Category Archives: Amazon S3

Drew Houston’s Y Combinator Pitch for Dropbox

Here are some choice tidbits from Drew Houston’s application for Y Combinator backing:

What is your company going to make?  
Dropbox synchronizes files across your/your team’s computers. It’s much better than uploading or email, because it’s automatic, integrated into Windows, and fits into the way you already work. There’s also a web interface, and the files are securely backed up to Amazon S3. Dropbox is kind of like taking the best elements of subversion, trac and rsync and making them “just work” for the average individual or team. Hackers have access to these tools, but normal people don’t.

There are lots of interesting possible features. One is syncing Google Docs/Spreadsheets (or other office web apps) to local .doc and .xls files for offline access, which would be strategically important as few web apps deal with the offline problem.

What’s new about what you’re doing?  
Most small teams have a few basic needs: (1) team members need their important stuff in front of them wherever they are, (2) everyone needs to be working on the latest version of a given document (and ideally can track what’s changed), (3) and team data needs to be protected from disaster. There are sync tools (e.g. beinsync, Foldershare), there are backup tools (Carbonite, Mozy), and there are web uploading/publishing tools (, etc.), but there’s no good integrated solution.

Dropbox solves all these needs, and doesn’t need configuration or babysitting. Put another way, it takes concepts that are proven winners from the dev community (version control, changelogs/trac, rsync, etc.) and puts them in a package that my little sister can figure out (she uses Dropbox to keep track of her high school term papers, and doesn’t need to burn CDs or carry USB sticks anymore.)

At a higher level, online storage and local disks are big and cheap. But the internet links in between have been and will continue to be slow in comparison. In “the future”, you won’t have to move your data around manually. The concept that I’m most excited about is that the core technology in Dropbox — continuous efficient sync with compression and binary diffs — is what will get us there.

What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don’t get?  
Competing products work at the wrong layer of abstraction and/or force the user to constantly think and do things. The “online disk drive” abstraction sucks, because you can’t work offline and the OS support is extremely brittle. Anything that depends on manual emailing/uploading (i.e. anything web-based) is a non-starter, because it’s basically doing version control in your head. But virtually all competing services involve one or the other.

With Dropbox, you hit “Save”, as you normally would, and everything just works, even with large files (thanks to binary diffs).

What are people forced to do now because what you plan to make doesn’t exist yet?
Email themselves attachments. Upload stuff to online storage sites or use online drives like Xdrive, which don’t work on planes. Carry around USB drives, which can be lost, stolen, or break/get bad sectors. Waste time revising the wrong versions of given documents, resulting in Frankendocuments that contain some changes but lose others. My friend Reuben is switching his financial consulting company from a PHP-based CMS to a beta of Dropbox because all they used it for was file sharing. Techies often hack together brittle solutions involving web hosting, rsync, and cron jobs.

Want more detail? Read the full application.

CloudBerry Adds SFTP to Explorer 3.8

CloudBerry Lab, a provider of backup and management solutions for public cloud storage services, has added secure ftp to the newest release of Cloudberry Explorer version 3.8, an application that allows accessing, moving and managing data in remote locations such as FTP servers and public cloud storage services including Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Windows Azure, OpenStack and others.

In the new version of CloudBerry Explorer SFTP server is supported as one of the remote location options. Now users can perform file access, file transfer and file management operations across SFTP server and local storage.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) also known as SSH File Transfer Protocol is an extension of the SSH-2 protocol that provides a secure file transfer capability. This protocol assumes that it is run over a secure channel, such as SSH, that the server has already authenticated the client, and that the identity of the client user is available to the protocol.

Riverbed’s Whitewater Adds AWS Glacier, Google Storage Support

Riverbed Technology today announced Whitewater Operating System (WWOS) version 2.1 with support for Amazon Glacier storage and Google Cloud storage. WWOS 2.1 increases operational cost savings and high data durability from cloud storage services, improving disaster recovery readiness. In addition, Riverbed introduced larger virtual Whitewater appliances that allow customers to support larger data sets, improve disaster recovery capabilities, and manage multiple Whitewater appliances from a single window with a management console. These enhancements to the Whitewater cloud storage product family help enterprises use cloud storage to meet critical backup requirements, modernize data management strategies, and overcome challenges created by data growth.

“Once created, most unstructured data is rarely accessed after 30-90 days. Leveraging the cloud for storing these data sets makes a lot of sense, particularly given the attractive prices of storage services designed for long-term such as Amazon Glacier,” said Dan Iacono, research director from IDC’s storage practice. “The ability of cloud storage devices to cache locally and provide access to recent data provides real benefits from an operational cost perspective to avoid unnecessary transfer costs from the cloud.”

Cloud Storage Ecosystem Expansion Riverbed is offering customers choice and flexibility for data protection by adding Amazon Glacier and Google Cloud storage to its Whitewater cloud storage ecosystem. Now, Whitewater customers using Amazon Glacier cloud storage have immediate access to recent backup data while enjoying pricing from Amazon as low as one cent per gigabyte per month — approximately eight times cheaper than other currently available cloud storage offerings.

In addition, the extremely high data durability offered by Amazon cloud storage services and the ability to access the data from any location with an Internet connection greatly improves an organization’s disaster recovery (DR) readiness.

Larger Virtual Whitewater Appliances With the introduction of the larger virtual Whitewater appliances, Riverbed allows customers preferring virtual appliances to protect larger data sets as well as simplify disaster recovery. The new virtual Whitewater appliances support local cache sizes of four or eight terabytes and integrate seamlessly with leading data protection applications as well as all popular cloud storage services. To streamline management for enterprise wide deployments, WWOS 2.1 includes new management capabilities that enable monitoring and administration of all Whitewater devices from a single console with one-click drill down into any appliance.

“We have been successfully using Riverbed Whitewater appliances for backup with Amazon S3 in our facilities in Germany, Switzerland, and the U.S. since June 2012,” said Drew Bartow, senior information technology engineer at Tipper Tie. “We were eager to test the Whitewater 3010 appliance with Amazon Glacier and the total time to configure and start moving data to Glacier was just 24 minutes. With Glacier and Whitewater we could potentially save considerably on backup storage costs.”

“The features in WWOS 2.1 and the larger virtual appliances drastically change the economics of data protection,” said Ray Villeneuve, vice president corporate development, at Riverbed. “With our advanced, in-line deduplication and optimization technologies, Whitewater shrinks data stored in the cloud by up to 30 times on average — for example, Whitewater customers can now store up to 100 terabytes of backup data that is not regularly accessed in Amazon Glacier for as little as $2,500.00 per year. The operational cost savings and high data durability from cloud storage services improve disaster recovery readiness and will continue to rapidly accelerate the movement from tape-based and replicated disk systems to cloud storage.”

AWS Elastic Transcoder Converts Videos Easily for Pennies a Minute

Amazon has announced a new service designed to make transcoding video for use on multiple devices a snap, without having to deal with an EC2 instance or transcoding software. Controlled via the Management Console and using S3 buckets, or via APIs for developer use, Elaastic Transcoder uses presets to eliminate trial-and-error and guesswork.

“Amazon Elastic Transcoder manages all aspects of the transcoding process for you transparently and automatically. There’s no need to administer software, scale hardware, tune performance, or otherwise manage transcoding infrastructure. You simply create a transcoding “job” specifying the location of your source video and how you want it transcoded. Amazon Elastic Transcoder also provides transcoding presets for popular output formats, which means that you don’t need to guess about which settings work best on particular devices. All these features are available via service APIs and the AWS Management Console.”

Amazon Elastic Transcoder supports transcoding into H.264 video and AAC audio in an MP4 container, and supports most common media formats for input including H.264, AAC, MP4, MPEG-2, FLV, 3GP and AVI.

Full details available at the AWS Blog.

CloudBerry Introduces Smart Restore for Amazon Glacier

CloudBerry Lab today released CloudBerry Explorer v. 3.7.2 an application that allows users to manage files in Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier just as if they were on their local computers.

In the new release CloudBerry Explorer allows users controlling the restore cost in Amazon Glacier that is charged based on the peak usage per hour in a given month. Smart Restore functionality enables users to specify peak retrieval rate to keep the cost on the required level and to run the restore process in the background.

The new version also comes with the ability to display Amazon Glacier storage using the Folder View to make it easier for PC users to work with the storage.

Smart Restore and Folder View features are available in both versions of CloudBerry Explorer: Freeware and PRO.

Freeware version offers basic storage management capabilities such as browsing, creating, and deleting files, folders, buckets and vaults and uploading content from your PC to Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier storage and vice versa. CloudBerry Explorer Freeware is available for download at

PRO version offers some advanced features over Freeware version. It costs $39.99 per license.

FileZoomer for Amazon S3 Adds Glacier, Life Cycle, Versioning, Batch Options

A new release of FileZoomer, a cross-platform client for Amazon’s S3 has been released,  adding support for new S3 features including Versioning and Object Life Cycle. Object Life Cycle for S3 includes the option to migrate files to the lower-cost AWS Glacier storage option, and includes a facility to retrieve archived files so they can be downloaded from S3.

The Glacier support in S3, as featured in FileZoomer, does not require a separate AWS Glacier account. Instead it is handled transparently by S3 and FileZoomer.

Versioning allows the option of keeping previous versions of files as they are updated.

Unique to FileZoomer is the Batch Processing option, which allows the interactive creation of configuration files that control batch uploads, downloads, and syncing files between a local machine and S3. Once configured, the pre-defined actions can be invoked from within the FileZoomer client, of from batch processes in Windows, Mac OS X, or linux.

FileZoomer is a free java client that runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and linux, and it can be downloaded from

Yet Another Round of AWS Storage Price Cuts

Timed for announcement at AWS re:Invent, and nicely juxtaposed against this week’s similar storage price cuts by Google, Amazon has trimmed S3 and EBS prices.

They’ve reduced the price of Amazon S3 storage by 24-28% in the US Standard Region, and made similar price reductions in all nine regions worldwide  as well as reducing the price of Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS). Here are the new prices for Standard Storage in the US Standard Region:

Tier Old Price
(GB / month)
New Price Change
First 1 TB / month $0.125 $0.095 24%
Next 49 TB $0.110 $0.080 27%
Next 450 TB $0.095 $0.070 26%
Next 500 TB $0.090 $0.065 28%
Next 4000 TB $0.080 $0.060 25%
Over 5000 TB $0.055 $0.055 No change

The new prices are listed on the Amazon S3 pricing announcement page. The new prices take effect on December 1, 2012 and will be applied automatically.

Amazon also reduced the per-gigabyte storage cost for EBS snapshots, again world-wide. Here are the new prices:

Region Old Price
(GB / month)
New Price Change
US East (N. Virginia) $0.125 $0.095 24%
US West (Oregon) $0.125 $0.095 24%
US West (Northern California) $0.140 $0.105 25%
EU (Ireland) $0.125 $0.095 24%
Asia Pacific (Singapore) $0.125 $0.095 24%
Asia Pacific (Tokyo) $0.130 $0.100 23%
Asia Pacific (Sydney) $0.140 $0.105 25%
South America (Sao Paulo) $0.170 $0.130 24%

CloudBerry Explorer Adds Amazon Glacier Support

CloudBerry Lab today released CloudBerry Explorer v.3.6, an application that allows users to manage files in Amazon S3 just as they would on their local computers.

In the new release CloudBerry S3 Explorer comes with support for Amazon Glacier, the recently introduced extremely low-cost storage.

From the new release CloudBerry S3 Explorer users can access and manage Amazon Glacier storage. Users can create vaults, move data to vaults and request to download them back to their computer. Users can create vaults in any of the available AWS regions.

Amazon Glacier is supported by both versions of CloudBerry Explorer: Freeware and PRO. Freeware version offers basic storage management capabilities such as browsing, creating, and deleting files, archives, vaults and uploading content from your PC to Glacier storage and vice versa. CloudBerry Explorer Freeware is available for download at

PRO version offers some advanced features over Freeware version. It costs $39.99 per license and available for download at

Cloud Migrator Transfers Files between Amazon S3, Azure, Rackspace

CloudBerry Lab today announced the beta version of its new CloudBerry Cloud Migrator service that allows users to transfer files from one cloud storage to another. The service supports data migration between Amazon S3, Windows Azure Blob Storage, Rackspace Cloud Files and FTP servers.

Cloud Migrator service by CloudBerry Lab is a web application that lets users transfer their files across different cloud storage services without installing any additional software. All copy operations executes inside a cloud and managed through the web interface.

The service allows users to copy files between different locations or accounts within one cloud storage provider as well as between different. It’s a perfect solution to painlessly migrate data from one Amazon S3 bucket to another or from Amazon S3 to Azure Blob Storage or Rackspace Cloud Files and vice versa.

Finally, Cloud Migrator supports FTP so it can also be used to easily copy/move files from an FTP server to any of the supported cloud storage accounts with no need to implement complicated scripts.

In the Cloud Migrator future releases, the new low-cost Glacier storage by Amazon AWS will be added to the list of supported cloud storage accounts.

CloudBerry Cloud Migrator is available at

CloudBerry Explorer Adds Support for Cloudian

CloudBerry Lab today released CloudBerry Explorer, an application that allows users to manage files in Amazon S3 storage buckets just as they would on their local computers. This new version offers support for Gemini Technologies’ industry-leading Cloudian Cloud storage solution.

Cloudian is an S3 API compliant, multi-tenant, multi-datacenter cloud storage platform that enables cloud service providers and enterprises to cost-effectively deploy extremely scalable and reliable object storage services within public and private clouds. The Cloudian platform leverages commodity servers and offers a fully distributed, peer-to-peer architecture, with no single point of failure. The solution easily scales from one node up to hundreds of nodes across multiple data centers, supporting petabytes of data. Cloudian also provides a comprehensive user interface for both end user applications as well as administrative functions, including billing, monitoring and provisioning.

CloudBerry Explorer allows end users to accomplish simple tasks without special technical knowledge, automate time-consuming tasks to improve productivity. The new version of CloudBerry Explorer helps users manage Cloudian storage just as they manage Amazon S3. Users can upload files to Cloudian, create buckets and folders and perform other management tasks simply and efficiently.

“Our Cloudian solution is all about accessibility, scalability and affordability, while offering unmatched performance and security,” said Giorgio Propersi, General Manager, Gemini Technologies. “CloudBerry Explorer is a great tool which reflects the same principles and goals as Cloudian. We are pleased to see it help even more customers adopt our leading cloud storage platform.”

CloudBerry Explorer is designed to work on Windows 2003/XP/Vista/2008 and Windows 7. Microsoft PowerShell command line interface allows advanced computer users integrate Amazon S3 storage access with other routines.

“Cloudian is one of the most powerful and accessible storage solutions on the market today,” said Aleksey Serkov, CTO, CloudBerry Lab. “We are pleased to meet growing customer demand by helping companies of all sizes adopt and manage Cloudian regardless of their technical expertise level.”

CloudBerry Explorer for Windows is a freeware. CloudBerry Explorer PRO costs $39.99 (US).