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October 04, 2012

Symform: A Cloud Storage Network like No Other

By Robbie Pleasant, TMCnet Contributor

There are already several ways to store data over the cloud, but most of them inevitably just involve storing data on a hosted server somewhere. The term “cloud” brings to mind something that is always floating overhead, or dispersed around, yet always within sight. In that regard, Symform’s cloud storage network may be closer to that than any cloud storage I’ve seen before.

Symform uses a network of devices, connected together to form a cloud network. Data sent to the network is broken into blocks, which are encrypted and then broken into fragments. Out of those, several redundancy fragments are also created, allowing for recovery should any of the fragments be lost. Those fragments are then sent to the various connected devices, keeping them geographically dispersed to avoid any local or regional disasters that could threaten the data.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Symform is the payment method. With its “bytes or bucks” payment plan, users can either pay for space normally, or donate their own excess storage space; if one donates twice as much as they need, they don’t have to pay a thing.

“But wait,” you might be asking, “If I have all that space to spare, why would I need to use cloud storage?” That’s a good question, theoretical reader, and one that I asked at ITEXPO (News - Alert). The answer, of course, is backup. You want your data kept secure, and if you’re using your own servers, there’s no backup; if something crashes, all the data is lost. In Symform’s cloud network, your data is kept safe.

With that in mind, you might question how secure your data really is. After all, it’s being stored on other devices, who knows where it is? For that, we return to the encryption and shards. To recover the data, over 60 of the 90+ shards must be accessed, reconfigured, and decrypted. If you want to do that with your data, it’s a simple task – the data is sent to and from the various nodes worldwide, making for very quick access. If someone tries to steal your data, though, all I can say is “good luck.” Out of the many, many devices worldwide, they’d have to steal all the proper shards and decrypt them. Even if one of the connected devices is broken or damaged, there are still plenty of others that can return your data to you.

“Symform is the most secure, most affordable, most durable and fastest cloud backup system,” boasts Mason White, Symform’s director of Product Marketing, to whom I spoke with at ITEXPO. “It’s a better way to store your data in the cloud.” Based on what I heard, I’m inclined to believe it.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Austin 2012, happening now in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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