Online Data Storage

Allstream’s Online Data Storage service provides disk space to serve as an off-site back-up location for your files. The system uses FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to transfer files between your PC and Allstream’s servers.

Using MS Windows’ built-in FTP client application

One of the easiest ways to transfer files between your PC and Allstream’s servers is to use MS Window’s built-in FTP client application.

  • Double click the My Computer icon on the desktop.
  • In the Address field, enter the following text:
  • A prompt will display requesting login information. Enter your login name and password.
  • The window will connect to your Online Data Storage account.
  • Drag and drop files from your desktop to the window to transfer files.

Using other FTP client applications

Numerous FTP client applications are available for free on the Web. Typically, the application will display two side-by-side windows – one of your PC and the remote disk space (your Online Data Storage space). FTP clients provide much more functionality than the basic MS Windows built-in client as described above. This can include the ability to observe the transfer progress, time interval and event-based automated transfers, and the ability to resume a paused transfer. Search the Web for “FTP” and choose an application that suits your requirements.

Allstream’s internal back-up schedule

Allstream performs back-ups of its own servers at regular intervals. These backups, called “snapshots” allow for a customer to restore individual files up to 30 days in the past. The snapshot schedule is as follows:

  • 4 “weekly” snapshots – with the point in time copy of the ODS server volume every Sunday at midnight.
  • 8 “nightly” snapshots – with the point in time copy of the ODS server volume every night at midnight.
  • 6 “hourly” snapshots – with the following schedule: 1:00am, 5:00am, 9:00am, 1:00pm, 5:00pm, 9:00pm.

The snapshots rotate on a fixed schedule. For example, once 4 weeks passes on the weekly schedule, the oldest snapshot is overwritten by the new one.

Additionally, the entire volume (which contains all of the previously listed snapshots) is replicated to mirror copy on a standby server in Portland, OR and to a server in Minneapolis, MN.

You can access the snapshots and restore individual files up to 30 days after originally transferring them (and assuming a snapshot event occurred). Most FTP client applications do not display the snapshot directories by default. You must first perform a “Change Directory” command and enter “.snapshot” command to display the snapshot directories.

Allstream Online Data Storage FAQ

Can ODS be used by more than one user?
Only one login name and password is provided. The service is really intended for a single user to back-up files from a single PC. However, if a user chooses to share the login and password, that’s fine, but all users must be aware that Allstream cannot be responsible for any problems that may arise with multiple users on one account (such as accidental deletion, etc).

Are login names and passwords encrypted?
No. When using FTP, login names and passwords are sent in plain text to the ODS servers. While on Allstream’s internet network, this is less of an issue because the login and passwords do not traverse the public internet, where they could, theoretically, be intercepted. Users should be cautious when using a public PC (such as at a library) or an unencrypted wireless connection – true for any internet application (especially online banking, etc). A future update of ODS will include the addition of a WebDAV application which will create a secured transmission of login names and passwords.

Are files transferred to ODS servers encrypted?
No, Allstream stores the files as they were transferred. However, a user may encrypt files prior to transfer.

Is there an upper limit to how much space can be bought?
In theory, no. Allstream cost-effectively provides hundreds of GB of disk space, however, at some point it becomes more cost-effective to look at other solutions such as collocating a dedicated server with TB disk drives. Please contact an Allstream Sales representative for assistance in determining the best solution to your storage requirements.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles