Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Amazon S3 - amazing

I've been looking into Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is least very interesting. Basically, Amazon is providing access to the same storage solution they use for their IT infrastructure. Your access is unlimited, you are charged by use and storage (minimal charge). Amazon provides base API's to this infrastructure that would make direct access limited - fortunately there are many third party products out there either utilizing it for their own use (SmugMug, File123 and DigitalBucket) or provide a simple user interface for you (JungleDisk). Here's a good overview of it via WikiPedia:
Out of all the third party tools I've looked into, two stand out:
  • File123 - utilizes Amazon S3 for storing users data, provides one of the best Internet storage interfaces and is simply a clean easy to use system. Included is a tool to add a 'network drive' like interface, so in addition to the web interface, you can browse your File123 files just as you would a network connected drive.......impressive.
  • JungleDisk - while JungleDisk does not have a clean web interface, the accessibility is the smoothest and you create and manage your own Amazon S3 account - so - potentially you can change from JungleDisk to another interface (even though JungleDisk does certain things that would make another tool difficult to use). Jungle disk sets up your J drive or provides a volume for Apple/Mac users, so once again you access via a network drive like interface. The nice part is that JungleDisk is a flat $20 and you pay Amazon directly for use/storage. (possibilities here).
I tried some other tools, such as Digital Bucket, but found issues with use or system generated errors. DigitialBucket's nice feature is it's ability to share files with others...something File123 or JungleDisk should incorporate (and might be soon).

Soon the days of needing a large internal disk or buying external ones (that fail) will be gone, Internet based storage is here.....

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