In the CTERA admin menus, "Backup" refers to the Cloud storage and "Synchronization" refers to local backup. For Synchronization, CloudPlug has the ability to do bi-directional synchronization. So you can either copy from other systems on your network, or you can push data to them. You can also set up multiple synchronizations jobs, all with different schedules, destinations, protocols, etc. Figure 12 shows the protocol selection when I was setting up one synchronization job.
Figure 12: Advanced synchronization setup
Typically, this is where you would set up and schedule backups from your local network machines that would work in conjunction with the offsite Cloud backup jobs defined in the CloudPlug menus. But note that you could also use this menu to define your own offsite backup, with the downside being that the data would not get encrypted on the destination server and your data won't be available through CTERA's portal.
There are a number of nice features available through the online portal. Once you log in and supply your passphrase, you can access all your backed up data from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Figure 13 shows the main menu from the online portal.
Figure 13: CTERA Portal main menu
Just like the local interface, the portal has a nice feature set and is fairly responsive. You can change account settings, check out the status of your backups, check logs for issues, etc. Figure 14 shows a nice file-browsing capability on the portal that allows you to view your files, download them to your local system, or restore them back to the CloudPlug directory.
Figure 14: Browsing files from the Portal
The integration between the Portal and your local CloudPlug device is very tight. The online portal will even report on local CloudPlug CPU usage, network settings, login activity, etc. But like the local admin page, the portal pages could put a significant load on my CPU, pushing my Firefox browser pretty much to the max and kicking on my fan.
Moving back to the local configuration screens, you might also want to enable FTP access to your CloudPlug. Figure 15 shows the FTP setup screen where you can opt for anonymous access, encrypted access, set some throttling parameters, etc.
Figure 15: FTP setup
As you can see, the configuration is fairly complete with the exception of allowing you to change the port that the FTP server runs on. And speaking of ports, a quick port scan of the CloudPlug showed that there was also support for accessing shares via standard and secure webdav, although there didn't seem to be any configuration menus or info in the user's guide related to use of this protocol. Another thing I didn't notice in any of the menus was a feature to allow you to set the spin-down time on your external drives. Most of the time my NASes sit idle, so it's nice to be able to tell the drives to spin down when they haven't been accessed for a while.