Dispersed Desktop Storage

Cleversafe has just announced the Cleversafe Desktop project, a graphical client for interacting with dispersed storage grids. DSGrid, a command line version, has available for a while now, but this is Cleversafe's first attempt to bring it to the masses.

Cleversafe's Dispersed Storage Grid breaks up a file into multiple pieces that are individually encrypted. Each piece contains some portion of the file itself, along with information about other pieces. It is this latter part that really extends the grid's usefulness. As long as a majority of the pieces are still available, the entire file can be recreated. The benefit is that you can still access your data through some drives having crashes, some servers not being available, or any other kind of disruption occurring.

While the concept has been around since the 70's, it has taken increasing advances in PC computing power and broadband to the Internet to begin to make it feasible. And now the desktop project aims to bring the technology out of the realm of the technical elite and into the hands of all of us.

One notable feature that Cleversafe Desktop supports that is not available from the command line version is called Storage Sets. A Storage Set allows you to combine different storage locations on your computer together so they appear as one set. Cleversafe Desktop also includes backup features that enable the user to run them on a set schedule, while still maintaining the flexibility to backup on demand as well.

Cleversafe Desktop is only available from its Subversion repository right now, but a project page on SourceForge is coming soon. I also expect to see distributions picking up native versions soon after. In all, Cleversafe Desktop looks like a promising program. Hopefully it will live up to its potential.