Lazy disclosure - mixing cloud and local storage
The use of multiple computer systems by a single user makes data transfer a necessity. Cloud storage solutions provide synchronisation features and file accessibility across systems but the exact location and type of storage varies between services. Many systems rely on a client-server architecture where the data is held at the data centers of the service provider. This leads to several difficulties for the end user, for example with regard to privacy or data security. This is countered by the convenience of highly available servers. If the user wants to minimise exposure to the challenges of Cloud-based services, then he is required to either host a server infrastructure himself or to rely on inconvenient on-demand synchronisation by means of file transport protocols or even physical storage devices. The approach presented here tries to harvest the positive aspects of using Cloud-based services while keeping the user in control of his data. To this end, we focus on a hybrid system of a client-server and a peer-to-peer architecture which expands the Cloud to the user's system giving him full control over which data he selects to be stored on a server in the Cloud and which data he prefers to keep private on personal computing devices while ensuring unified access to both types of storage over the network.
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