Cloud storage is a bit of a wonder of the modern era. A simple connection to the internet and an account on a cloud storage service can ensure that your photos, videos and important documents are secure and accessible should you ever lose them.

The problem, however, is that cloud storage is often limited. For this reason Liquid Telecom, an African fibre network provider, has recently launched CrashPlan.

CrashPlan utilises Liquid Telecom’s storage nodes located across its network which reaches from South Africa to Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The service was developed in partnership with American cloud storage and security firm Code 42 and has been tweaked and changed to cater to the African market.

Customers can choose to store backups – or “clones” as Rudnick refers to them – locally on a private server on their premises should they prefer, and still enjoy the CrashPlan service.

Cloud storage is done at the aforementioned Liquid Telecom data nodes, and data is stored in your country. This means South African business data is backed up to South African servers, Kenyan businesses to Kenya and so on and so forth. African countries that don’t have a Liquid Telecom node as yet are still able to use the service, though they will use the nearest node to them.

Install and forget

Users are able to install one application on their notebook and then forget they ever installed Crash Plan because the application runs silently in the background. “The first time you use the service it may take a while to set up depending on the amount of data you have on your machine,” chief executive officer of Liquid Telecom, Nic Rudnick told us at AfricaCom. “Once that’s done CrashPlan will simply update your backup with new and updated files.”

Nic Rudnick, CEO Liquid-Telecom.
Nic Rudnick, CEO Liquid-Telecom.

The backup process does not require a constant internet connection. Should you need to rush off to a meeting or your internet connection drops the backup will simply pause and resume once you’re connected to the internet again whether you’re on your company’s domain or not.

Should anything ever go wrong and data is lost or corrupted, a user would need to reinstall the CrashPlan application and then click “Restore” and watch as CrashPlan clones your old data onto your new machine. The process is extraordinarily simple according to Rudnick, and storage space is unlimited.

To test this we asked whether we would be able to backup 3TB of our data and the response was, “Yes, but you should expect that depending on your internet connection this may take a few days to upload but once that backup is done you can clone your data to any PC as long as you have an internet connection.

Crash Plan is primarily aimed at SMEs and enterprises and is available now. A subscription costs $10.83 (R153.31) per user per month should you require cloud storage, and includes a 30 day trial. Should you prefer to backup locally or to a private server, the software license will cost $5.42 (R76.73) per user per month.