Join the Cloud

October 8th, 2012

Frustrated when you lose another jump drive? The Cloud may be your new, best friend. The Cloud is like an offsite physical storage facility with a locked entry and open space for your collections. There are limits, access concerns and costs to store important items. Cloud storage works similarly with the use of off-site servers to store digital information. Many Cloud companies offer a free service and then charge after reaching a certain amount of storage space (ranging from 2-10 gigabytes). The path into the Cloud is easy; many of you may be cloud users without knowing it. The Cloud LibGuide has several examples of use, options, and basic information about companies that provide services in the Cloud. Like any social media, cloud storage is a choice of the user. A caveat of Cloud usage includes the inevitable concerns of privacy and security.

 

At IU we have Cloud options. The newest one is Box@IU. You’ll find information in IU News, KB-Knowledge Base and other university sources. Create your access at http://box.iu.edu, all you need is your IU ID and passphrase to get started. Box@IU allows 50 gigs of storage. For university content it seems like a no brainer. A quote from the IU IT News page, “Not only can you sync files between your desktop and Box, you can also create shared online workspaces for exchanging ideas.” I just worked with a colleague at Oklahoma State University and Box@IU worked well for revisions and communications about our work. Be sure to review IU’s suggestions for secure usage of Box@IU.

 

Other university Cloud options include the use of software from the cloud at IUanyWare. The software uses the web to provide access to programs like Adobe DreamWeaver, MS Word and others. Check-out your access at https://iuanyware.iu.edu/vpn/index.html. Oncourse also has a kind of cloud storage, with unique  management issues related to course structure and organization options.

 

There are many other options available to the global community. One example, SkyDrive is Microsoft’s Cloud service. I like SkyDrive and found it easy to use:

  • I use it to stream videos for my class;
  • It is easy to use, creates a folder on my computer and drop drag works well;
  • It is limited to 7 gigs;
  • It has some exciting features, like access to your main computer’s files;  Some of these are not usable in organizations as a result of security measures.
  • It also “pushes” the information to all your account devices and includes mobile devices: PC/Apple, Androids, iTools, Windows phones, and other phones using a browser. No syncing or cords needed, just Wi-Fi/internet access for the devices.

 

Lockerz. “UITS News | Use Box at IU for storage and sharing from anywhere.” UITS News | Use Box at IU for storage and sharing from anywhere. UITS News, n.d. Web. 2 October 2012.

http://uitsnews.iu.edu/2012/09/05/use-box-at-iu-for-storage-and-sharing-from-anywhere/.