Promise Apollo: Your Personal Cloud

promise-apolloKeeping up with your digital files can be daunting. Many people run into an issue of space: there’s no more space on the hard drive for the hundreds of pictures they took of their dog or they’re running out of space on their desk to support all the external hard drives they keep buying to back up their photos. It can be a pretty daunting task to coordinate file backups of more than one external drive. In this instance, what are you to do?

Perhaps it’s time to invest in your own cloud. Seriously. There are a few devices on the market that target that bulky storage solution you’re currently drowning in with something easier and sleeker. These devices are perfect for the average Joe. You don’t have to be running a business to see the benefits of using this kind of device:

The Promise Apollo ($299) is presented as a personal cloud storage solution, but physically it’s a simplified network-attached storage (NAS) device. It is easy to set up on your home network, where it will automatically back up all the snapshots and videos you take on your smartphone. You can also use it to back up and share files on your Macs or PCs, but it’s very simplistic compared with a full-service NAS like our top pick, the Western Digital My Cloud Mirror Gen 2 . Think of it as the personal network storage for those who don’t want to muck about with complicated share rules and server settings.

Design and Features
The Apollo looks like a standard desktop external hard drive. Its glossy white polycarbonate body measures 7.5 by 2.4 by 5.6 inches (HWD), so it will fit fine next to your home network router. It has an AC adapter jack, a Gigabit Ethernet port in the back, along with a single USB 3.0 port for backing up the personal cloud to USB devices like external hard drives and flash drives. A single LED on the front panel lets you know its power status, or when someone is accessing the storage.

The Apollo comes in only one configuration, with 4TB of hard drive storage. That’s good enough for hundreds of thousands of pictures and music files, or several hundred hours of HD video. Unlike with a regular NAS, Promise doesn’t specify what processor and operating system the device is running, and for most users it’s not relevant anyway since it doesn’t feature transcoding or media services that would tax other NAS’s processors. You’re buying an alternative to an online service in a box, with a one-time purchase price instead of a monthly fee. The Apollo comes with a two-year warranty.


Not only does this personal storage solution have the coolest name ever, the Apollo has an insane amount of storage space cram packed into a tiny box. It’s pretty cost-effective for an average person as well. You’ve probably already spent more money in the last five years on your external hard drives which are most likely piled on top of each other.

It can hold its own with other network-attached storage devices at a comparable price. If this doesn’t solve the bulky storage problem you didn’t realize you had, what will?


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Trusting the Cloud: Is This The Best Option for Backing up Data?

the-cloudIf we could over-exaggerate for a moment, we’d like to remind you that there are 300 different options to back up your data. Obviously not that many, but there are a lot. You’ve got cloud-based servers, external hard drives, backup programs, and manual back up options. While you’re looking at your options for your home or business you’ve got to think carefully: is this option the best for me?

Just because something seems easy doesn’t mean it’s right. You’ve got to ensure that you’re going to get the proper encryption and space for all the information you want to protect. One of the easier methods that are gaining a lot of traction is cloud-based back up services. Remember, there is a different between cloud storage and cloud backup. You need to be aware of all the issues surrounding both:

When you ask an average consumer or a small business owner if protecting or backing up data is important, chances are, almost all would say yes.

When you ask them how they are doing it now, responses vary. In a recent survey, one said “I store everything in my Gmail.” Another response: “We store all our data in our Google Drive or a Dropbox account.” When we dig deeper and ask them if they are protecting all or most of the data on their computer or just a few files or folders inside the sync folder, they realize they are not protecting most of their critical data.

We asked mobile users, too. Some said they use Facebook or Dropbox to back up their pictures. But is Facebook really the way to protect your mobile data? Does that backup your documents or contacts? Again, they realized the true picture once we started digging deeper.

We talked to some small business owners as well. Again, the typical response is “We use Dropbox,” and when asked, “Does that protect your Outlook files or QuickBooks data, or your Exchange or SQL servers,” the reality sets in.

Cloud Storage vs Cloud Backup

Dropbox and Google Drive are fantastic for what they are for. They are some of easiest, best designed cloud storage services. You can use them for storing, sharing, editing, and playing.

But when it comes to protecting your data, specialized backup services are the best. IDrive, for example, provides one of the most comprehensive solutions for backing up data on your PCs, Macs, servers, iPhones, Android and other mobile devices, and it is almost as easy to use as the general purpose cloud storage services.


You don’t want to play fast and loose with your data. If you are backing up client data from your business you also want to ensure that all the information you’re collecting and storing is protected to the best of your ability. Once you lose a customer’s trust you’ll have a very hard time getting it back. Save yourself the headache.

As you’ve read, cloud backup is actually pretty useful and easy to use. It’s a win-win situation that will allow you to relax; if only for a little bit.

Trusting the Cloud: Is This The Best Option for Backing up Data? is courtesy of Online Cloud Backup Gurus Blog


Is A Data Storage Startup A Good Model?

unhappy-times-dataEntrepreneurism is a fast-growing occupation. Many young people are using their minds and foregoing the traditional joining of a company after graduation to focus on creating their own space within their chosen industry. It’s an exhilarating change in the work-force but not everyone is successful. Every day startups open and close and some of those companies live for less than a week. It’s a tough market out there and people are constantly trying to find ways to make themselves useful and relevant.

If this sounds like you you’ve probably been given a lot of advice about starting your own business. Sometimes people will say: “What you see is what you get” when it comes to the market. But remember; “All that glitters is not gold.” This is so true when it comes to data storage startups:

Quick pop quiz question: When was the last time a data storage company successfully went public, and is still an independent public company today?

Answer: November 1995. The company was NetApp.

The fact that it was more than two decades ago, an eternity in IT time, tells you a lot about the hazards of the storage market for new entrants and the challenges that startups face to survive and thrive in our very competitive industry. If you’ve scoped out the market landscape recently, you’ve no doubt come across a bunch of new names in addition to the long-established leaders like HPE. You’ll have seen what looks like a vibrant, healthy ecosystem of smaller players alongside familiar industry pillars.

That apparently reassuring surface hides a grim new reality for storage startups. The ground has shifted suddenly and quite dangerously beneath their feet. Their lives have changed irrevocably, though they may not have realized it yet. Storage decision-makers should be aware of the new challenges facing the startup ecosystem and be prepared for a major shakeout.

Where did all the sugar daddies go?

The first shock wave for the startup ecosystem is the rise of technologies that exploit tighter integration with other core elements of the datacenter, specifically compute and networking. As I noted in a recent Computerworld article, Twilight of the Pure-play Storage Gods, the glory days of the pure-play providers are drawing to a close. The world is moving toward full-stack vendors. If the need to engage with that reality was enough to push EMC into the arms of Dell, it will certainly tax the resources of new entrants to the standalone storage space.

The second tremor is a wave of consolidation and M&A saturation among potential buyers of startup technologies, the top-tier storage vendors. Very few startups can count on being as fortunate as EMC in finding a buyer for the simple reason that there are very few buyers left in the market.


If you’re looking to start a business and then sell it to make a profit, this might not be the path for you. As you’ve read, it’s not that starting up a data storage business is difficult: it’s selling it that can be tricky. The market is full of these companies and if you’re looking to make some money this might not be the venture for you.

That’s alright. Just because this plan may not work out the way you want it to, doesn’t mean your other plans will follow the same path. Do your research, plan and prepare, and get out there, kid.


The article Is A Data Storage Startup A Good Model? is republished from


Backup Your Data, And Avoid Problems

backing-up-is-goodIt’s almost common sense to back up your photos and videos from your phone onto your laptop or desk top. But what about the files on your actual computer?

Most people don’t carry separate cameras anymore with extra data cards. Most people take photos with their phone and once the pictures are safely transferred to their computer, they delete the original from the phone to free up space to take some more.

This can pose a problem if you aren’t backing up your files. Have you thought about backing up your files? It’s not very difficult. You use an external hard drive and schedule a backup to occur once a week or more frequently. If you don’t want an external drive taking up valuable desk real estate you can coordinate backing up to a cloud-based program like DropBox.

The important thing here, in case you missed it, is to back up your files!

You don’t want to be like this guy and learn about the importance of backing up your files the hard way:

Michael Friedman learned the hard way how important it is to back up computers.

About 10 years ago, the hard drive on his wife’s computer, where they kept all their family photos, died and the data wasn’t backed up anywhere. Friedman, who lives in San Jose, sent the drive off to a data recovery service to try to salvage his pictures. He was lucky. He didn’t lose anything, but it cost him a small fortune — somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000.

Friedman’s sister-in-law wasn’t so fortunate. About a year or two later, the hard drive on her computer crashed in such a way that the data on it wasn’t recoverable. She ended up losing years of data, he said.

“She has no photos of the birth of her first son,” said Friedman, 46, a software developer at Polyvore, which was recently acquired by Yahoo. “They were all on the hard drive that she lost. She can never recover those.”

With smartphones and tablets sucking up more and more of our computing time, the humble PC may not get much attention these days. But even with cloud services proliferating, your PC likely contains your only copies of much of your most important and precious data, including your photos, music collection and financial and personal documents.


Just sit back and imagine that for a moment. Imagine that you’ve just lost all the photos of your first concert, the files you needed to file your taxes and the essay you spent three hours working on. Imagine how the pit of your stomach is going to harden and sink when you realize you can’t get those memories back.

All of that can be avoided if you just back up your files. All it takes is a few simple clicks of the mouse, a simple purchase (if you want to go the external route), or a simple registration with a cloud-based service.

Now then. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Backup Your Data, And Avoid Problems is available on Online Cloud Backup Gurus Blog