Object Storage Drive vs. Object Storage Explorer: The Case for Using Both

At Storage Made Easy we are best known for our Enterprise File FabricTM, but we also sell desktop only Drives and dedicatedaApplication Explorers that make using object storage systems such as S3 and compatibles, Azure Blob Storage, Google Cloud Storage and OpenStack Swift, from the Windows desktop, simple.  These desktop tools don’t need or use the File Fabric; you just install them, point them directly at your storage (on-premises or on-cloud) and they are ready for use.

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File Fabric Feature Focus – Collaborating on the move using FileBox

The File Fabric has lots of hidden cool features that are very powerful and as a part of a new series of posts on File Fabric features we are going to kick off with a feature called ‘FileBox’.

FileBox is a feature that enables files to be emailed, from any standard email client, directly into any FileBox nominated folder, or shared team folder.

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Using Google Storage Nearline for CloudSurance

Google Storage Nearline is a low-cost, highly durable storage service that allows companies to easily backup and store large amounts of data. This makes it ideal for using as an archive and, in the case of this example, for Business Continuity purposes.

Storage pricing for Cloud Storage Nearline is very low at 1 cent per GB, per month and the Google Cloud Platform Pricing Calculator can help estimate full costs.

What we are going to demonstrate is how Google Storage Nearline can be used as an archive for business continuity purposes using the Storage Made Easy service to provide CloudSurance, or Cloud Insurance of a primary data cloud.

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Setting up Google Storage Nearline as a Cloud File Server

Google Nearline which enables customers to store data that is long-lived but infrequently accessed. Nearline data has the same durability and comparable availability as Standard storage but with lower storage costs.  You can read the Google Nearline white paper for more details.

At Storage Made Easy we recently announced the support of Google Nearline and the purpose of this post is to step through how to use Google Nearline with the SME solution.

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Announcing secure file sharing for Gmail Chrome users for public and private storage clouds

For those who use the Enterprise File Share and Sync service from Storage Made Easy they will know that as part of the Windows and Mac desktop tools that are provided that there is a n email toolbar integration into Mac Mail and Microsoft Outlook that enables users to securely share file links rather than file attachments.

Mac Sharefile plugin
Mac Email Screenshot

Windows Sharefile
Windows Email Screenshot

This support for secure email link sharing has now been extended for Chrome users using Gmail using the Storage Made Easy Gmail Plugin available from the Chrome web store.

Once added this provides a new toolbar entry when composing Gmail’s on Chrome:

Gmail Sharefile

Once selected this prompts the user to log into their SME Account, if SaaS, or the user can set their custom endpoint if using the SME On-Site Enterprise File Share and Sync solution:

Gmail Secure Links

Once logged in the user is presented with their mapped clouds:

Secure Gmail

 

From here files can be shared as links can be shared from any of the mapped cloud directories:

Sharing Files links on Gmail

If a cloud governance file policy has been set by the Cloud Administrator for the team account then  the details here will be pre-populated otherwise options can be chosen prior to link generation. After this when share is clicked, the link is added to the email:

Gmail shared files

When the link is shared, if Auditing is turned on within the SME Account, then the link generation will be recorded in the Audit log and once the remote user opens the link the remote IP address will also be recorded.

Audited file shared links

 

The SME Chrome extension works with any free/personal, team, or on-premise account and works with over 45 public/private cloud storage providers.

**Note: only team and on-premise accounts provide the Audit features
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Using Midnight Commander to work with Amazon S3, OpenStack, DropBox, OneDrive and almost any other Cloud

Midnight Commander is probably the most popular command line file manager in the world, and certainly for Linux distros. Its design was initially inspired by the classic two pane interface that was found in Norton Commander which was a DOS file manager (for those who remember !).

One of the unsung features of the Midnight Commander (also available on other platforms including phones (I used to use this on my old Nokia N900) and windows and mac) is that it can connect to server over FTP.

This is interesting from a Storage Made Easy viewpoint as although SME providers a full suite of Linux tools, SME also provider protocol interoperability as part of its Cloud Gateway features. What is this I hear you ask ? Well, simply put, it enables files you have stored on public or private storage to be accessible over any of the protocols Storage Made Easy exposes ie FTP, FTPS, WebDav, S3, SFTP.

SME Protocol Gateway

Midnight Commander supports the FTP protocol which makes it easy to get direct access to any storage that is added to a SME Account using the SME FTP cloud protocol adaptor. To do this:

Choose the Left or Right option
Choose FTP link
Enter connection to SME as follows:

username:password@storagemadeeasy.com

or if you are using the SME EU Server:

username:password@eu.storagemadeeasy.com

Midnight Commander FTP

The net result is a very easy way to bring the cloud into the linux desktop integrated with tools you already know and use. This can be used with the SME Personal CLoud plan, Business Team, and on-site enterprise editions of the product.

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