8 rising stars in cloud management

These cloud management tools let you work across multiple cloud services, giving you more flexibility to manage your files.

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Finding the Perfect Cloud Storage Service

Have you ever been frustrated trying to find the perfect cloud storage service for either work or your personal use? You might pick one, only to have a new feature on a rival service change your mind months later.

If so, you’ll be happy to know that there are a variety of mature, full-featured tools that allow you to work across multiple cloud storage services. Here’s a look at some of the most popular ones, as well as others you may not have heard about.

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Otixo

Otixo is touted as the “one app for all your clouds.” The service supports dozens of cloud storage services and lets you authorize them via OAuth. Once added, Otixo allows you to easily move files among the services via its drag-and-drop interface or search for files across all connected services. For paid users, Otixo supports the capability to access files using its WebDAV interface, while its Spaces feature makes it possible to collaborate with team members without having to move files across different cloud storage services. Otixo supports iOS, Android and Windows 8. (Cost: From $4.99/month, free trial available)

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CloudFuze

Cloudfuze works with multiple cloud storage services for easy collaboration, searching and sharing, and supports for single sign-on. Like Otixo, CloudFuze can be accessed from the Web, on Android and iOS devices, as well as on the desktop. CloudFuze stands out for its extensive support for enterprise content management systems such as SharePoint 2013, Documentum, Eucalyptus and Cloudian, among others. This comes on top of traditional public cloud storage such as Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, Dropbox, SugarSync, Amazon S3 and Egnyte. (Cost: $4.99/month, free trial available)

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Jolicloud

Jolicloud is a free cloud storage management service that you can access and manage from a single Web interface. While some users have found it tedious to manually move documents from one cloud service to another, the use of OAuth login eliminates the need to log in separately to each account after the first time. Jolicloud also makes it easy to sign up for various cloud services that offer free online storage. You can receive up to 52GB of free storage by signing up with the likes of Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, MediaFire and OneDrive. (Cost: Free)

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cloudHQ

cloudHQ is another cloud service that lets you sync multiple cloud storage services. Designed around Google Apps, cloudHQ integrates various cloud accounts from Salesforce, Dropbox and Evernote, for example, to alleviate collaboration problems. All cloud data is backed up to one searchable central location in real time. On the storage front, “sync pairs” are created to keep the files in multiple cloud accounts in lockstep, with support for Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, SugarSync and Box, among others. The basic plan gets you three sync pairs, while the more expensive premium plan offers up to 10 sync pairs. (Cost: From $9.90/month, free trial available)

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GoodSync Desktop

GoodSync has its roots as a powerful file replication app that offers block-level file synchronization between multiple locations, such as external drives and computers on the local area network. Along the way, the desktop app gained support for various Internet and cloud storage has been added in the form of FTP/SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Windows Azure. Some unique features of GoodSync that make it a perfect cloud companion tool for the desktop include true bi-directional synchronization, the ability to set up batch jobs, support for parallel threads, file verification and support for both compression and encryption. (Cost: $29.95)

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IFTTT

While not specifically created to handle cloud files, the free IFTTT is a nifty service to get things done on the Internet without any programming knowledge. Use it to create “if-else" actions called receipts, such as one to send you an email alert when a new file has been uploaded into Dropbox, or to back up all new Instagram photos onto Google Drive. The service currently works with more than 100 channels, including storage-centric ones such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and Box. Receipts can be shared, and the service makes it easy to search from a huge repository of ready-made receipts. (Cost: Free)

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Duplicati

Duplicati is an open-source, cross-platform desktop backup client designed specifically to work with cloud storage services and remote file servers. Unlike traditional sync apps, the highly capable app can perform backups of opened or locked files using the Volume Snapshot Service (VSS) under Windows or the Logical Volume Manager (LVM) under Linux. It is also available on OS X.

Duplicati also performs incremental updates and incorporates options such as the creation of filters and deletion rules, as well as rate limiting to conserve bandwidth. Duplicati supports Amazon S3, Windows Live SkyDrive, Google Drive (Google Docs), Rackspace Cloud Files, WebDAV, FTP and others. (Cost: Free)

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CloudBerry Explorer for Amazon S3

Developers or techies who are invested in Amazon’s public cloud will be interested to check out CloudBerry Explorer for Amazon S3, a desktop app that provides a powerful user interface to Amazon S3 accounts to move and manage files across S3 buckets and local storage. The app incorporates full support for such AWS features and services as server side encryption, lifecycle rules, Amazon CloudFront and bucket policies, among others. A freeware version is available, while a premium version offers encryption, compression and better performance through multithreading. (Cost: $39.99, freeware available)