.
Note that your file may not end up being stored at the endpoint in which the file is accepted, but you can prove the location at which the file was uploaded and accepted, and with vendors such as Amazon you can choose which region your file storage is restricted too.
We’ve finally submitted the SMEStorage iPhone application to the Apple App’ Store. We now have a period to see if it is accepted or rejected. It is not unusual for apps to get rejected so we have our fingers crossed ! In the meantime you can have a sneak preview of the application from the video below:
For many of use in the office using Mac’s we’ve yearned for some tighter integration with SMEStorage and the Mac. You can choose to use the Windows explorer via Crossover or WINE with the Mac and it works nicely, and you can also use the Firefox plug-in which also works really well, but having OS level integration is always nice.
Snow Leopard has enhanced the integration of the automator services into the OS which makes it much easier to provide contextual functionality.
Using this method there is now available an add-in for users of SMEStorage to be able to upload their files directly from the Mac to their chosen cloud of choice (and we now support over 10 storage clouds), and after the file has been uploaded a unique link for the file will be copied to the clipboard.
You can view a video below that show this working with Google Docs:
Recently we pushed out some WordPress plug-ins that enable you to backup your wordpress blog to any of the 10+ storage clouds we support, and a separate plug-in to enable you to share your cloud storage files easily from your blog via file links.
There are now two Joomla components created by Roman Gelembjuk. One mimics the WordPress component which easily enables you to share your Cloud Storage files on your Joomla site, and the second is a rich component that displays a file directory and enables you to easily manage and share files within the directory that are hosted on your choice of cloud storage. Below is an example of this directory. You can see this for yourself here.
Storage Clouds supported are Amazon S3, RackSpace Cloud Files, Google Docs, Box.net, Microsoft Live Mesh, Microsoft SkyDrive, Box.net, Apple MobileMe, GMail, Email Clouds, FTP, and any WebDav enabled Cloud.
We have some really exciting things lined up for the New Year, one of which is the re-launch of the site with a new look and feel, and the other is some fantastic new ways you can use SMEStorage. We are currently mid way through developing out Mac and Linux virtual drives and expect both of them to be available before the end of January.
These virtual drives will map onto your underlying clouds just as the windows version does. This will mean that you can double click into the virtual drive and access up to 10 different storage clouds depending on your package.
A screenshot of the Mac version in use can be seen below:
In the meantime all that remains is to wish you all a happy festive season and thanks for your support over 2009 .
Recently our founder did a presentation at Skillsmatter in London on the state of Public Cloud Storage. The slides for this can be viewed below, and the video presentation can be view on the Skillsmatter site.
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