As the number of devices we carry grows we're faced with the problem of accessing all of our data. Manually copying everything and keeping information in sync isn't easy and requires a lot of discipline and rigour. It makes sense to store all of our data centrally and have all of our devices access one version of everything.
This problem has been solved through cloud storage providers. Dropbox
is perhaps the most recognised name in this although Google has now made an entry into the cloud storage with Google Drive
. On the business side of things, Amazon Web Services
has been a dominant player in providing cloud-based storage. Although all of these services are competent, your data is held off-shore in data centres that may not be subject to Australian laws.
What our Ninefold folders look like on our iPad. Click to enlarge.
is an Australian company that manages its own data centres within the country. They layer their own storage system, called Oxygen, on this infrastructure providing businesses of up to 100 staff with online storage.
Oxygen works by installing a small program on your computer that creates a folder on your computer for storing files. Any files you place in this folder are automatically synchronised back to Ninefold's servers providing you with a near-instant backup. Oxygen works on Windows, Mac and Linux computers as well as iOS and Android tablets and smartphones.
The folder that Oxygen creates has two sub-folders; a personal one and a shared one. You can place files that you wish to the share with colleagues in the "Shared" folder. Access to shared files is by invitation - the Oxygen software makes it easy to invite a colleague to access a shared file.
After a few days of using Oxygen, we're quite impressed. We're using it for a portion of our workfiles so that we can access them wherever we are. When we open a document, we can annotate it and save the annotations as a PDF that can be emailed to colleagues.
We'll be dipping into Ninefold and Oxygen over the coming weeks as we explore more of its features.