Zoolz, an initiave by Genie9, is an enterprise-level cloud storage and collaboration service, specifically developed for businesses and professionals in mind, to backup, manage, and deploy their large chunks of data, across a network of users. A very cost-effective, secure, and durable cloud service, using Amazon S3 (Simpe Storage Service) at it’s core.
Recently, Zoolz introduced Cold Storage, a data-archiving and backup service based on Amazon Glacier Technology, making it the cheapest storage service available for the data, which isn’t frequently accessed. You can learn more about the benefits of Cold Storage below, but let’s talk briefly about the other prominent features of Zoolz first.
- Security and Reliability – The major concern when it comes to cloud services is whether you could rely on them to keep your private data safe and secure. With Zoolz, you don’t need to worry about that at all. It uses a triple encryption system for your data i.e. 256-bit AES encryption at your local machine, 128-bit SSL encryption during the transfer process to the cloud, and again a 256-bit AES encryption at the Server-side.
- Durability – Zoolz store your data on multiple devices across multiple facilities. It keeps them synchronized and always available, whenever you need to access or restore them back to your device.
- Economic – Both normal storage, and Cold Storage plans provided by Zoolz are cost-effective. You could easily increase your storage capacity, add more users or servers as per your needs, at a very low price.
- Collaboration – Zoolz allow you to cheaply add more user accounts, invite professionals to share your data with, and collaborate together in a secure way. The web-version is equipped with powerful user management features, through which you could set custom policies, user privileges, and impose restrictions (such as bandwidth and storage limit) for each user.
- Neat User-Interface – Zoolz provide it’s users with a very responsive, interactive and easily-accessible User-Interface, for all it’s platforms (Desktop, Mobile and Web).
There are many more features, and you could learn more about Zoolz features in detail, from their official website.
Coming back to Cold Storage, it’s basically a service for the data, which is rarely accessed, and doesn’t require to be restored instantly. The backup process for Cold Storage files is instant, and performed automatically along with the rest of your files. But, the restore process, unlike normal storage, isn’t performed instantly, and usually takes 3-5 hours to process your request, before you could download it back to your local device. Hence, it’s recommended for archives or less-frequently used data only. However, Zoolz allow you to remotely view and download your Cold Storage data using either Web or Mobile version of it’s application.
The biggest advantage of Cold Storage is it’s low-price. You could easily add Cold Storage space of 100 GB at just $3 per month (i.e. $0.03 per GB), compared to 50 GB of normal (or frequently accessed) storage space at $8 per month.
A Quick Look at the Web-based UI
Let’s take a quick look at what all things you could do with the Zoolz web-application.
This is how the file manager looks like. As you must have noticed, there’s a separate space for Cold Storage files. The web-application also allows you manage multiple devices for backup/restoration of data, hence, making remote management very easy. “Download Zoolz” button above would download the desktop-client for your system. Please note that you could only upload/backup new files using Zoolz desktop or mobile client only. Web-app only allows you to download/restore files back from the cloud.
The toolbar above let’s you refresh your directories, download files, share files (as a URL, via email, or using social platforms), and delete files. The dynamic search-bar provided is quite effective as well. You could also switch between detail-view and grid-view of files. This is how a grid-view of Pictures directory look like.
Zoolz also let you access various documents files, such PDFs, Spreadsheets, Presentations etc. using Google Doc Viewer, embedded into the web-application.
Apart from the file manager, you could manage Users, custom Policies, Servers, and view Reports for bandwidth and storage use as well.
Zoolz Desktop Client
Now, let’s take a quick look at the Zoolz desktop client. This desktop client allows users to backup data such as mails, deskotp, documents, music, videos, office, pictures, bookmarks, financial files and eBooks. On starting this desktop client for the first time, the user needs to enter the login details and then sign-in. After signing-in, the user can select which type of data he/she wants to backup. Zoolz calls this option as “Smart selection”, as let’s say if a user wants to backup only mails, then the user can checkmark “mails” and this program will start the backup process.
Click on “My Computer” and you can upload/backup selected files. You can also select a backup schedule so that the data is backed-up automatically everyday, or as per your selected schedule.
The inability to upload files via the web interface is a minus point. To upload or backup files, you will need to use the desktop client. We just hope that the developers add an option to upload files directly from the web interface.
With all those features, especially Cold Storage and the ability to access data from almost any platform, Zoolz certainly looks to be a promising enterprise-level cloud service, and highly recommended for businesses, which require large data sharing, and collaboration between remote users.