Mozy releases 'Stash' file-syncing service

Cloud storage service Mozy on Wednesday announced the availability (as a public beta) of Mozy Stash , a new feature that gives customers a way to access files across multiple computers and mobile devices.

Stash combines MozyHome's online backup service with the ability to synchronize files across devices in near real time. Data can be viewed from any computer, regardless of the operating system, as well as mobile devices including the iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

"All your data is in the cloud so that you can access it anywhere," said Gytis Barzdukas, director of product management at Mozy, now part of EMC-owned VMware.

Barzdukas demonstrated Stash during a visit to Computerworld earlier this month by taking a photo with an iPhone. The photo was automatically backed up to the MozyHome cloud service and then accessible within seconds on an iPad.

"Stash uses a simple single-folder model which complements your online backup, so that all your data is available where and when you need it, even if you choose not to synchronize it," said Russ Stockdale, Mozy's general manager, in a statement. "Stash makes it easy to move from your computer at the office to your computer at home, without having to email files to yourself or mess around with USB drives."

Stash draws storage from the user's MozyHome plan. For example, if you have a 50GB plan, and 30GB of it is already used for online backup, the remaining 20GB is available for Stash. Similarly, for MozyHome Free subscribers, Stash draws from the user's 2GB of storage.

The Stash feature doesn't allow file-sharing between different users, but that option is expected to be added later this year, Barzdukas said.

While Mozy apps already allow Android and iOS devices to access data protected with MozyHome via iOS and Android devices, Stash goes a step further.

Unlike backups, files put in Stash are updated automatically so that users have their latest work ready to go on each computer that is linked to Stash.

MozyHome paid subscribers who sign up for Stash before April 15 can count on having Stash as part of their ongoing subscription at no extra cost.

Later this year, Mozy plans to release Stash for MozyPro, which is aimed at storing business-class data in the cloud. Stash can run on the same computer as MozyPro online backup, with Stash using a separate MozyHome account.

Through its MozyPro service, Stash will allow IT administrators to set policies that define what can be viewed across employee mobile devices. Data stored in Mozy's Stash is encrypted using the 448-bit Blowfish algorithm.

Mozy offers users the option of either choosing an automated encryption key service, with the information shared between the user and Mozy, or creating their own keys, which cannot be accessed by a third party.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld.

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