AARNet unleashes Cloud storage on educated masses

The Australian Academic Research Network (AARNet) has pushed its storage-as-a-service offering, CloudStor, into general availability for all members of the service provider's network, following a year-long alpha test.

The Rapidshare-like service, borne out of a collaboration project with AARNet's equivalents in Ireland and Norway, was initially limited to file uploads of 55 gigabytes each, but has since moved to limitations of more than 100 gigabytes for 100 recipients per file, at a time limit of 20 days.

"Now that CloudStor is an officially supported AARNet service, university IT departments and university research support departments are starting to [support it]," AARNet director of eResearch, Guido Aben, told .

In order to access CloudStor, users must either be a subscriber of the Australian Access Federation (AAF), a federated login service used by AARNet to distribute projects across a managed database of users, or access to a one-time upload voucher to use the service. The federation counts a total 53 subscribers among its members.

Over the life of the alpha test, Cloudstor provided storage for roughly 4500 files worth 1.5 terabytes of data from more than 700 users.

Researchers at AARNet had toyed with the amount of space required to run the service, beginning with four terabytes before moving to six. However, Aben said the 700-user alpha test only utilised a reserved partition of two terabytes.