The Magic of Your Personal Cloud: Your Data Follows You, Wherever You Go


We design the Synology DiskStation to be your Personal Cloud, to always allow you to access and share your data both securely and conveniently. Recently, this has become synonymous with “from a mobile device”. Two features will bring around even more convenience to build up your Personal cloud: the brand new app DS cloud, and Instant Upload on DS photo+.

Creating smart, intuitive apps

When developing our apps, we try to keep in mind the following:
-How can my data be made available anywhere, and anytime?
-Is this obvious and simple from a users perspective? Or can it be made simpler?
-Can we automate this task, or remove any unnecessary user input?

This has lead us to add Instant Upload to DS photo+, and develop DS cloud as a new dedicated app to access the Cloud Station files on your DiskStation. DS cloud replaces the “Cloud Station for Mobile”, previously integrated in DS file, with the goal of making both apps more simple and intuitive for users, and avoid overloading one app with too many features. It makes all my Cloud Station files accessible, and importantly, gives me control over what I want to sync. If my phone doesn’t have too much storage space, I can select the folders I want to sync to my phone. If a folder contains a mix of pdf-s and media files, and I’m worried the videos will take up the phone’s already limited storage space, they can easily be excluded from the sync to keep only “light” files. And I know many users will be delighted to hear this: the maximum file size can now be specified (up to 10GB!) and adjusted on each synced folder.

At the same time, DS photo+ makes sharing photos with friends even easier than before: DS photo+ automatically uploads all the photos and videos to my phone, even when new ones are added. This means DS photo+ becomes a real mobile backup solution for my photos and videos. That will avoid a few cold sweats when your phone goes missing with all the photos you had neglected saving to your PC for past 6 months.

Basically, in my personal cloud, my data is everywhere I need it, easy to access and share, and always safe.

What makes DS cloud different?

Your files are exactly where you want them. DS cloud is a real “Private Cloud” solution: your data synced through DS cloud is on your DiskStation, not somewhere out in there in “the Cloud”. This also means you aren’t relying on a Cloud Service provider to operate. “Control” over where the data is and who has access to it is particularly important to businesses, especially when this data is either sensitive or cannot be lost to a competitor.

You always have the latest version, available offline: DS cloud also differentiates itself from other major Cloud services for mobile in the sense that it literally pulls your documents to the phone or tablet. So when no network is available, you still have access to your documents. The sync process is all done automatically and no extra configuration, such as setting a file as a “Favorite”, is ever required.

Fast and efficient: One last difference concerns the underlying mechanism of Cloud Station and DS cloud: changes made to a document are “synced” in an incremental manner. Instead of re-syncing the complete document, only the changed part of the file will be updated and will go through the network. This “block-level change” technology used by our engineers allows for an optimized use of network bandwidth, avoiding using it up needlessly. Rather enjoyable when on 3G!

These 2 features represent an important step in building a bridge between your mobile device and your DiskStation. I hope you enjoy using them, as well as all the new features we will be bringing in 2013, and will be looking forward to another blog about our apps!