Integrate Microsoft’s Cloud (SkyDrive) into Windows Explorer

The buzz word over the last two years has been cloud computing.  Microsoft gives you 25 gb in the cloud with SkyDrive and allows you to store and share files, music, pictures and more with friend or family.    If you want to access your SkyDrive, you normally would go out onto the net and sign in where you can drag and drop files you would like to share.  Now with SDExplorer, you can easily install a client program that offers an easy way to integrate this free cloud into your Windows computer.

SDExplorer Free allows you to attach to your drive so that it shows up on your local computer as a folder or drive.

  • Secure Connection
  • Browse files and folders
  • Create folders
  • Copy files and folders to and from SkyDrive
  • Delete files and folders
  • Rename files and folders
  • Create links to your folders
  • Drag and Drop support
  • Copy to clipboard (Copy and Paste)

The Professional version which is priced fair at just under $14.00 offers many more features.

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CloudShare gives users hands-on experience for free

Dawn Babian is truly one of the best researchers in IT.   On Sunday, she found CloudShare while we were considering training with cloud computing.   As cloud computing grows, CloudShare Pro offers an excellent self-service cloud platform that allows users and businesses to run full enterprise applications on demand.   With CloudShare, individuals, SMBs and enterprises can create virtual data centers where they can develop applications, use the operating systems for proofs of concept or even train with the live operating systems.

With benefits that include -

  • Up to Three Virtual Machines that are fully licensed.  Many of the NOSs come with preinstalled applications.
  • Operating systems and applications include-
    • Windows Server 2003 R2 R2 Enterprise
    • Windows Server 2003 R2 with Oracle 11g
    • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 64 Bit
    • Windows Server 2008 with Active Directory
    • Microsoft Workstation OSs
    • CentOS 5 and CentOS 5 with KDE or with MySQL or even RubyOnRails
    • Xubuntu 8.xx Desktop
  • File Sharing that is as easy as “Drag and Drop”
  • Ability to send invitations to peers or customers
  • Ability to create a Multi-VM networked environment

How much does it cost?  Free

These basic services are fully-licensed, fast, easy to operate and setup along with many other benefits to anyone.

For a more robust computer with more functionality, CloudShare offers CloudeShare ProPlus for only $49 month and has other services for Enterprise businesses.

Plans

During the initial registration, a simple form is provided and an email link is sent to your email.  During the verification process, you will put in your  number to have a text sent to you.  Once you receive this SMS (text message) verification code, you can begin to create a new environment. 

With a wide selection of operating systems including workstations and network operating systems with applications, you simply select the type of virtual machine you want and provide a Machine Name and Description for your machine.

Once you fill out this information and select to add the machine, CloudeShare only requires you click Finish and Run.

Once your are inside of your home page, you can start the Virtual Machine and begin working with the Environment you created.

When starting your environment, there will be a small delay during the creation process.  Your browser will require a small plugin that installs flawlessly on Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer 9 prior to viewing your cloud operating system.

Once the operating system started I was truly expecting a delay and was surprised to see how smooth and responsive CloudShare performed.   CloudShare appeared to be almost as fast as an installed virtual computer.

CloudShare is an excellent way to learn cloud computing and a better way to collaborate and share information with students, staff, customers or your own business IT personnel.  CloudShare truly deserves a kudos on their technical expertise in the ease of setup.    Their website is concise and easy to understand with information on all of their services.  The performance of their virtual operating system was truly amazing considering the smaller size of allocated resources on the CloudPro product (1024 mb and 20 GB Hard drive -varies based on OS).   Using and setting up the virtual machine and the many features included with this service is simple.  Because of their well designed website and vast amount of information from guided tours, whitepapers and other info; CloudShare makes it easy for anyone new to cloud computing.

After we appeared in ComputerWorld magazine (“IT Embraces a New Leaner Lifestyle“) in September, we have educated our classes on how IT can be pushed to do more than ever and how the ROI on infrastructure investments will play a key part in the global economy today.   Cloud Computing can save money in the long run and allow your company to expand dynamically instantly.

Campus Technology Magazine’s 5 Higher Ed Tech Trends To Watch in 2011 says Cloud Computing is No. 1

Update – After installing another two computers Windows Server 2008 and Xbuntu, the true power and flexibility of CloudShare can be seen.

All computers running and very responsive.  Check out CloudShare

Look for our future article on Cloud Computing Security.