How to securely and productively enable employees to work from home using existing company data with the File Fabric

Remote Working CoronavirusOne of the things the Coronavirus Covid-19 has brought sharply into focus is the topic of employee remote working.  Whether this is to limit the spread of the virus or because employees are self isolating, many companies may find themselves in a position where a significant part of their workforce is working out of the office.

The aim of this post is to outline how the File Fabric software may help companies who wish to prepare or facilitate remote working.

Firstly some background on the File Fabric.  The File Fabric is a secure multi-cloud content management data collaboration solution. It does not provide any storage rather it indexes and works with existing on-premise or on-cloud storage silos. It unites files in these disparate storage platforms to provide a single cohesive way for people to securely work and collaborate.

The File Fabric has a strong ethos and governance and compliance of the data that it indexes and makes available providing event based audit and configurable compliance policies.

There are three ways to use the File Fabric today:

1.  For small businesses from our SaaS hosted platform. This version of the File Fabric does not have all of the features of the enterprise version.

2.  Enterprise Version that is self hosted by a company and can be deployable on-premises or on-cloud.

3.  For free using our self hosted personal version.

Let’s take a looks at some of the challenges and solutions that may be faced by remote workers and how the File Fabric solves them.

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Securely working with multi-cloud data in Microsoft Teams using the File Fabric

Microsoft Teams multi-cloudThis is a follow on from our similar blog post on integrating Slack with the File Fabric.

Microsoft Teams is an alternative to Slack that has gained a lot of traction particularly in the last couple of week because of the need for employees to work from home. We have had several requests of how the File Fabric can be used within Teams and this post outlines how this can be achieved.

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Securely working with multi-cloud data in Slack using the File Fabric

Slack Multi-CloudAs more people are forced to work remotely due to Covid-19 we felt it was worth doing a blog refresh on the ways to work with the File Fabric and the chat collaboration app,  Slack.

The File Fabric has a specific integration with Slack that promotes securely sharing files, from just about any storage repository, directly from Slack. To add the File Fabric to a Slack account simply add it from the Slack marketplace.

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Non-Proprietary Storage Workflows for Media Asset Management

Today’s Media and Entertainment workflows can depend on multiple storage types and their associated protocols.  Assets might be delivered via an AWS S3 bucket, Dropbox share, Azure Blob container, proprietary file acceleration vendor, FTP, SFTP, or a host of other new technologies.  Once delivered an asset needs to navigate Hot, Nearline, and Archival storages while being edited, conformed, transcoded, shared, distributed and broadcasted.

While some software vendors have updates allowing access to some of the cloud based storage protocols, other applications remain stuck exclusively on only internal NFS or CIFS access.  When this happens many workflows are downgraded to the lowest common denominator (CIFS/NFS) preventing the use of more cost effective, durable or highly available scale-out storage systems.  Alternatively, a CIFS/NFS gateway might be considered to “convert” protocols.  However, almost all gateways proprietize data and compromise the cost savings of scale-out storage.

The Enterprise File Fabric speaks multiple protocols/APIs, indexes data in-place and can eliminate workflow headaches without proprietizing the data.

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How to Optimize S3 and S3 Compatible Object Storage Solutions for End User Access with Hundreds of Millions of Files

Amazon S3 hierarchies performanceThe Enterprise File Fabric is often used with Object Storage solutions, particularly Amazon S3 but also S3 compatible object solutions that may be deployed on-premises.

More and more unstructured data stored on S3 object systems is not always just a backup or archive and there is increasingly a requirement to provide real-time access to unstructured data to end users.
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Using Rclone with the SME S3 Drive for Perfect Data Migrations

Amazon S3 DriveHere at Storage Made Easy we can quite often get involved in helping a customer clone, or move, their data from one storage provider to another. This is often a one time operation, and we have a number of in-house apps and scripts that we are able to use but today I’d like to discuss a third party free solution called  Rclone.

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Using Ansible with On-premises S3 Object Storage

At Storage Made Easy we work/partner with many Object Storage vendors.

When a project required data automation and the use of an on-premises object storage buckets, I turned to Ansible and our storage partners.  However, I found that the aws_s3 module for Ansible wasn’t as friendly and well documented when working with S3 object storage that isn’t either AWS or Ceph.

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