Where have I heard before? Can't quite put my finger on it.
Google is killing its “Drive” sync 'n' share file locker in two ways. For users of Google's G Suite customers, death will come in the form of a new desktop application called “Drive File Stream” that does pretty much everything Drive does now, but which Google says “allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files …
So what's in store for us non gsuite google drive users?
Is it still 15GB free usage?
Does backup and sync have new better features?
I'm just learning about this now, would be good for el reg to have a proper right up about it.
I'm going to have to google it now.
Now googled, I realise this article is like an advert selling the change. There will be no simple folder you dump stuff in, now you tell it which folders to sync which I guess are then viewable in the cloud, no idea how or if it copies that data to your other machine, how will it cope if the parent of the source folder does not exist on your other machine?
This will have big ramifications for some. I have scanners that automatically save to google drive, how will this work in future?
I transitioned from GDrive to Yandex about 6 months ago. No complaints - and the Windows sync app is less of a CPU hog.
My main motivation was that I'm a lot happier with the SVR/FSB snooping my files than the NSA/FBI, but getting 42Gb free for life was a bonus (that's not standard: 10Gb is the basic free quota, but they run various promotions from time to time which is how I got the additional 32Gb). Oh, and I'm not Russian - just like I wasn't American when I used Google.
"... getting 42Gb free for life was a bonus"
When it comes to free stuff, "life" can have many different definitions:
(1) What they imply: Your life. Yeah, right ;
(2) What they really mean: Meh, we'll can it when we can't be bothered any more ;
(3) If you're really lucky: As long as we keep the VC cash rolling in.
Mind you, paying for a service doesn't always mean you get treated any better. See the publication date on that article ? THAT's the day Nuance announced that he Paperport Anywhere service was shutting down - and most PaperPort users only found out by e-mail the following day.
That's right kids, most folks got less than two weeks' notice to find a new cloud provider and move their stuff - no alternative service, no backup plan, nothing. "We'd like to help you, but we're a bit tired right now" is the most charitable way I could describe that situation.
imagine going off for two weeks holiday on Friday the 15th, and coming back to that on Monday March 4th - all your docs in the cloud have evaporated, with no hope of recovery because the storage has already been re-purposed for another customer.
Enjoy the freebies while you can, but always make sure you've got a Plan "B" in case someone pulls the plug. At the end of the day, you're just a guest on someone else's computer.
Obviously "life" is a flexible concept in this area, I was using the term in the same sense that competitors (OneDrive, DropBox et. al.) do. Yandex have a better record than Google when it comes to abrupt product/service discontinuation though.
I maintain a NextCloud instance mirrored to local NAS for things I'm really concerned about (I don't use it for everything because going above 20Gb SSD on that server would double the cost of the VM).
When is the last time the Russian government dragged British citizens through the courts using an outrageously unbalanced extradition treaty or else grabbed a British security researcher at an airport charged with notionally breaking Russian law from his home in the UK? That's right. Never. I'm damn sure FSB snooping is a big improvement.
You still have the original "Google Drive" capability that you had before, so that shoudn't be a problem for you.
The only new feature is the ability to select random folders on your computer to have backed up on your Google storage space - not as part of Drive, but as a traditional backup feature. (Some versioning available, but I think the restore of older versions is from the web interface only.)
Will be handy for some customers since Code42 has decided to murder CrashPlan for residential users.
"Blotto" complains:There will be no simple folder you dump stuff in, now you tell it which folders to sync which I guess are then viewable in the cloud, no idea how or if it copies that data to your other machine, how will it cope...What is it that you don't get, and how can you not get it?
If you're upset that you'll have to specify which directories to back up and want to keep the simplicity of a "simple folder you dump stuff in"... What's to stop you from not specifying any other folders, and keep dumping stuff in that single one?
Just what everyone needs - more confusion on exactly where the data lives and when and what sort of data fits today's valid file type sieve.
Or is this an admission that the great cloudy thing isn't working out in practice the way that the marketing people thought it would, since little details like the technicalities make it something quite different.
Next up - more fun trying to explain to users where their data is at any given time and why its not where they thought they put it.
"Next up - more fun trying to explain to users where their data is at any given time and why its not where they thought they put it."
... perhaps they need to start running Silicon Valley style consumer education classes to expalin to uses why they still have all their photos but aren't using any storage on their phones.
Gosh, whatever do you mean? All us Silicon Valley developers have permanent gigabit fiber to the desktop and unlimited 4G for our phones, therefore everyone has the same experience as us.
In our minds the only places with poor connectivity exist in our nightmares.
Up vote. It's abundantly obvious that far too many developers have utterly no real world life experience, which is why so many products are only usable in specific ideal circumstances.
For instance, any service that assumes unlimited data on mobile is useless to much of Canada because of the incredibly stingy and expensive data allowances.
Firstly: it looks as if the recently-added auto folder-backup feature is staying, which I'm happy about as that's actually useful...
I'm still a bit confused from this, over whether Google Drive (as in "your drive in the 'cloud'") is staying available. For me, this matters, as I have an Asus Chromebit CS10 (a "stick PC" running Chrome OS), and am eyeing up an Asus Chromebook Flip.
Chrome OS' file storage is focused on integration with Google Drive (yes, COS can mount local mass-storage devices and certain other network filesystems, but GD is the primary file-storage location), so I don't quite see how Google could phase out the files/folders "area" of GD without a remodelling of Chrome OS' file-management interface. Hopefully, that's not what they're looking to do.
I tend to use the phrase "permanent beta" for Google services.
Remember Google Wave ? I remember lots of folks raving about that when it came out - the product Google loved SO much, they couldn't even be bothered to spell-check the closedown notice...
I've still got the e-mail that says "Google Wage is closing down".
"Google are forever creating things, letting people rely on them and then fucking them over."
If only I could upvote this a million times.
The galling thing is that Google doesn't even appear to have the decency to dump its abandoned apps that people actually used onto GitHub or the like.
For example "My Tracks" was something I used to use while walking around large boot sales held in towns ("vide grenier" if you know anything of France). It used to be useful for overlaying a chart of where I've been on top of the road layout with my current position so I could tell easily where I have and haven't been (in the spaghetti road systems in the middle of towns, this sort of thing is useful). But no, Google went and killed it off in favour of "Google Fit", as if the only reason somebody might want to track their progress is in order to count calories. Thanks a lot. I'm now using Ilya Bogdanovich's Geo Tracker which does exactly what I wanted.
I expect Google Goggles to be killed off next. It was a good idea, and there's such interactivity that could be built into a program such as that (beyond it being "a quick way to read QR codes"), but it doesn't work any more on modern devices (Samsung S7, Android 7) and looking at the app info, it was last updated on the 28th of May 2014. I'm guessing this should now be thought of as pre-slaughtered abandonware...?
"allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer, meaning you use almost none of your hard drive space and spend less time waiting for files to sync."
1) hard drive space is cheap
2) For many people upload and download speed for cloud connections is not instant (no fibre, I get about 800kbps upload, 10Mbps down). Fine for a small file on a fast connection, but... Just been downloading 750MB of images from Dropbox that a client wants processing. It was not instant. Uploading them again will take a couple of hours. I'll stick to working locally and keeping backups.
Hard drive space isn't cheap everywhere - some small laptops (or tablets, of phones) may have far smaller disks than big desktop systems. Being able to select what to "pin" locally and what to access on demand is useful.
Download/upload speeds are an issue, but as long as you have a choice of what is cached locally, it's not really a big issue.
It's interesting that while MS with One Drive is still messing with "placeholders", Google implements the same feature.
"I don't consider a bigger M2 SSD cheap"
Use a cheaper technology.
As a professional you should be aware that speed/cost (or speed/capacity which amounts to the same thing for a given level of budget) ratio comes in a series of tiers. SSD introduced another tier, the others, by and large*, still remain.
* A few have disappeared but but the HDD isn't one of them.
As long as you also have a backup. Why are you not using a massive usb stick? At usb 3.0, is it going to be both cheaper than a new SSD, and quicker than online access? Even if slower loading (say usb 2.0 or a slow chip), it can be accessed offline.
Backups/online sync can still be done, and could be done direct to the stick.
I do this with my phone, 32gb sd-card, synced with dropbox, and no worries on space/time uploading/downloading and backups (in theory, I have it synced on all my devices, and I manually backup to archives once in a while).
" A few have disappeared but but the HDD isn't one of them."
15k rpm spinning rust begs to differ.
HDD was actually 3 tiers; Flash has firmly killed 2 of them. All 15k rpm use cases were replaced by SSD. All 10k use cases were replaced by hybrid SSHDs with slower rust and a flash cache. Only 7.2k remains, though it's quite likely to be with us for decades yet.
"Being able to select what to "pin" locally and what to access on demand is useful."
I wouldn't touch a device that either didn't have an uSD card (preferred) or couldn't talk to one via a reader and the USB OTG.
Why? I live in the country. 3G coverage in the middle of a muddy field can often outpace my wired broadband, but the data allocation is not unlimited. Plus, there have been enough stories of miscreants buggering around with DNS in recent times, not to mention cloudy services themselves falling over from time to time.
The cloud, for me, is useful as an easy way to scoot information between machines, especially if they are geographically separated by more than the range of a WiFi signal or Cat5 cable... but as a place to keep my documents and photos? What, are you insane? My private documents/photos are private by virtue of being on my uSD card in my possession, where they can be inserted into the device of choice and ALL immediately available instantly as I need them. Backups are quick and simple device-to-device and don't rely on a ~80K/sec up channel (with a tailwind and the moon waning gibbous). Plus, did I mention it was instant? Better than this, it even works in places where there is NO connectivity whatsoever. Maybe these bloody devs in Silly Valley have no idea what it's like, but trust me. Autumn rain of the European style, and Right Proper Forests of oaks and firs, they are like portable Bermuda Triangles when it comes to connectivity...
[you know, there is a cynical part of me that wonders if Google's push to keep trying to destroy SD card support in Android [thankfully ignored by Samsung] is in part due to their desire to promote "The Cloud"? Their Cloud, of course...]
I have some things in Gdrive that i need on my phone (pdfs of tickets etc.), but I don't want all of it on my phone, so being able to pick what's downloaded is useful to me. Equally there's things I need access to at work (like my folder full of useful scripts that I take and repurpose), but I don't need any of the music I have on there.
What's so complicated?
If they change from syncing just one folder to any folder you nominate, and that's too complex for you... Isn't the obvious soution to just not nominate any other folders, and go on using it as you always have, with that single old folder the only one to be synced? It doesn't MAKE you set up any other folder, does it?
Give it a year and Google will create another storage service to compete directly with these two.
They do this for everything. Android has how many Google chat apps now? Hangouts, Allo, Messages, Duo, Google+, Hangouts Dialer, Hangouts Meet...
What was wrong with adding extra features behind a paywall for businesses in the same app?
I guess OneDrive is now looking more attractive. You can't keep jerking users around like this and expect them to stick around for another kick in the face next year. This is Google - this change will "update" in about 3-6 months, hang around for another couple of years and then migrate elsewhere.
It needs something to be more attractive. At the moment it looks like Bella Emberg hit with a frying pan. My PC is in a constant tussle to trying to kill the Windows 10-built-in OneDrive to allow the company's One Drive for Business also overcome the different One Drive that comes with Office 2016. Good times.
Or you could go back to the scheme where you provide your own services, change them exactly when and how you like, and get away from vendors (free or paid) who have their own agenda that's based on stretching you as far as they can while still just retaining your custom.
The article title is more confusing than Google's changes IMO!
Firstly, Google Drive isn't going anywhere - it's still available and will continue to be available.
What is being deprecated is old Google Drive **client** and it's being replaced by a new app which combines the functionality of the old drive client and photos upload client and adds additional functionality which allows you to backup any folder on your PC to Google Drive (it appears in drive on the web under a new Computers tab).
The old "sync folders to a google drive folder" functionality is absolutely still there and works exactly as it always has
If you're not a G Suite user that's it - same functionality with some additional functionality added on top
If you're a G Suite user then it's a bit more complicated (but not massively so) - you can either use the new backup and sync client and carry on as you always have or you can use the Drive File Stream client which adds support for Team Drives (the only way you can sync them to your computer is to use the Drive File Stream client) (or, if you really want to, you can use both together)
Drive File Stream shows your entire drive and any team drives under a new disk (G: by default on windows) and will download files on demand with caching for frequently used files.
In addition, you can make selected files or folders available offline in which case they're synced to your machine. This is pretty much what OneDrive did in Windows 8 before MS decided it was too useful and canned the functionality!
Google Drive File Stream is a far better solution for users of Google Suite For Education now that "Team Drives" are available. It would be impractical to use Google Drive for PC/Mac* as the amount of syncing going on would be very cumbersome and it would be very likely that you would run out of local storage.
I really cannot see why they are not making File Stream available for everyone, it works very well.
*Besides Google Drive for PC was a huge bandwidth/CPU/Memory hog when syncing.
It's just a shame he wouldn't pass an exam on the subject. Take these examples:
"Any data you have in Drive is absolutely not going away just because the app of the same name will soon deceased." - Missing the word "be."
"Backup and Sync is already-available app that does what it says on the can" - An article would be nice.
"Again, data's not going anywhere." - What belongs to the data? Again an article would be useful and might have prevented the apostrophe disaster.
I expect better of someone who is supposed to be an editor.
"Again, data's not going anywhere." - What belongs to the data? Again an article would be useful and might have prevented the apostrophe disaster."
Actually this one is fine. It's a contraction of "Data is" in much the same way that "it's" is at the beginning of this sentence.
2017: Google launches Backup & Sync to duplicate Drive functions
2018: Google launches Google Locker
2019: Google launches Google File Storage
2020: Google launches Google+ Drive
2021: Google launches Google Cloud
2022: Google launches Google+ Cloud
2023: Google shuts down all File storage apps due to lack of users
Don't know why people are confused (including the author) - Google Drive isn't going anywhere. The APP is - it's been retired for either Backup & Sync (for consumers) or Drive File Sync (for G Suite customers). G Suite customers can't download it willy nilly - their admin will turn it on so that it's either pushed to their machines or it can be installed from the usual Google shortcuts (top-right of most Google pages).
Most people (ie the general public) don't ever need to worry about the latter.
""We're changing the way things work and you just have to lump it. You'll have to throw away all that training you've just done and train people the "new" way"."
Hmmm. I can think of another software company that got itself a reputation for doing that. And the products involved weren't cloudy products. Name escapes me at the moment...
I use Google Drive / Google Apps as if they're a virtual PC with everything hosted remotely.
I don't synch anything locally - I access it online from whatever piece of kit I have in front of me, which often isn't mine. I don't want any of the files stored locally - I want / need it all to be 'in the cloud'
Is this going to affect my ability to do this?
Or should I switch to Microsoft's alternative?
If I tell backup and synch to download everything, I have a "Drive" (application) replacement, right? So I guess this doesn't affect me, good.
The issue is this statement in the article: “allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer, meaning you use almost none of your hard drive space and spend less time waiting for files to sync.”
How can it not use hard drive space but also spend less time synching? I assume it only means "synching" as in "I uploaded 5GB of files to Drive via PC A, now I have to wait for those to download to PC B".
Because I can guarantee you that if you're normally used to all files being locally available, having to try to pull-down a previously unloaded presentation in front of management or customers, you WILL notice the wait time.
And how will it save disk space in the long run? Won't I eventually cache most things if I choose to use them? Will it eventually decide it's smarter than me and
deletecleanup my local offline cache? How could it possibly know what I'll need the next time I'm offline (for that matter, can I even know that)?
Seems if I wanted to think about managing my Drive files 10x more than I already do, this is a great update. Otherwise, this is Google Drive trying to be something it's not.
Precisely the kind of stuff why i've never become heavily invested in any of Google's (often potentially very useful, for shame...) offerings... it seems like if it's not ads, search or e-mail, it's basically ephemeral; those last two might as well exist to support the former, so I guess we'll see how it plays out when those start to be outmoded.
I've been meaning to try out OwnCloud and FreeNAS as well, but SSHFS is reasonably secure and easy. If you have a reasonably fast connection at home, punch a hole in your router to allow remotely mounting a filesystem via SSHFS. Works fine for streaming music, and allows full access to stuff I don't want to pollute a work machine with.
For a GDrive/Dropbox/etc replacement, try Sync.com. 5GB initial account, but easy to get rewards. Encryption-heavy (key-based, fully held by user), privacy-minded, servers hosted in Canada (though I'd be surprised if the NSA hasn't tapped that - NSA data fetish > 4th amendment or international law).
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