I recently came across a client who needs 22 TB’s of data sync’d up between 2 locations, both locations housing big and bulky RAID systems, and they are both Macs. We’ve reviewed products like Dropbox, Box.net, Sugar Sync, etc…, and they are all fantastic, and have a reasonable price tag, if you don’t have enormous data needs.
So what to do?
I started digging into the trusty forums, and those awesome blogs, and stumbled upon a few products.
1 of them stood out - Windows Live Mesh.
Now did I say “Windows” for Mac?
Yes! and it’s free.
Some of you may remember Foldershare from back in the day, which synchronized local folders on multiple machines and platforms across the internet. Ah, those dial in connections just never fit the bill for the task of large data. Now with the 50 MB lines available to home users across the globe, this could really work? Microsoft agrees.
They have taken their original version of Foldershare, and integrated into the new Windows Live single sign on capabilities with Office 365. And made it CROSS PLATFORM!
So I ran a test on my 20 MB line at home.
I setup a folder and copied my entire documents folder into it (80GB’s of data - yes I have virtual machines).
I then setup a test folder on my server at home, and installed Live Mesh.
Once I logged in using my Windows Live account and configured sync for the two folders on both machines, I walked away and went to sleep.
I awoke in the AM to find that 80 GB’s had been synchronized across the internet to the server folder. Cool! I then proceeded to make some changes on both ends to some file names, added a few movie files from my server (yes I’m a movie border), and took a shower. I came back to my computer to see that the progress bar was indicated fast response, and everything was syncing in real time.
Furthermore, Microsoft gives you 5 GB of “SkyDrive” Storage, similar to a Mobile Me idisk, or dropbox storage. All data and computers are accessible via a web browser, where you can download your files and interact.
This really works!!! Super cool, and I highly recommend if you have these needs.
1) Easy to setup and use
2) Works with your Windows Live account
3) Cross Platform
4) 5 GB of SkyDrive Storage