Pogoplug Builds SOHO Cloud Storage On Amazon Glacier

Cloud storage vendor Pogoplug has unveiled a new cloud storage service that marries a local hard drive to Amazon's new low-cost Glacier archiving service to provide a cloud-based disaster recovery service for consumers and small businesses.

The combination of the Pogoplug device and the Amazon Glacier service results in a low-cost yet totally reliable way of having quick access to data at the local level while ensuring it is available for recovery if the local copies are impacted in case of a disaster, said Daniel Putterman, CEO of the San Francisco-based storage vendor.

The new service consists of the Pogoplug private cloud device, which is a hard drive-based appliance sitting in a home or office that is used for backing up user files. The Pogoplug device constantly copies new data to the Amazon Glacier service, Putterman said.

[Related: Amazon Glacier: Low-Cost Cloud Archiving, But Not If Data Needs Occasional Access ]

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The aptly-named Amazon Glacier service is not for users in a hurry. A single file or multiple files can be uploaded into Amazon Glacier as an archive, with access requiring the initiation of a job. A job typically takes 3.5 hours to 4.5 hours, Amazon Web Services said.

Amazon Glacier is touted as a highly reliable service. AWS claims average annual durability of 99.999999999 percent, or 11 nines of availability, which is the same durability as that of its Amazon S3 standard storage. Amazon estimated that a durability of 99.999999999 percent means that a customer might expect to lose a single data object once every 10,000,000 years.

For normal backup and recovery, the Pogoplug appliance provides fast access, Putterman said.

"If a user is in the office, they are still working at LAN speeds," he said. "But the data is available from Amazon Glacier in case of a disaster. Since Glacier has a long retrieval time, we are focused on providing fast access to data on the customer's site."

Customers need not worry about having access to their data if Amazon should ever shut down its Glacier service or if Pogoplug were to end its operations, Putterman said.

"The hard drive in your office is your hard drive," he said. "We don't touch it. If you disconnect from Pogoplug, it's your data."

The new service comes in two flavors.

NEXT: Family And Business Versions Of The Service

The Pogoplug Family service ranges from $29 per year for up to three users and a total of 100 GB of Amazon Glacier cloud storage to $99 per year for up to seven users and 1 TB of Amazon Glacier service. The Pogoplug device is included free of charge with Pogoplug Family.

The Pogoplug Team service ranges from $199 per year for 5 users and up to 1 TB of Amazon Glacier storage to $999 per year for up to 25 users and a total of 5 TB of Amazon Glacier storage. Pogoplug Team provides full customization of the user interface to allow a company to appear as if it is running its own private cloud, Putterman said.

In both cases, the service includes the cost of the Amazon Glacier service, which otherwise costs as little as 1 cent per GB per month, he said.

Recovering data that goes through the Pogoplug device to Amazon Glacier requires the Pogoplug device because of the company's own file system, Putterman said. "But we're well funded, with over $30 million in funding so far," he said. "I have a stated policy that if anything happens to us, we will open source our technology."

Pogoplug currently has over one million users worldwide, and it sells both directly and through over 15,000 reseller partners in the U.S. and Japan, Putterman said. The company is in the process of putting together a channel program for the new Amazon Glacier service, he said.