Network drive for file storage

I’m so tired of being jerked around by various cloud storage services. Institutional Google Drive was unlimited storage, but now the University has capped it at 100GB (how uselessly small…). I believe the institutional Box account was also unlimited, but apparently it is now 1 TB. Which, I mean, is better than 100GB, but also the Box interface is painfully awful and IMO is not useful for anything other than “cold storage” of files, where 1 TB isn’t going to cut it. Regardless, I solved this problem for actively used shared file storage for my lab by purchasing 2TB of GoogleDrive cloud storage for $100 a year (out of my personal bank account). Still doesn’t solve the “cold storage” problem for microscopy data, which can easily run much more than a terabyte.

Well, I have an iMac at work that is hooked up to a landline, and I have plenty of external hard drives, so I’m going to try to allow one of those external hard drives be discoverable on the network, and see if that works as a way to store our microscopy data. To access this network (on a mac, at least), follow these instructions:

  1. If you’re not directly hooked up to the landline on campus, you’ll need to VPN in. This is done through FortiClient. This will require DUO authentication (so check your phone to accept).
  2. If you’re now connected to the VPN, you can now try to load that external network drive. to do this, hit Command + K while in the MacOS Finder (or go to the top menu and hit Go > Connect to Server…) and then enter the following:
    smb://[See the IP address the Matreyeklab_Overview_Googledoc]/MLab_5TB
  3. You might have to put in a username and password. This will be the standard lab username and password (refer to the Matreyeklab_Overview_Googledoc if you’ve forgotten, but you must have memorized this by now…)
  4. Voila! You should now have a Finder window for the external hard drive, which will (at the least) have a folder called “Microscopy”.
  5. Now what if you want to do things on the Terminal, since you’re a power user (perhaps aspiring power user?). In that case, load up a new Terminal instance, back out of your own account directory into one of the root directories of your computer (ie. do “cd ../..) and then go into the “Volumes” directory, and if you’ve accessed the network drive like described above, you should now be able to go into the external hard drive directory off the network (ie. do “cd MLab_5TB), and start doing what you need to do there.

Yay, problem solved. Obviously the above instructions are only for lab members. If you run into problems, LMK, and I’ll try to help troubleshoot.

Various links / references, mostly for my own use: