Cloud NAS#

Anchorpoint has a Cloud Drive Action that can mount various cloud storage providers (AWS, Backblaze, Wasabi or Azure Blob Storage) as a network drive. These are often cheaper and more flexible than ready-made solutions like Dropbox or Google Drive. For example, you can choose the data center where the data is stored. Data is stored in so-called buckets or containers. You can imagine this like a virtual hard drive.

Benefits#

Simplicity#

A single cloud hard drive syncs files immediately. It really feels like working onsite. Artists don’t need to download whole projects on their local computers. They work directly on the drive.

It’s flexible. There is also no cap or storage limit in the cloud.

Caching#

In the past, you may work with VPN and encountered the issue that it slows you down. That’s not the issue with a cloud drive. A remote cloud drive, which is mounted using Anchorpoint, operates with a file cache. Let’s say you copy files from your Desktop to the cloud drive. Under the hood, files are copied into a cache and then uploaded. Or when you open a file, e.g. in Blender, all linked textures are downloaded and stored in the cache. So when you open the same file the next time, the textures don’t need to be downloaded again. That gives you almost the same speed as working on your local disk.

Cloud providers#

Currently, Anchorpoint supports AWS, Wasabi, Backblaze and Azure Blob Storage. Here are instructions on how to configure them for Anchorpoint.

Wasabi#

Wasabi is based on the S3 system as well as Amazon AWS. The advantage of Wasabi is the low cost and predictable calculation. Wasabi does not charge for traffic.

Backblaze#

Backblaze offers simple cloud storage at 80% lower cost than AWS. Backblaze charges for data storage and transfer.

Azure Blob Storage#

Microsoft Azure is a competitor to Amazon AWS and offers a range of cloud solutions, including storage. Since many companies may already have access to Azure, this can be an interesting option because there is no need to evaluate a new cloud provider.

A bit about technology#

The mounting system uses an application called Rclone. Rclone is a command line application that allows you to manage files on over 40 cloud storage providers. During our tests, we found out that it works best on S3 compatible storage solutions like Amazon AWS and Backblaze B2. Rclone is open source and actively maintained with over 500 contributing developers. Of course, you can use Rclone without Anchorpoint, if you don’t need a user interface.

Frequently aseked questions#

I cannot delete empty folders when mounting a cloud drive#

Cloud storage providers like Wasabi offer features like object lock and versioning. These features can block certain operations like deleting or renaming. Turn them off and try again.

My computer crashes on mounting a drive#

We have occasionally produced problems with antivirus software in the past. Turn off your antivirus software temporarily and try again.

The cloud drive feels slow#

When you are on Windows, sometimes updating WinFSP can help. Download WinFSP and run the installer. It can also help to update the Rclone executable on Windows (it’s located in C:\Users”username”\Documents\Anchorpoint\actions\rclone) and macOS.