It's only week 2 of the year, and here's our first major release 🎆
This time last year, Canister 23.1 inherited a small but powerful feature from OffShoot: Collections. The idea was simple but perfectly formed - instead of archiving a single folder, Collections allow you to select multiple items on your source in one go. Drag, drop, Archive.
Fast forward a few months, some of you got to thinking…
What if I could drag more stuff into the Collection after the initial drop? 🤔
Not being the kind of team to call it job done and head to the beach, today we're bringing a neat improvement to Collections: Pick and Mix. Drag, drop, pick and mix items in any order, from anywhere.
Pick and Mix is available in Canister 24.1 for Mac and Windows. On a Mac, sources can be on any storage volume, but for technical reasons, Windows is currently limited to items from the same volume.
Ethernet LTO drive support
Besides being a stellar and economical archival medium, LTO does have a few downsides: noise and heat. Before the advent of Thunderbolt, LTO drives tended to live in a machine room. Far away from your ears, in cozy air-conditioned air, busy LTO drives would bother no one. But, you'd need a computer sitting next to the LTO drive. This, in turn, meant having to dedicate a computer to LTO and having to connect your storage to that machine as well. You're not the only one who kept moving their RAID in and out of the machine room because of this.
Thunderbolt made LTO much more accessible, but having a noisy unit on your desktop is not always ideal. While long optical Thunderbolt cabling is available on the market, it's often considered very expensive. UK-based LTO manufacturer Symply has solved this problem with their new 10Gb Ethernet-connected LTO drives. It allows you to place your LTO into a room that’s out of earshot, far, far away whilst having your computer and storage close to you and your desktop. Also, these drives support connecting from multiple computers without switching cables; just upgrade your office switch or router to one with 10GE SPF connectors and be on your merry archiving way.
Needless to say, we love this kind of improvement, so support for Symply's Ethernet LTO is available in Canister 24.1 for Mac and Windows 🚀
Levelling up Windows
Back in October 2023, we launched Canister for Windows, which made a lot of folks very, very happy. Today, we're bringing it almost completely in line with Canister for Mac in terms of features:
- Simultaneous Transfers - need to deliver multiple tape copies of the same archive? No problem.
- Canister's famed Preflight Checks (aka “CPC”) - yes, setting up an LTO drive is hard, so we built a simple onboarding tool that helps users get started. Along the way, we'll add support for HBAs and more drivers and vendors.
- One-Click Support - with our Contact Support form, getting help is just one click away; all required logs are collected automatically, and we'll be in touch ASAP with the next steps.
- Console Viewer - for the nerds, the power users, and, frankly, for us too; watch Canister's Event Log scroll by in real-time.
What’s in store this year… a lot 🤩
This year, we're working on several projects. First up is support for tape libraries, coming to Macs first. We've been working on solving library management for over a year now, and we've managed to do it without requiring IT degrees from users. At some point, we'll bring the same functionality to Windows, too. In parallel, we're working on Queuing; Pick & Mix allows you to update a source collection, but queuing will allow you to add transfers while others are still running.
We’re very excited to bring you all these new features, and can’t wait to share what else we’re working on. We hope to hear from you with feedback on 24.1, and stay tuned for what’s next 🙂