Tag Archive: AeroFS

Mar 02

Ugh, did a limited share of this when I originally posted it, but G+ won't let…

Ugh, did a limited share of this when I originally posted it, but G+ won't let me expand it, so I need to reshare it to make it public.

Reshared post from +Andrew Woolner

AeroFS – After Rough Start, It Rocks Nads

I was really feeling the pain when Microsoft retired Windows Live Mesh on February 13. Suddenly, my main working directory was no longer synchronized between my various machines. With 35GB to sync, Cloud storage was too costly to consider. I needed Peer-to-Peer.

The promising alternatives had proven not-so-promising: Cubby made their P2P solution available only if users paid for 100GB of cloud space; GoodSync was licensed per-machine; Gbridge's sync was a hack that I didn't trust; and Bitorrent Labs' SyncApp is only in alpha.

That left #AeroFS, the free version of which is still invite-only (beta). Five days after Live Mesh had been shut down, all my machines were out of sync and it was driving me crazy. I could no longer work on a file on my desktop and then grab my laptop and hit the road, confident that I could pick up my work later.

Luckily, thanks to +Scott Mortimer, humanitarian, I managed to get an invite for AeroFS and got it installed.

Now, normally, when you're syncing a large number of files it makes sense to do what we call "seeding". That is, to have a set of the files to be sync'd already on each machine. Then the software compares the files (which are 99% identical in my case), saving time by not having to copy all 35GB to all the machines running the sync software.

Ah, but this was apparently a major AeroFS glitch. Weird for syncing software to not be able to deal with seeding, but there you have it. For almost two weeks, I left 5 of my 7 PCs turned on 24/7 just to complete the sync. During this time, it wasn't syncing any new files, it was just updating identical version of existing files with each other, and occasionally deleting random files in certain subdirectories for no reason I could figure out.

It would also restore deleted files (removed in a mistaken attempt to speed things up by reducing the number of files) on machines on which AeroFS hadn't enumerated those same files yet.

I won't bore you with further details, but it wrapped up earlier this week. Either because all the files had finally been enumerated and everything was finally in sync, or because AeroFS developers had fixed the problem (a thread about the issue wrapped up the morning my files came into full sync, so it's hard to say).

Now it works amazingly. And unlike Live Mesh, it tells me the instant a file has been updated, just like Dropbox. I am thrilled; this is exactly what I was looking for. My single complaint is that, like Dropbox, any sync'd files or folders must be stored under the AeroFS directory itself. I have a fair amount of software that points to config files or the like in my Sync directory. Currently, I've solved the problem with a junction point, but I hope in the future that AeroFS will allow us to sync whatever folders we like no matter where they are.

So anyway… a big hurrah for AeroFS. Hopefully when they finish their beta, they won't try to screw P2P users like Cubby did. Or if they do, maybe SyncApp will be ready by then…


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