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Cloud Data Storage Linux

Plug Touts Expandable Storage Via USB Drives Plugged In At Home 87

Posted by timothy
from the with-at&t-your-data-charges-would-be-interesting dept.
DeviceGuru writes with an excerpt that may be of interest especially for mobile users with cheap, always available wireless data: "An OpenWRT Linux-based hardware adapter called Plug designed for unifying USB-connected storage met its $69,000 Kickstarter pledge goal in 12 hours. The tiny Plug device eschews cloud storage for a localized approach whereby an app or driver installed on each participating computer or mobile device intercepts filesystem accesses, and redirects data reads and writes to storage drives attached to the user's Plug device. The Plug enjoyed one of the fastest fulfillments in Kickstarter history, meeting its goal in 12 hours, and has already soared to over $223,000 in funding."
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Plug Touts Expandable Storage Via USB Drives Plugged In At Home

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  • ...for reasons old or new, this isn't exactly a surprise.

    It's unfortunate that there's no practical solution to avoid the use of third-party systems with cell-phones while still enjoying the data redundancy benefits that are the entire point of those devices...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Kickstarter page is chock full of marketing bullshit but has very little details.

    Average transfer rate 30MB/s over a 100mb LAN?? I dont think so.
    It offers better security than my computer?? How? I want details, specifics & proof.

    Nice idea though

  • ummm? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 14, 2013 @11:24AM (#44277257)

    http://www.amazon.com/Addonics-NASU2-NAS-Adapter/dp/B001OC5J9U/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1373815402&sr=8-3&keywords=usb+nas

    • by luckytroll (68214)

      Call me when it supports Gigabit Ethernet, USB3, and ZFS multi-disk.

      • Unless the "plug" has a lot more RAM than your average plug-in device, Plug can't support ZFS either. ZFSoL has a minimum RAM recommendation of 2GB. ZFS also has the overhead of checksumming, which on modern non-embedded CPUs isn't a problem, but on an embedded system, present a significant overhead.

        ZFS is an enterprise filesystem; it's not designed for low-end hardware.

        • ZFS RAM usage depends on the size of your pool, whether you need deduplication, and your performance needs. The rule of thumb for ZFS is 1GB of RAM per TB of storage, 2GB if you want deduplication. This, however, assumes that you are using mechanical disks and either using the pool locally or via something like iSCSI over GigE. If you're using it over WiFi, then you can get away with a really small ARC, because a cache miss won't slow things down that much, especially if the miss is filled by something t
      • PogoPlug v4 supports GigE and two USB3. It's up to you to install your own Linux on it with ZFS support. However, since the CPU is a bit slow, if you want any performance at all, you will want something like an in-kernel NFS for file sharing. I have mine configured with OpenLDAP, Kerberos, and NFSv4. But I mostly use it to stream videos using Nginx over HTTP to my iPad.

        For something a bit faster than PogoPlug v4, try MiraBox from GlobalScale technologies.

      • Call me when it supports Gigabit Ethernet, USB3, and ZFS multi-disk.

        Call me when it supports GigE, USB3, and the software is libre (eg: Free Software).

        Otherwise, it's useless. You can't have privacy from the cloud if the stack is closed source.

    • Re:ummm? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kylegordon (159137) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @11:49AM (#44277419) Homepage

      We can all see the obvious, that's it's a Bifferboard under the cover. What you should do is read the funding drive. The real magic is in the software, where it intercepts all local storage requests and makes access to your remote disks entirely transparent, and doesn't consume local storage unless you configure it to cache specific items.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        We can all see the obvious, that's it's a Bifferboard under the cover. What you should do is read the funding drive. The real magic is in the software, where it intercepts all local storage requests and makes access to your remote disks entirely transparent, and doesn't consume local storage unless you configure it to cache specific items.

        hmm so the magic is local cache for selected files? since I fail to see the magic in network mounted storage.

      • by rrohbeck (944847)

        It looks like a newer Pogoplug without the licensing and better software. That would make it worthwhile.

        I'm wondering if the network traffic is encrypted and if the hard drive(s) can be encrypted (when I want to run a backup of my private files at the office.)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah - if you want to spend your weekends teaching your uncle how to configure his router to NAT NFS requests from his buddies at work.

      Are slashdotters honestly this pendantic?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      From the kickstarted page:
      The hardware used by the current version of Plug is a proven, tested hardware. Our manufacturer has already produced thousands of units successfully for other clients. The main risks concerning hardware are thus reduced to logistics. Unplanned delays in the manufacturing process can still occur, but problems related to the hardware design of the device are very unlikely.

      It looks like they went with existing hardware so they could focus on the software side.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For a moment there, my eye caught the NSA-Adapter changed back to NAS-Adapter in the URL.

      May be NSA should be paying for these as it would simplify their work.

  • Can anyone explain why I would need this and what is the point?

    • Yeah, it would be great if there was an entire website, with a video, explaining why you would want this and what it does, perhaps even linked in the article posted above?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I have been following this and I think the best selling point comes from the kickstarter page ...

      With Plug, all your devices are connected with each other thanks to a zero-configuration, private and encrypted VPN (asymmetric encryption based on RSA-2048/SHA-1 keys). We had excellent speed benchmarks on this network. It goes through any main NAT & firewall we tested, it's decentralized when possible, and it doesn't require any user configuration. It's safe and does the job.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Because you don't want to configure iSCSI to a cheap, small device with GigE which runs Linux (like a PogoPlug) yourself, or because the OS you hope to use as a client doesn't come with iSCSI drivers.

      I've never actually tried it myself, so I won't use words like "lazy" since it might be a lot harder than I imagine.

      Supposedly (according to Wikipedia) there has been an iSCSI initiator in Windows since Win2k. It's certainly in Linux these days, and in Linux since 2.6.12 or 3.1 depending on how you're coun

    • It was funded well beyond it's goal of $69,000 ($295,998) by 3,279 people. So obviously somebody wanted/needed it. You're just looking for people to agree with you so you can feel better about yourself for not contributing to the goal; admit it. =p

  • by Enonu (129798) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:46PM (#44277807)

    The biggest flaw in this device is that it's expected that you can plug in a plug at work for offsite backup. Do these people actually work at corporate america? It's a non-company sanctioned device connected to the corporate network consuming a non-trivial amount of bandwidth. The odds of this flying at the work place are nearly 0, and most likely the network admin would look at you like you're crazy for even suggesting it.

    • by westlake (615356)

      The biggest flaw in this device is that it's expected that you can plug in a plug at work for offsite backup.

      I'm a home user.

      Tell me what I should fear more:

      (1) That my backups will be read by the NSA

      (2) That my backups will be fried by an electrical storm, drowned in a flash food, or burnt in a fire.

  • It seems like this is reinventing the wheel when we already have consumer NAS devices supporting Samba and NFS.

    • If it doesn't screw up constantly like Samba, I might be interested.

    • I think it will depend on the software. This sort of stuff is not easy to setup. I've tried and it's beyond me (Admittedly I'm a Linux novice) There's no real user friendly software for this sort of thing. If they can just make an android app that automatically dumps your entire phone to a drive in your house on a regular basis, that'd be pretty handy for me. I've always liked the idea of Dropbox, but I would much rather have the storage on my own equipment. If they can make THAT an easy thing to do, I'll b

  • 30 Mbps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ltwally (313043) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @01:03PM (#44277931) Homepage Journal
    From the article:

    "The device includes a USB 2.0 port and a 10/100 Ethernet port with an average transfer speed of 30Mbps"

    In what alternate reality is 30 megabit-per-second an acceptable speed for accessing terabytes of data? That's not even 4 MB/s of average transfer speed. That's not even fast enough to play a 1080p content, and a goodly amount of 720p content.

    You want me to even consider a device like this? It needs to have USB 3.0 support, a gigabit link and be able to reliably push at least 500mbit in both directions (device dependant). If that raises the price, then the price needs to be raised - because under 4 MB/s is simply not an acceptable transfer speed. For crying out loud, hard drives have been faster than that for over 20 years.

    • In what alternate reality is 30 megabit-per-second an acceptable speed for accessing terabytes of data?

      It's meant to intercept Cloud storage (like Dropbox) requests and put it on a local USB drive. 30 mbps upload to your USB stick is still hell of a lot faster than 768kbps upload speed most people have at home with their "broadband".

    • by MinaInerz (25726)

      I'm not sure what 1080p content you have that can't be played at 4MB/sec. An hour-long 1080p h.264-encoded TV show runs at about 2.6GB on average for me, or about .75MB/sec. 4MB/s for one hour is 14.4GB.

    • You seem to have entirely missed the point of this device. It's not for your LAN, it's for your mobile remote devices. It just happens to be connected to the net via your LAN. Try reading the funding drive again.

  • Why pay for a device? I've had my "MyDocuments" folder redirected to another (bigger) physical drive for 7 or 8 years.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have Asus RT-AC66U router and it has 2 USB ports. It allows to connect disks and make NAS too.
    Why buy this specialized device Plug with bad reviews when Asus has stellar reviews and does about the same.
    There are also much cheaper USB-equipped routers too.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      yep, same here, I have a no name router, which is a non-branded Belkin that has a USB port for NAS, its over a year old now and I only gave 40 bucks for it ... plug in set windows backup done

  • If you're thinking of doing this DIY with a router USD port or Raspberry Pi bear in mind that some USB IDE/Sata adapters don't support spindown (hdparm -y or -Y). As a result you have a 2.5" disk running constantly leading to failure and also a risk of overheating.

    Unfrtunately I can't tell you which adapters support the poweroff or standby signals.

    • by Obfuscant (592200)

      As a result you have a 2.5" disk running constantly

      Anyone who uses laptop-sized drives and expects enterprise level results is ... ignorant?

  • I've been a fan of http://www.backupthat.com/ [backupthat.com] for a while now and they do something similar. You get unlimited (ever expanding) storage through your email. Essentially, when you run out of space, you just connect another email account. I've got about 500GB stored with them for free.

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