To use the CloudBox, you merely use it as you would any other shared network device. In Windows, you can use Tools > Map network drive to map your share to a drive letter. On a Mac, you can use the Go menu connect to server (Command K) or Network (Shift-Command K) to find and mount your share. You can also use the LaCie Network Assistant to find and map volumes.
You can then move/copy files to the CloudBox as you would for any other shared network storage device using Windows Explorer or MacOS Finder. Any files you place on the CloudBox will automatically be backed up to your CloudBox online storage account on the next daily cycle.
Virtually any backup program that can write files to a network drive can also be used to back up computers to the CloudBox. In order to facilitate backup, the CloudBox ships with backup software for both MacOS and Windows.
For the MacOS, LaCie includes the fully-featured Intego Backup Manager Pro. For Windows, the software included is the free version of Genie Timeline. The free version is a de-featured version of the Genie Timeline Home and Pro versions, also available on the LaCie website.
For reference, this chart compares the bundled free version with the features of the $39.95 Home version and the $59.95 Pro version. The major important features missing in the free version include Smart Disaster recovery features, compression, and automatic purging of files to save space. Since I recently had to restore a system from a disaster recovery “image”, I certainly realize the value of disaster recovery capabilities.
Genie Timeline has a very simple, intuitive interface. When you first launch Genie Timeline, you land at a page to select the files that you want to back up shown in Figure 10. Here you have the option of choosing from preselected categories of files to back up.
Figure 10: Genie Category file selection
Alternatively, you can choose to select files and directories to back up from a Windows Explorer-like screen shown in Figure 11.
Figure 11: Genie Explorer-style selection
Next, you select a backup destination shown in Figure 12. I selected drive X:, the drive mapped to the cellison share on the CloudBox.
Figure 12: Genie backup destination selection
That’s all there is to setting up your basic backup scheme. Genie Timeline constantly monitors the folders or the smart selection items for changes and queues them for backup. By default, the backup runs once/hour, but through the Genie dashboard, Figure 13, you can force a backup to “Run Now”.
The Dashboard also lets you restore from the Timeline interface, change data backup selections, change the backup destination and configure email notifications. If you click on an unsupported feature, such as disaster recovery, the “?” following Backup Info, or Advanced settings, you are taken to a web site where you are offered the opportunity to purchase the Pro version.
Figure 13: Genie Timeline Dashboard
The restore features of the free version of Genie Timeline are fairly basic. Restoration is done from the Genie Timeline Explorer shown in Figure 14.
Figure 14: Genie Timeline Explorer
The ticks across the top of the screen, pointed out by the red arrow that I added, correspond to the last 10 backup points. During the backup process, Genie will copy small files in their entirety, and for large files, will do block level incremental backups. The block level incremental backup is ideal for files such as Outlook .PST mail files. Genie also uses Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Services to backup open files.
Genie Timeline also handles multiple versions of files as shown in Figure 15. It’s important to note that files deleted from the source are not deleted from the CloudBox. And, since the free version of Genie doesn’t automatically delete old revisions, you’ll have to do that manually (or upgrade).