Local cloud storage
January 21, 2011 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a transparent NAS storage solution

I would like to store data on a NAS and automatically have a local copy of some, but not all, data. I have a large amount of data and can't justify the cost of cloud storage but basically what I am looking for is something like Zumodrive. I want to store all my data on the network but have a local file structure which synchronizes with the network storage with the option of locally caching some of the data. I only access a small amount of my data frequently and would like this data to be available offline but don't care about most of it, I still want the folder structure though. Does anybody know of a solution for linux or mac osx?
posted by Brennus to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can't think of a packaged product - but I'd say pick your NAS, and then hand-roll the scripts to keep the data you need in synch between your various machines - this works well as those tend to have application-specific requirements, especially when working with multiple machines.
posted by TravellingDen at 2:53 PM on January 21, 2011

I'm currently looking at PogoPlug and the soon to be released Buffalo CloudStor (which is basically a PogoPlug with an internal harddrive). Not sure if this type of setup meets all of your requirements, but it essentially allows you to create your own cloud. Each comes in various flavors.
posted by webhund at 3:00 PM on January 21, 2011

What TravellingDen says. From the hip: pick up a D-Link DNS-323 and set up a CRON job for the synchronization requirement.
posted by christopherious at 3:02 PM on January 21, 2011

It's just a checkbox in Windows, are you sure the OS doesn't have something like this built in? If not, rsync ought to do it.
posted by gjc at 4:02 PM on January 21, 2011

Have you considered dropbox.com?
posted by jchaw at 4:05 PM on January 21, 2011

Yeah, Windows will do the sync automatically, at least the pro version will. It may require the right settings on the NAS, but I know that samba, which many linux-based NASs use, can provide them, whether or not they are exposed by the NAS vendor is another question.

Pogoplug comes with software that makes it possible to access your drives from anywhere without worrying about setting up NAT or VPN. It can also automatically sync a local folder with a folder on the pogoplug. It is unidirectional though, from computer to pogo plug, and you have to decide what you want ahead of time, it isn't a transparent cache.
posted by Good Brain at 7:22 PM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

How come you can't just mount network storage? Having to specify what files to cache locally sounds like a pain to configure. Is there any reason why you can't just work off of the network?
posted by wongcorgi at 7:35 PM on January 21, 2011

Response by poster: The problem I am trying to solve is that I have more data than can fit on my laptop drive but I would like to be able to cache it, transparently, if needed. Dropbox allows selective sync but if something is not synced locally it does not appear in the file structure. Plus dropbox is still rather expensive for the amount of data I am interested in which is why I'd prefer a DIY solution. The problem with rsync and such is that I would like to have the file structure present even if the data is not downloaded.
posted by Brennus at 10:11 AM on January 22, 2011

Ah, I see, you want something similar to Window's Offline Files feature, right? You want to be able to see full remote directory listings and then have a subset of the remote files pre-downloaded to your local box?

I can't think of an equivalent to Windows Offline Files on Linux. Honestly, it sounds like you have two separate problems:
  1. Maintain local cache of subset of remote files: use rsync and intelligent wrapper scripts/tools
  2. Have up-to-date file structure of remote files: create a NFS/SSHFS/SAMBA share on the NAS, which'll let you browse the file structure whenever you want

posted by asymptotic at 4:49 PM on January 22, 2011

Best answer: oh, and instead of rsync you can use Unison, which strikes me as a fancier bi-directional cross-platform rsync.
posted by asymptotic at 4:52 PM on January 22, 2011

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