MSP360 Cloudberry Drive
Cloudberry Drive from MSP360 is a great tool allowing you to use cloud storage accounts such as AWS S3 as if they were locally attached storage attached directly to your PC!
This has the effect of providing a quick, easy and secure method of adding virtually unlimited amounts of additional storage to any PC in minutes!
In addition to accessing cloud storage providers such as AWS the ability to map drives directly to other resources via methods such as SFTP means this tool is also very useful for IT professionals and anyone who works with remote servers etc.
- Well designed, easy to easy to use software
- Easy to map cloud storage to local PC
- Map storage as network or locally attached drives
- Option to encrypt entire drive via Drive console
- Option to password protect console application
- Support for proxy servers
- Good bandwidth management options
- Good range of cloud providers supported
- Easy bandwidth and storage cost monitoring tool
- Excellent set of features on offer!
- Very stable, reliable software utility
Downloading and installing Cloudberry Drive is a relatively straightforward process, you will need to select an install location and specify if user profiles are to be enabled but these can both be left on their default values. You will also be required to install the EldoS drivers should you not already have them which will require a restart before getting into the program further.
Once into the main Cloudberry Drive console it immediately becomes clear this is a professional tool, this doest mean it isn’t easy to use (it is) but there are no fancy graphics or wizards getting in the way, just the menus and options you actual need to get going and start adding some additional storage.
Setting up a new mapped drive means first setting up a cloud storage account and associating this account with Cloudberry Drive. Adding new accounts can be done via the “Storage Accounts” tab and typically takes very little time to do.
Depending on the storage provider being setup there will be other specific options to choose such as applying encryption and the setting up of user credentials and security keys, once all of this information is entered we can begin setting up the mapped drive itself.
Under the “Mapped Drives” tab all currently mapped drives can be viewed, as with the storage account setting up a mapped drive is relatively straightforward and begins with clicking the “Add” button and configuring the options for this specific mapped drive.
Firstly, when setting up a new drive we will need to specify a storage provider account (as was mentioned earlier) and then assign both a Windows drive letter and volume label to the new drive.
Various other drive specific settings can now be configured for this drive including whether server-side encryption and read-only access should be enforced as well as if the drive should be automatically mapped when Windows starts up.
We also have the option to specify whether the drive is. mapped as a network drive or as a removable disk (e.g. like an external hard drive). Whilst I cant see this been a big issue either way for most use cases I feel it is nice to have this option.
Once the settings are complete the drive should now show as being “attached” to the PC in File Explorer and can be used straight away!
It is important to note that items stored in this drive don’t use storage on the host PC instead being stored directly with the cloud storage provider and downloaded as and when requested by the user. This also means that bandwidth and storage costs become an issue however thankfully MSP360 have included a handy cost & bandwidth monitoring tool to make tracking this quick and simple.
Other useful features of Cloudberry Drive include the ability to connect via proxy servers and setup other specific connection options including how failed connections and re-try should be handled.
We can also specify other more advanced settings such as the level of logging used by the application, the cache sizes and additionally specify bandwidth throttling, great for those looking for much finer control over their system.
As with the excellent Cloudberry Backup (see my review here) MSP360 have clearly worked hard to ensure the security features of this application go above and beyond what is expected from such software.
Firstly, the console application itself can be password protected meaning the configuration details pertaining to any mapped drives and storage accounts such as AWS can be kept secure. We can also setup and enable encryption for all data via the Drive application itself and optionally apply this to specific or all mapped drives.
There is also, when supported by the provider the ability to turn on server side encryption and force use of SSL with the storage provider themselves.
All-in-all I think this is all very well thought through and allows both user data and the application itself to be secured to a very high standard.
MSP360 have a great website with a well written knowledge base and user forums for the most common support issues. Should you need additional help MSP360 provide on-line ticketing support, great!
Cloudberry Drive is priced at $39.99 for the Windows Desktop version and $79.99 for the Windows Server variant. NB this is “per PC” licencing!
With cloud storage becoming ever more useful and cost effective it is tools such as Cloudberry Drive which are needed to connect PC users to it with the minimum of expense and fuss. Cloudberry Drive does an excellent job in this regard!
I use Cloudberry software myself and as with their other tools I feel Cloudberry Drive is well designed, has plenty of advanced configuration options and has proved itself to be reliable and work very well over long term use.
My only minor criticism would be that I feel the pricing model of “per computer” to be a little unfair given this software will primarily be favoured by more professional “power users” who typically work across 2 or more devices. This is however a small issue with an otherwise fantastic piece of software. Well done MSP360!