Nest cloud storage for backup fun
It’s been a major week for cloud storage. First Microsoft updated SkyDrive. Then Google, after years of speculation, parted the clouds to show Google Drive, even supposing it remained out of reach to a couple mere mortals using Macs .
All this activity got me thinking: could the 3 play together nicely?
DropBox is the incumbent file sharing app in your correspondent’s Mac. So I downloaded and installed SkyDrive and Google Drive to that machine and instructed both to exploit the DropBox folder because the location by which to store files. Both did so with none problem, but installed sub-folders as opposed to allowing me to synch to 3 clouds from one folder. DropBox synched their contents without complaint, the outcome being that several years worth of Google docs appeared in DropBox.
Switching to Windows, where DropBox was again the incumbent, proved a bit trickier. SkyDrive happily installed a sub-folder inside DropBox’s designated directory but Google Drive does not let its “synch me” folder reside within Dropbox’s demesne.
Next stop: my iPhone, where the DropBox app had no trouble showing files from the SkyDrive and Google Drive subfolders.
I then tried to trick the 3 apps into synching each other by creating shortcuts to their respective folders inside each other, in Windows. The shortcut files synched, which was nice, but not one of the apps was fooled. This meant the SkyDrive app on Windows and iPhone showed only the token files we popped in there for test purposes instead of recognising the shortcuts.
I suspect that not many months will pass before El Reg has the risk to jot down about some quite aggregator and/or virtualiser that turns the 3 services – and perhaps even SugarSync and iCloud – into one big happy distributed drive inside the sky.
Could we even hope for cross-platform virtual cloud RAID?
Multi-platform services like FriendFeed and Posterous showed there has been demand for the sort of thing with social media. Might cloud storage be next?
For today the truth that DropBox plays nicely with others means there is a nice little extra little bit of protection available for people with unusual cloud storage needs. But when you wish the type of redundant storage this tri-cloud experiment aimed for, there are most probably better the way to get it.
If you will get these cloud storage apps working nicely, please tell us. ®