Dan's Take

Smoothing the Path to the Cloud

An updated review of Apollo Cloud by PROMISE Technology.

Last year, I wrote about PROMISE Technology and its Apollo Cloud device. Since then, the company has made changes and improvements to Apollo, and I wanted to bring you up to date.

Apollo Cloud gives a group of up to 10 users 4TB to store and share data that doesn't require payment of recurring fees. This device can live behind the organization's firewall and still provide cloud storage services.

The company has added several new features, including:

  • The ability for individuals to use the device to support Apple Time Machine backups.
  • Storage is available to PCs, Macs, Smartphones (both iOS and Android) and Tablet (both iOS and Android) by simply downloading the Apollo Cloud app from the appropriate app store.
  • An owner can invite up to nine members to share the Apollo Cloud. Each member of a group gets a private space and full sharing control over their own files. Files can be of any size (up to the capacity of the device).
  • Each member can chose what files to share, and with whom.
  • Improved search functions make it quicker and easier to find shared documents, photos and the like.
  • Administrators can now manage multiple Apollo devices using a single account.
  • Password encryption of shared public links to data stored on Apollo Cloud.

It appears that PROMISE Technology has taken the time to speak with customers about what they've been doing with their personal cloud storage devices, and what issues they've been having.

The early versions of this device didn't offer administrators the ability to control how much storage each member could use, and now it's possible to set limits on file storage. They've added a "quickview" feature, making it possible for members to quickly see photos without taking the time to download the entire file to their local device. They've also made it possible for administrators to back up the contents of an Apollo personal cloud device to a local USB drive.

As I said before, one of these devices, combined with apps PROMISE offers for Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android, can be a useful solution for those wanting centralized storage under tight privacy or security controls.

Dan's Take: Works as Advertised
When I had the opportunity to use the device, it worked as expected. I was able to create files on my smartphone, place them on the Apollo Cloud device and pull them back from my laptop to edit them.

As I mentioned before, one concern is that each user must download special software/apps before they can use the device. This is understandable, since smartphone and tablet suppliers haven't built capabilities for this type of file sharing into their products. So this limitation can be seen in competitors' personal cloud storage devices as well.

Mid-market companies or remote departments of larger companies might find the Apollo a good answer to secure, private cloud storage.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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