Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cloud Desktop

I've taken my time to get familiar with the Gladinet product offering, and there's a lot worth talking about. For one, the product does setup and execute with minimal fuss. The setup and configuration is straight-forward and intuitive.

As for the functionality of Gladinet, it can be overwhelming. Although not to the level of bloatware, mind you; it does endeavor to fulfill a multitude of functions: mirroring, backup, cloud-to-cloud backup, and the like. But for me, where Gladinet shines is its ability to intermediate between the Windows environment and third-party cloud-attached storage, such as that of Google Docs, Google Apps, Amazon S3 and WebDav services.

In my case, I have a couple cloud-based storage providers. MyDrive, my preferred platform for document filing, has been managed transparently by Gladinet for about a month now insofar as its connection to my Windows desktop environment is concerned. Although I am mapped via UNC path to MyDrive via Windows Explorer, I am also mapped via the Gladinet software.

Why? Well as it turns out, it is difficult to edit Microsoft Office 2010 documents directly from the Windows desktop. That is, the Windows implementation of the WebDav specification seems to differ from canon. That being the case, saving and updating from the Windows desktop is problematic at best, and downright infuriating at worst. But proxy the Windows Explorer mapped drive with that of a mapped drive through Gladinet, and those frustrations are much allayed. And while I can't say that updating documents via Gladient is flawless, (one must save over a document, vice update a document), it does get the job done.

Of course, the utility of working in the cloud is greatly enhanced when all one's documents are already residing there. This situation opens the question of how to move one's local files on disk to the cloud--which is worthy of separate discussion. More on that later.