Best of Both Worlds: Connecting AetherStore’s Onsite Backup Capabilities to Your Cloud Backup Solution – part 4

A cloud copy ensures you can access your data from anywhere with an internet connection, while your local copy in AetherStore guarantees fast and easy access even without one.

If you’ve ever taken a look at AetherStore’s pricing structure, you likely would have noticed that we offer a permanent free-tier that allows users up to 25GB of storage just for signing up for our product.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many cloud backup solutions that offer this kind of freemium pricing structure, as most will offer a limited-day trial instead. These trials generally last around 7 to 30 days, which for most cases isn’t enough time to really experience and appreciate the utlity of cloud-backup services.

Thankfully, with IDrive, you have a permanent 5GB freemium tier that you can test the waters with. Admittedly it isn’t huge, but not everyone needs a huge cloud storage solution, and combined with AetherStore’s permanent free-tier, you have an indefinite amount of time to experiment with the 3-2-1 backup strategy before committing to a bigger decision. Below, I’ve outlined the steps to connecting AetherStore with IDrive so you can give the 3-2-1 backup plan a try if you haven’t gotten your feet wet yet.

Connecting AetherStore & IDrive:

1. Copy your important files into AetherStore

I already have my AetherStore set up, with all the files I need backed up sitting in there. Go ahead and do the same if you haven’t done so already. If you need help setting up your AetherStore, check out Shannon’s guide here.

2. Change IDrive’s Backup Location

Install IDrive and run it. You’ll need to add a new location to backup, do so by clicking the ‘Change’ button.

3. Set AetherStore as your Backup Location

In the next window, select AetherStore as the backup location, then click ‘Ok’.

4. Start the backup process

Now that you’ve set AetherStore as your backup location, click ‘Start Backup Immediately’ whenever you’re ready to proceed with your backups.


If you already happen to be a user of IDrive, note that the process can also go in reverse and is just as easy. You can restore the backup files you already have in your IDrive directly into AetherStore, giving you encrypted, redundant, and self-replicating local copies of your backups.

1. Change IDrive’s Restore Location

Open up IDrive and click the ‘Restore’ tab. You will be able to select the files that you want to restore to your machine. Afterwards, you’ll need to set your restore location. For me, the default location was set to My Documents, but you can change this by clicking the location the orange arrow is pointing at in the picture below.

2. Set AetherStore as your Restore Location

In the next window, select AetherStore as the restore location, and press ‘Ok’.

3. Start the restore process

Press the ‘Restore Now’ button to start the restore process.

Pretty simple, huh? You’ve now successfully linked AetherStore and IDrive, giving you a setup that satisfies the 3-2-1 backup strategy criteria.

Best of Both Worlds: Connecting AetherStore’s Onsite Backup Capabilities to Your Cloud Backup Solution – part 3

A cloud copy ensures you can access your data from anywhere with an internet connection, while your local copy in AetherStore guarantees fast and easy access even without one.

Till now, we’ve only been covering cloud backup software in our “Best of Both Worlds” series. For this post, we’ll be changing things up a bit to take a look at SyncBackPro, a popular backup and sync-tool with a variety of useful features.

Unlike Carbonite or CrashPlan, SyncBackPro doesn’t come with any cloud storage by default, so you’ll have to find other means of cloud storage to connect with. Instead, SyncBackPro’s strengths come from its flexibility and its ability to consolidate different types of storage, local or cloud, thereby increasing utility and ease-of-access. You can even set it to make use of Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive as your Cloud backup locations, allowing the usefulness of these services to stretch beyond just their conventional use cases.

That being said, for my setup I was able to link my AetherStore to both my Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive with beautiful results. Backups worked flawlessly and quickly, and the whole setup was very flexible, allowing me to schedule backups whenever I wanted, as well as giving me the freedom to choose which files I wanted to back up specifically. For users who don’t have a huge amount of files to backup, I imagine this method may be a very reasonable one, given that both Google and Microsoft offer free-level tiers to their cloud storage products, unlike Carbonite or CrashPlan.

Without further ado, here is how you can use SyncBackPro to connect AetherStore with Google Drive. The steps are pretty much the exact same if you’d rather use Microsoft OneDrive instead.

Connecting AetherStore & SyncBackPro:

As per usual, you’ll see that I already have my AetherStore set up with my most important files already sitting in there. If you haven’t gotten around to it yet, go ahead and do the same.

aetherstore-shot-crashplan

1. Create a new backup profile

Install SyncBackPro and run it. You’ll need to set up a new backup profile. You can do so by pressing the ‘New’ button on the bottom left.

syncbackpro-main

2. Name your profile

Give your new profile a name. I called mine AetherStore. Press ‘Next’.

syncbackpro-new-profile

3. Select Source and Destination type

The ‘Source’ dropdown should be set to internal/external drive. For the ‘Destination’, choose the appropriate destination type. I chose Google Drive fo rthis demo, but really you can use a large number of other Cloud storage providers as well.

syncbackpro-select-destination

4. Authorize

Press the ‘Authorize’ button.

syncbackpro-preauthorization

5. Authorize SyncBackPro within Google

You will be taken to a Google authorization page. Press ‘Allow’.

syncbackpro-google-auth

6. Copy Code

You’ll be provided with a length code. Copy this code to your clipboard.

syncbackpro-google-code-1

7. Paste code into SyncBackPro

Now go back to SyncBackPro, and paste the code into the dialog box, and press ‘Ok’.

snycbackpro-code-enter

8. Select source path

In the next window, select the Source path as your AetherStore, then press ‘Ok’.

syncbackpro-source-set

9. Run the backup

You’ll see that the profile you just created will now show up on the SyncBackPro list of profiles. To run the backup, press ‘Run’ below.

syncbackpro-pre-run

10. Select backup files

In the next window, you’ll be able to specify which files you want to backup. Everything will be selected by default. When you’re ready to proceed, press ‘Continue Run’.

syncbackpro-run-settings

11. Complete backup

And you’re set! Your files in AetherStore are now being backed up to your Google Drive.

syncbackpro-running

Simple, isn’t it? The files in your AetherStore are now backed up to your Google Drive. Rest assured that you’ve applied the 3-2-1 backup strategy to your most important files now!

IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Why Cloud Isn’t Enough

This article  was originally published on May 8th 2017 at IT Briefcase.

Featured Interview with Allan Boyd, COO, AetherWorks

When it comes to storage, one of the most common assumptions is that cloud is the best option for keeping data safe and accessible. And while it does have its benefits, we recently sat down with Allan Boyd, COO of AetherWorks, a software research and venture development firm specializing in distributed systems and with patented technology in software-defined storage and fog computing, to learn more about storage beyond just cloud solutions.

  • Q. Why does everyone think cloud for backup?

A. The availability of cloud storage has greatly expanded our options for keeping data safe and accessible. Before the cloud, options were much more limited. You could either choose to write to tape and send it via truck to a remote location or buy more hardware to meet your backup needs. Now that the cloud is better understood among mainstream audiences, it’s become the “go-to” storage solution for ease and convenience. Using the cloud means not having to worry about purchasing or managing additional hardware (or tape, for that matter), saving time and money.

  • Q. What are the benefits of the cloud?

A. Cloud adoption continues to accelerate, and for good reasons. The cloud makes data accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, which is great for remote working, and its usability, flexibility, and accessibility profiles are quite strong. Cloud isn’t necessarily the cheapest option, but when you factor in all of the costs of acquiring, installing, powering, maintaining, and upgrading your own hardware – that’s when cloud can start to look like a good idea.

  • Q. What is the problem with cloud?

A. As great as the cloud is, it’s not a magic bullet. There are certainly accessibility and cost issues. For example, if you don’t have an Internet connection, you cannot access your data. Even if you do, cloud recovery times can be prohibitively slow, as evidenced by the number of cloud providers that offer to write your data onto a disk and ship it to you. In terms of cost-effectiveness, there are hidden costs beyond just data storage. For example, Amazon S3 retrieval and requests cost extra, as does expediting retrieval, which is still slow. To address these issues, many large companies offer to sell you more hardware that you can use onsite. However, more hardware creates more problems, including added costs and a negative impact on the environment.

  • Q. What’s a better solution?

A. I think that a better solution is locally pooled storage with a cloud tier. Locally pooled storage takes advantage of spare hard drive space in an office environment, combining it to create secure drives that are distributed across many existing workstations and servers. In this way, your available storage grows with your primary infrastructure. It enables users to create a “private cloud” for onsite backup, without the costs of purchasing and maintaining additional hardware.

With this approach, you can stick to the 3-2-1 golden rule of data backup.  This means having 3 copies of your data,  across 2 different storage types, and 1 of those should be offsite.

Our product, AetherStore, is software that complements the cloud and provides the local component for faster reads, and better availability. AetherStore is a more reliable, flexible and cost-effective solution. It will be there whenever you need it and your data will always be immediately recoverable.

  • Q. Why does this matter?

A. Locally pooled storage is replicated across many machines so there’s no central point of failure. The data is encrypted and chunked before being distributed across the network, so if a computer in the system is lost or stolen, there’s no discoverable data on any one machine and the backup automatically recovers to your desired replication level. Similarly, if a chunk is corrupted for any reason, the system identifies it and a non-corrupt version is re-replicated.

The local storage pool offers high availability, fast local recovery times, and intelligent self healing, while reserving cloud for rare disaster recovery events. It’s not dependent on any third-parties so your data is always there (so long as your office is there). Plus, it is easily downloadable and only takes a few minutes to get the system up and running.

  • Q. What makes locally pooled storage better? For example, how does AetherStore help?

A. Recovery time objective (RTO) is one of the most important metrics in backup and recovery. AetherStore enables you to meet vastly improved RTOs, and does so without incurring the added expense of a backup server. By making use of existing hardware, AetherStore is better for the environment and better for your wallet. There’s no downtime waiting for data recovery, which can drain valuable time and resources. And it provides peace of mind– our users can sleep at night knowing that the copies of their data are exactly where they should be.

So, the next time you need to think through your storage solution, remember, there are options beyond the cloud, and locally pooled solutions may be exactly what you need.

Alan Boyd 150x150 IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Why Cloud Isn’t Enough

About the Author

Allan Boyd is Chief Operating Officer at Aetherworks LLC and is Co-Founder of AetherStore and ActiveAether, deep tech solutions for distributed storage and fog computing. Based at AetherWorks HQ in NYC, Allan oversees operations and strategic planning for the company across its verticals, which include development of original high tech software solutions, investment in early stage companies, and patenting of new technologies.

Allan joined AetherWorks following his ascent through the ranks at Kelvin Connect in Glasgow, Scotland. During his time at Kelvin, he saw the company through its acquisition by Airwave (now Motorola), successfully managing the transition and executing the company’s post-merger workforce integration strategy.

Allan graduated from the University of St Andrews with Honors in Computer Science. Prior to completing his degree, he was awarded “Best Growth Potential” and “Best Overall Business” from the Scottish Institute for Enterprise for his first company, IT Onsite.  Allan is an accomplished musician, having performed with the Royal Northern Philharmonic, and is a supporter of children’s music education through the Fife Horn Union, a charitable organization based in Scotland, and through an annual scholarship he sponsors at the Ingenium Music Academy in the UK.

Best of Both Worlds: Connecting AetherStore’s Onsite Backup Capabilities to Your Cloud Backup Solution – part 2

A cloud copy ensures you can access your data from anywhere with an internet connection, while your local copy in AetherStore guarantees fast and easy access even without one.

Welcome back to the second part of our “Best of Both Worlds” series. In the previous post of our series, we covered why the 3-2-1 backup strategy is a good idea, as well as how to combine AetherStore with Carbonite to conform to the 3-2-1 backup strategy. In this post, I’ll be demonstrating how we can connect to another major player in the cloud-backup industry: CrashPlan.

CrashPlan comes with a number of robust backup features, one of which is CrashPlan Central, CrashPlan’s online backup destination. CrashPlan and AetherStore work together seamlessly, with AetherStore taking care of local-backups and CrashPlan Central filling the online-backup role of a 3-2-1 backup strategy. Below, you can read about how you can set up CrashPlan to work with AetherStore.

Connecting AetherStore & CrashPlan:

As you can see, I still have my old AetherStore deployment up and running from my previous guide. If you need help setting up a Store, check out Shannon’s guide here.

explorer-1-crashplan

1. Copy your important files into AetherStore

My Store already contains all the files that I want backed up. If yours doesn’t already, be sure to move your important files into your Store first.

aetherstore-shot-crashplan

2. Change CrashPlan’s backup location

If you haven’t done so yet, go ahead and install and run CrashPlan. We’ll need to change the backup location on CrashPlan. You can do so by going to the Backup tab and pressing the ‘Change’ button.

crashplan-main-arrow

3. Set AetherStore as the primary backup location

You’ll see a list of drives that you can set as your primary backup location. Select AetherStore, then save.

crashplan-backup-location-arrow

4. Start the backup process

Press the gray ‘Play’ button near the top-right corner of CrashPlan to start your backup process.

crashplan-backing-up


AetherStore can also work as an add-on to your existing CrashPlan setup. If you already have your files backed up into CrashPlan Central, you can restore the backup directly into AetherStore so that you’ll have encrypted, redundant, and self-replicating copies of your files locally as well now. Here’s how:

1. Change CrashPlan’s restore location

Open up CrashPlan and click the Restore tab.  From there, select all the files that you want to restore, then manually set the restore location. By default, the restore location should be set as your Desktop. You can change it by clicking the location the orange arrow is pointing at in the picture below.

crashplan-restore-arrow

2. Set AetherStore as the restore location

You’ll see a list of drives that you can set as your restore location. Select AetherStore, then save.

crashplan-restore-location-arrow

3. Start the restore process

Press the ‘Restore’ button to start the restore process.

crashplan-restoring

And that’s it! You now have a redundant self-healing drive that regularly makes backups of itself in the Cloud.

Download AetherStore, Plant a Tree!

Through the end of April, we’ll donate to have one tree planted for every machine AetherStore 2.0 is deployed on. 

Download here to make your contribution!

With Earth Day approaching, we want to celebrate the early release of AetherStore 2.0 by giving everyone a chance to give back. The software release is free, and whether you deploy a Store across one, two or fifty machines, every computer means a planted tree! We’ll update everyone who participated with information about where trees have been planted so you can see your work in action.

Our Interest in Resource Efficiency:

We created AetherStore to empower users to make the most of their existing storage resources. Why buy additional hardware when there’s so much unused storage on the computers you already have?

With the majority of energy needed to produce and run a computer consumed in the manufacturing phase, we envision a future where fewer computers need to be produced because we’re using what we have more efficiently.

Thanks to all who are able to participate! Let’s plant some trees!!

How to Minimize Downtime from IT Outages

IT outages happen so often these days it can be hard to keep track. Most recently, a typo at Amazon “didn’t quite break the internet”, but caused headaches for hundreds of thousands of websites across the US. Another well-reported blunder occurred in late January when a Delta Air Lines outage prompted it to cancel 280 flights. This followed an
outage in August that cost Delta
$150 million and another at Southwest Airlines that cost that airline $177 million last July.

Data center downtime costs are always expensive. Last year, a study by the Ponemon Institute found that unplanned outages at data centers cost $8,851 per minute. Unfortunately, current backup methods to minimize data downtime have shortcomings across the board. Backup hardware can be prohibitively expensive to purchase and run, and cloud backups are often so slow to restore that, in the event of data loss, the cost of downtime is crippling.

Locally pooled storage has emerged as the best alternative for getting your data back, when you need it.

More Hardware vs. the Cloud

One logical safeguard to minimize your risk is simply to double up on your existing hardware. That way, if one of the systems goes down, there’s still a backup. This makes intuitive sense and is the same reason we all have more than one house key.

The issue is that computer hardware is a lot pricier and more complex than a key. In addition to the upfront capital cost of purchase and setup, there are requirements for additional physical space, ongoing maintenance, and hardware updates every three to five years. Figuring out capacity can also be a challenge. Buy too little and you impact your company’s ability to function. Buy too much and you’re wasting money.

Being on-premise also opens up the hardware to all types of vulnerabilities. Employee accidents pose a constant hazard. For instance, it is ‘speculated’ that a lone worker’s soda spill may have taken down Bloomberg’s terminals across the country for two hours in 2015.

The common alternative to on-premise hardware is the cloud. While you won’t have the same hardware related issues in the cloud, you will have a tough time getting your data back in a timely manner. Cloud providers reassure users that cloud is now an option for tier 1 backup, but relying on 3rd party telecoms to transmit high volumes of data as and when required is a high-risk strategy. Even in urban areas with high-speed connections, recovery time for cloud-based systems are often so long that it can be quicker to physically mail hard drives than to restore data from cloud. Unreliable in the best connected environments, cloud as a viable tier 1 recovery method is met with outright dismissal in many rural areas of the US and in most of the rest of the world.

Hidden charges of the cloud are also often forgotten. Basic cloud storage might look cheap but be aware of your access patterns and the recoverability you are required to have. Reads, edits, deletes, and geographic redundancy all come at an additional cost.

Given these two options, the leading strategy is a hybrid approach that aims to reduce the risk of failure posed by the weaknesses and pitfalls each presents individually.

However, piecing two problematic solutions together to combat each other’s risks is a suboptimal solution at best.

So what is optimal?

Locally Pooled Storage in Hybrid

A smarter alternative to on-premise physical, cloud-based, or the combination hybrid backup is a solution that manages to combine the best pieces of each whilst eliminating the disadvantages: locally pooled storage with a cloud tier.

Locally pooled storage takes advantage of spare hard drive space in an office environment, combining it to create secure drives that are distributed across many existing workstations and servers. Thus, your available storage grows with your primary infrastructure. It enables users to create a “private cloud” for onsite backup, without the costs of purchasing and maintaining additional hardware. Many businesses don’t realize that they have terabytes of space already paid for and never used.

Locally pooled storage is replicated across many machines so there’s no central point of failure. The data is encrypted and chunked before being distributed across the network, so if a computer in the system is lost or stolen, there’s no discoverable data on any one machine and the backup automatically recovers to your desired replication level. Similarly, if a chunk is corrupted for any reason, the system identifies it and a non-corrupt version is re-replicated.

Best of all, installation is simple: It only takes a few minutes to get a locally pooled storage system up and running.

Tiered to a cloud layer for offsite backup, this model is a smarter core infrastructure than is currently available. The local storage pool offers high availability, fast local recovery times, and intelligent self healing, while reserving cloud for rare disaster recovery events.

Dodging a Bullet

We are in a dynamic environment in which game-changing tech solutions come around quickly. As downtime continues to threaten vibrant businesses and onsite hardware continues to require too much TLC, it’s time to consider an alternative to the status quo. A solid backup infrastructure and executable, tested plan is a form of insurance that can save companies millions of dollars. But make sure your system actually works. Will yours be ready when you need it?

Best of Both Worlds: Connecting AetherStore’s Onsite Backup Capabilities to Your Cloud Backup Solution

local-cloudA cloud copy ensures you can access your data from anywhere with an internet connection, while your local copy in AetherStore guarantees fast and easy access even without one.

As a worker in the industry, I usually spend more time in front of the computer than anywhere else given an average day. As a result, I’ve inadvertently ended up hoarding all kinds of precious and unique information in digital form – years’ worth of work, legal documents, personal info, and cat pictures – all priceless and irreplaceable.

I try to be mindful and perform my due diligence to keep backups of my most sensitive information in the cloud, but cloud-based backup has its limits too. In Symantec’s survey of over 3,200 companies, 43% have lost data in the cloud at one point, and two-thirds of those organizations failed to retrieve their lost data in following recovery operations.1

The 3-2-1 Backup Rule suggests that the safest way to preserve important data is to keep both onsite and offsite copies of your data. That way, even if your offsite data is compromised, you can always rely on your onsite backup, and vice-versa. Unfortunately, the costs of setting up and maintaining a NAS can sometimes be prohibitively expensive for many small to medium-sized companies, rendering onsite backups an unfeasible or difficult option to pursue.

Many of our users have chosen AetherStore as the onsite component of their 3-2-1 Backup Strategy, and I’ve received a number of requests for instructions on how to integrate ’Store with some popular products & tools. As much as I love responding directly to each email, I figured it’d be best to put out some step-by-step tutorials for each of these requested products so that everyone can get going with AetherStore.

I’m kicking off this series with a tutorial for connecting AetherStore with Carbonite, an industry leader in cloud backup and the product that the most people have asked us about. I’ll be following on with other cloud backup providers (SOS Online Backup, IDrive) as well as freeware backup tools (Amanda Backup, URBackup) and sync tools (odrive, SyncBackPro), to name a few. I’ll continue to add more guides for other products and services as you request them – just PM me on SpiceWorks or email me at ekim@AetherStore.com with your request and I’ll do the hard work for you and pump out some easy instructions! You can download AetherStore 2.0 here.

Connecting AetherStore & Carbonite:

In my original setup, I had Carbonite directly backing up files located in my C drive. You can see from the picture below that I also have my AetherStore drive set up already. If you need help setting up an AetherStore drive, check out Shannon’s post here.

explorer-1

1. Remove the link between Carbonite and your original backup target

You can un-link your original backup target by Right-clicking the target > ‘Carbonite’ > ‘Dont back this up’.

explorer-2 (1)

2. Move files into your Store

Move any important files that you need backed up directly into AetherStore. This will be your new backup target, so any files you wish to backup in the future must go here as well.

aetherstore-shot

3. Set your Store as a Carbonite backup target

Right-click on your AetherStore drive > ‘Carbonite’ > ‘Back this up’.

explorer-3

And that’s it! While AetherStore keeps encrypted, redundant, and self-healing copies of your most important files, Carbonite will be actively uploading those files to the cloud, ensuring both onsite and offsite backups of all your precious data.

carbonite-progress

It really is that easy.

Footnotes
1. Avoiding the Hidden Costs of the Cloud

How Your Friends & Family Increase Your Risk of Identity Theft

A call, a dodgy website, an impressively themed pop-up – most of us know how tech support scams work, and most of us probably think we’ve got it covered. So how did I end up on the phone to LifeLock, IdentityForce, Experian, Equifax, my banks and my immigration lawyer, in an ordeal so frustrating I’m dedicating an entire blog post to it?

My Mum.

Turns out, our digital risk extends further than our own machines. There are more questions we should be asking, including, “How many people do we know that might be susceptible to digital theft?” And , “How would this affect us?”

Most people I’ve spoken to initially told me they don’t store any private files on their machines. A little probing reveals they do, because they recently renewed their passport, lost their driving license, or confirmed their ID with the bank.

My Mum got caught out by a ‘Microsoft’ pop up. She gave their technical team a call on the number given, and by the time she worked out she wasn’t speaking to Microsoft, they had ran through a barrage of tasks, installed some software and deleted a few bits and pieces. Of course, they charged her for it.

“At best, the software is worthless or available elsewhere for free. At worst, it could be malware — software designed to give criminals access to your computer and your personal information.” FTC

I found out about the mistake several days later in an email containing a list of documents of mine that were on the computer in question. Shortly after, I received a second email as the list increased in size. From forwarding a bank related letter via email, to scanning my birth certificate for my green card application, all my info was on there for one reason or another.

“Tech support scams are a million-dollar industry and have been around since 2008. Every single day, innocent people are tricked into spending hundreds of dollars on non-existent computer problems.” MalwareBytes

It is impossible to fully protect ourselves and others against these attacks, even if you think you personally would never fall for them. As we continue to churn out solutions and educate inexperienced users, there is no doubt the bad guys will come up with more innovative ways of tricking our friends and family.

But that shouldn’t stop us from trying.

Our software has always been designed to use spare space on existing computers to provide highly secure and self healing drives in minutes. While businesses typically deploy it across many machines for these reasons, the encryption, locking and invisibility features could be just as vital to home users with just one or two computers. AetherStore can be downloaded, installed, set up and ready to go in under 5 minutes. If you don’t believe us, watch this 2-minute setup video.

There are a number of other companies and open source projects that provide a service like this, but I believe we have the most straightforward solution to understand, setup, and maintain. We follow the core AetherStore principles: give your drive a name, size, drive letter, and enter a password. Then if there’s anything you’d like to have secured in your computer, store it in your AetherStore.

We’ve decided to offer a 25GB store for free so everyone (and their friends and relatives) can take advantage of this. You can download AetherStore 2.0 here.

It seems that the most popular analogy on the web for having an encrypted drive on your machine is of a house having re-enforced front doors. But looking at this situation, I don’t see it like that. This is an extra line of defense. You might make a mistake and let a dodgy salesperson into your house, but would you open your safe?

Storage On Demand: Education

The Systems Administrator at the University of  Kentucky – College of Architecture Agriculture oversees a 300 PC environment within the robust university network, including a storage server holding custom programs, downloads, installs and ghost images.

Challenges:

With the storage server full, the team looked to increase capacity and ran into the following issues:

  • High cost: significant capital outlay and long term commitment
  • Complexity and resource drain: configuration and maintenance of new hardware

SAN solutions were unrealistic due to budget restrictions. The team also considered NAS products but ultimately sought to avoid purchasing new hardware in general, as it consumed additional physical space and required a significant time investment to set up and maintain.

Solution: AetherStore Deployment

  • Phase One: 8 PCs > 1.2 TB raw storage
  • Phase Two: 200+ PCs > 30 TB raw storage

The team first installed AetherStore on eight machines to open up 1.2 TB of raw storage, effectively doubling previous capacity by utilizing only a fraction of their PCs.  Image data from the department’s storage server will be migrated to the AetherStore drive, freeing up capacity on the server and ensuring the images are stored in a reliable location for the long term.

“AetherStore is a unique product that serves up terabytes of space, in minutes, on hardware I already had.”

– Systems Administrator, UK College of Agriculture

The next stage of their AetherStore deployment will involve pooling space from over 200 PCs, opening up an estimated 30+TB of raw storage.  In addition to storing image files, AetherStore will be used as backup for a number of the department’s other files.  With standard features including built-in redundancy, in-line deduplication and encryption, AetherStore’s value eclipsed exponentially more expensive, hardware-based storage alternatives.

Check out AetherStore in your environment – your first 25GB Free!

How to Create an Encrypted, Redundant Drive in Minutes

At this point, our businesses and even our personal lives would be nearly impossible to run without our data. Not backing it up properly or trusting the wrong service to do it for us is no longer an option. Luckily, features that used to come with enterprise-grade prices and complexity are now available to anyone with a computer. Here’s how to create your own encrypted, redundant, chunked, password-protected drive with AetherStore in minutes.

To Get Started: Install AetherStore on your computers with spare storage. You’ll notice an optional AetherStore Bridge component in the installer, you only need to include this component on machines you’ll use to set up and manage AetherStore.

1. Launch AetherStore Bridge to Start Creating Your Store

Open the AetherStore Bridge and select “Create Store”. Choose a name for your Store.

1

2. Select Store Size

Choose the size of your Store. The percentages below each option indicate the percentage of free space on each machine that will be allocated to AetherStore. By default, AetherStore will replicate your data four times. 

2

  • For added customization: choose “Use Custom Create”. From there you can view each one of your machines, include or exclude them from the Store, and set exactly how much space you want each of them to contribute. You can also change the replication factor in Custom Create.

3. Select Mount Machine

Pick the mount machine for your drive: this is the computer that will be able to view and access the Store. You can change the mount machine after your Store is deployed, or at any time, from the Manage Stores page. Assign any drive letter not currently in use.

3

4. Create Store

Click “Create Store”. You’ll be promoted to set a password for your Store. Once entered, hit “Deploy”, and that’s it! You’ve created an encrypted, redundant, password-protected Store drive.

4

Check out your new Store on the mount machine, and use it just like you would any other drive.Mounted drive pic

Sign up for access to AetherStore 2.0 here: