Maintaining huge amounts of data

I have around 50 external hard drives, 20 internal ones (form old PCs since 1994 and until today), floppy disks, CDs, DVDs and thumb drives. After purchasing the best NAS I could find – Synology Diskstation 2415+

I started looking for NAS (Red) hard drives to fill it up. I purchased 12 x 6TB ones but recently began replacing them with 10TB each (having the potential storage size of 120TB !

NAS - snapshot

Synology offers Hybrid RAID, which allows the safety of having the data backed up in several places in case of a failure. The “price” for that is 1/3 of the storage space which is used to provide the necessary tolerance to faults and loss of data. Each drive of the 12 is part of a group of 3 (“Volume”) and you can take out and throw away one drive of the three, and yet the data will be preserved.

That doesn’t come instead of backing up the entire data, which wasn’t an easy task due to the huge amount of data to back up. Typical Cloud services allow up to 1TB (for example: Dropbox). More professional services such as Amazon allows unlimited data to be backed up for a quite expensive monthly cost per each MB.

Speaking of Dropbox, one of the advantages of using a NAS is that it can entirely replace services such as Dropbox, Google Docs, etc. You have your own cloud. You can give access to specific documents or folders, run your in-house Chat service (instead of using WhatsApp), host web sites, create your own Emailing system, FTP, etc.

Costs:

NAS                                                       $1,313.71

12 x 10TB Drives                                  $4,775.88

Total (before Tax)                               $6,089.59

You can then organize your files based on subjects, themes, types and dates.

For example, organizing all photos (or videos) by year and then by month.

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Since Synology gives you the ability to create your own Cloud and avoid using external Cloud services, it is quite easy to back up all photos from your cellphone automatically. You can of course insert external USB drives and purge their data to the NAS.

I travel a lot and since my wife is a photographer, there are many camera files to back up. I carry a 4TB external drives when I travel and first backup the memory cards to the drive. Then, I upload the contents of the drive to my NAS remotely from anywhere.

Add to that tools to keep your PCs backed up, access the NAS from an iPhone and so on.

Finding data is also an important consideration. Synology provides a quite fast mechanism for finding files, including from the iPhone App. Searching for files based on a criteria can take hours, especially in my case where I have millions of files. For example, an open query for all .doc files (Word) can take 1 hour to run (found already  310,000 files and still searching…).

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One of the advantages of Synology NAS is the ability to remotely connect to surveillance cameras, but in addition there are many possible add-on’s to use.

For example, the Video Station scans all videos stored and provide easy access from a Smart TV. Please note that there are many issues with Samsung Start TV which we own. This TV is very impressing with the curve style but has many connectivity issues. Our Surface Pro‘s can’t be projected to the TV. Other streamers such as Roku have similar issues, some of which have been resolved since. In many cases we had problems with service providers such as Netflix, HBO, CBS, NBC, etc. and in most cases they were specific to our Samsung… However when it comes to projecting videos form the NAS to our TV, that works excellent.

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As for protecting your NAS from outside hacking, here are some guidelines:

  • Use SSL (I purchased an SSL certificate for my NAS)
  • Use Two Factor Authentication – its impossible to log in (even if the password is known) without operating an hardware device which generate a one-time code. Banks use it (in the US) and it can be applied to other accounts such as NAS, Gmail, Facebook, etc.
  • Other security measures such as an internal Firewall running on the NAS (which has its own OS), blocking certain ports and protocols, etc.
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Flawless Integration with PayPal

We have recently added a unique feature to Wizdome: payment processing embedded in your program using just few lines of source code.

Wizdome has a built-in payment processing engine which allows you to accept payments from any credit card holder (regardless of being a PayPal customer) and pay for unlocking your software or for specific features. As part of Datattoo Recovery, one of our other products, the customer can pay per each MB of successfully restored data.

To process payments you need to choose 2 routes:

  1. Apply as a PayPal developers and obtain your own PayPal credentials
  2. Use Wizdome credentials and receive all payments from Secured Globe, Inc.

Technically, the SG_PayPal API is used as described below. Following, your program can continue as before, while Wizdome will continue monitor the status of each payment initiated and in the event of a successful payment to a Pending Transaction, the credit (“max” value) of the associated Restriction, will be updated accordingly, so if your program checks the allowed maximum value per each per-defined Restriction, the value will become higher and your software can give additional access flawlessly.

Void InitPayPal(BOOL Sandbox, LPTSTR User, LPTSTR password, LPTSTR signature, LPTSTR successUrl, LPTSTR failedURL)

Sandbox – indicates whether you are testing your integration using PayPal's Sandbox account, or going live.

User – your PayPal user name

Password – your PayPal password

Signature – you PayPal signature

successUrl – a url leading to a web page which you wish to be shown after successful payment.

failedURL – a url leading to a web page which you wish to be shown after failed / cancalled payment.

Initiating a payment

When you wish to initiate a payment, you call

BOOL InitiatePaypalPayment(int nUnits, int PricePerUnit, LPWSTR UnitName, LPWSTR RestrictionName)

nUnits (integer) - number of unique needed to be purchased

PricePerUnit (integer) - cost per each unit (in default currency).

UnitName (string) - the name of the unit to be purchased

RestrictionName (string) - optional - the name of any restriction tied to this transaction

For example: if you would like a data recovery software to allow recovery of 15 MB for the price of $15, and provided that a Restriction named “MB_RESTRICTION” was defined, you call this function using the following parameters:

InitiatePaypalPayment(15,1,L”MB”,L”MB_RESTRICTION”);

Currency

By default the currency used for transactions is USD, however that can be changed.

Tying a transaction to a Restriction

Wizdome allows you to tie a transaction (payment) to a Restriction. When you do so, the user will be able to lift or change a Restriction by making a payment and without having to switch versions, restart your program or restart any work done by your end-users.

 

 

Obfuscation and Protection

Secured Globe

This article is about obfuscation and protection against hacking.

Copy protection can’t be complete without some sort of obfuscation. The Wikipedia definition of Obfuscation is:

Obfuscation is the willful obscuring of the intended meaning of communication, usually by making the message confusing, ambiguous, or difficult to understand. The obfuscation might be unintentional or intentional (although intent usually is connoted), and is accomplished with circumlocution (talking around the subject), the use of jargon (technical language of a profession), and the use of an argot (ingroup language) of little communicative value to outsiders”

When applying this to software copy protection, our goal is to prevent a hacker from using reverse engineering methods, or more simple, hacking a protected application (which can even be examining the strings and other resources within the application).

Preventing that is done in several layers:

Source code obfuscation – if various elements…

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By Michael Haephrati מיכאל האפרתי Posted in Uncategorized