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Online Storage Buyer's Guide

Jungle Disk
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The demand for online storage continues to grow unchecked, and an astonishing assortment of online storage solutions has emerged to meet the demand. Providers of online storage offer some combination of three primary benefits: data protection through online backup, synchronization across devices, and collaborative file-sharing for workgroups or social networks.

With these cross-platform, multi-purpose software solutions, it's become dead simple to keep your desktop, laptop, and mobile data synchronized, protected, and shared on the Web.

In this InformationWeek Online Storage Buyers' Guide, we'll examine the features and offerings of some of the most popular options in online storage.

Amazon Web Services + Jungle Disk

Through Amazon Web Services, developers can provision cloud-based storage, virtual servers, or even database instances for MySQL, IBM DB2, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, or Sybase, with the ability to scale up and down instantly, and pay only for capacity used.

For example, Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) charges $0.15 per month to store a gigabyte of data, plus up to $0.15 per gigabyte for transferring data in or out of the S3 cloud. (Note: Prices are 10% higher in Northern California.) So, if you upload a 9-GB archive to your own S3 storage container, leave it there for a month, download it, and then delete the entire container, your total bill will be about four dollars.

Numerous software providers provide access to the Amazon S3 service, and one of the more popular options is Jungle Disk for Windows and Mac. The software allows you to automatically move selected folders from your computers into an online storage bucket managed either by Amazon S3 (using the pricing structure described above, with the first 10 GB free) or with Rackspace Hosting ($0.15 per GB/month, no charge for data transfer).

The Simply Backup plan, for $2 per month, manages backup and restore functions between an individual's multiple PCs.

The Desktop Edition, for $3 per month, also includes multi-way sync between computers, AES-256 encryption, and the ability to mount the online bucket as a virtual hard drive.

Teams of up to 100 people can share a locally mountable online storage bucket with the Workgroup Edition, for $4 per user/month.

With the Server Edition, for $5 per server per month, administrators of Windows- and Linux-based servers can manage multiple servers remotely from any PC using the Jungle Disk Server Management client. The Server Edition also includes file compression and block-level de-duplication.

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