OpenStack now supported for SME Open Cloud SaaS Platform and Cloud Appliance

We are really pleased to announce that we have added OpenStack Swift object Storage support to the SME Open Cloud Platform. Swift is a sub project of OpenStack and provides a highly scalable redundant unstructured data store. Swift is 5 separate services, object, container, account, auth and proxy. Although each of these can be scaled separately, in practice they run together.

Never heard of Swift? it’s the underlying distributable object store that supports RackSpace Cloud Files. It’s akin to Amazon’s S3 implementation but unlike implementations such as Eucalyptus, which clone S3 API’s, but are not sponsored by Amazon, openStack and Swift has RackSpace firmly onboard, and have proven scale.

As Swift is used by Rackspace Cloud Files. Swift RackSpace claim it is production-ready code that is scalable to massive levels (100-petabyte clusters and 100000 requests per second). Swift sacrifices C for A and P from a CAP theorem perspective. Although most operations happen synchronously consistency is sacrificed in failure scenarios.

From our perspective we have seen ISP’s and larger SMB users of our on-premise Cloud Gateway appliance expressing interest in SME supporting this, and we supply this as VMWARE Appliance (OR XEN, KVM) or as a dedicated hardware appliance for smaller companies who wish to embrace their own private Cloud infrastructure.

As with our S3 API endpoint support SME will overlay a more traditional file store on top of Swift layered with the business functionality we provide in our  Cloud File Server, which includes virtual drives and clients for Mac, Windows and Linux, and feature rich mobile clients for iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, as well as value added features to Swift such as Webdav and FTP support.

Setting up Swift with SME is easy. First you need to add a new Cloud Provider and then the Cloud Wizard will be invoked. The first step is to enter your OpenStack details:

When entering the endpoint URL you should be sure to include the Port. An example URL is: http://<IP Address>:11000/v1.0.

Next you will need to choose which containers you want to work with and which should be the default container for any uploads to smart folders.

Once you have done this you will be ready to start the meta-sync which pulls in and caches all the information about containers and files.

If you have any issues connecting please refer to this advanced post on using SME with OpenStack 1.60 and SWAuth.

Once complete you will be able to access/amange your OpenStack files from the SME Web clients,  as well as using a Cloud Drive on Windows, Mac or Linux, and mobile clients for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry, and  the plethora of other tools and clients that SME provides. We’v e posted some screenshots below of this.

Web File Manager

iOS OpenStack

Android OpenStack

Firefox Plug-In OpenStack

Chrome OpenStack Plug-In

Mac Cloud Drive OpenStack

The OpenStack Swift API’s also get embedded for use within our own feature rich multi-cloud API framework in which we add many business driven features.. You can find details about that on our developer page

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Linux Multi Cloud Sync Update: Sync SkyDrive, S3 Google Docs and other Clouds to the Linux desktop

Those users who use the full version of our Windows tools will be familiar with our Sync Tools in which you can Sync your desktop data with that in the clouds. We are now almost ready to release the same functionality for Linux to compliment the ongoing beta of our Linux Virtual Drive.

This functionality means thatYou can work locally with files on your Linux desktop and be secure in the knowledge that they will be sync’d back to the Cloud and available, whatever that cloud is.

For companies whose user-base is heterogeneous, from an OS standpoint, it means that the Linux user is not the poor relation, he has the same Cloud tools and functionality as his Windows counterpart.

The Linux Sync tools will work with Google Docs, Microsoft SkyDrive, Mezeo personal cloud storage, Microsoft Live Mesh, Apple MobileMe, Amazon S3, RackSpace Cloud Files, Box.net, WebDav, FTP Clouds, GMail (GDrive), Email Clouds, and also, soon DropBox.

You can expect to see the Linux Sync tools on our Labs page sometime next week.

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Linux Cloud Drive Beta 4 released

On our Labs page we have now released the Linux Cloud Drive beta 4. In this release we have:

– Added support for caching when uploading small files as they were a performance hog previously

– eradicated some bugs when using the visual Linux file manager

– Added packages for CentOS, Fedora, and OpenSUSE

– Added support for sharing the drive with other networks, such as windows, via SAMBA.

We’ll post a more in depth blog-post on the SAMBA sharing soon.

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Linux Cloud Drive Update

Beta 4 of the Linux Cloud Drive will be released soon. This will add the ability to share the Linux Cloud Drive as an SMB/CIFS resource via Samba to networks that can mounts SMB/CIFS shares such as windows.

This provides a very easy mechanism to share clouds mounted via the SMEStorage Cloud Gateway to multiple network resources. Many public storage clouds can be shared this way, such as Amazon S3, Google Docs, RackSpace CloudFiles, MobileMe, Mezeo and many more. Importantly, SMEStorage also supports WebDav Resource endpoints which give companies an easy way to share legacy resources within a cloud files system environment directly from the desktop or command line.

The Linux Cloud Drive beta 4 will be released before the end of May.

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The easiest and quickest way to access Cloud Storage on Linux

The below blog post is taken from a recent blog by Roman Gelembjuk which we liked and thought it was worth re-posting here:

I have tested a lot of tool and services to store files online. I chosen SMEStorage.com and use it now. I found most problems of online storage services is the speed of accessing the file. If you need to get some file from your cloud you must:

  • Start The browser
  • Open the site (ex. storagemadeeasy.com)
  • Login to the site
  • Open the page with the relevant files
  • Also, sometimes you must to browse folders and this is a new page/data loading for each folder

What do you do if you have to get 1 file very quick and with a poor Internet connection?

I found a simple solution that works fine with slow connections, and this is a combination of the Linux Drive from SMEStorage.com and Midnight Commander. The Linux Cloud Drive is a  tool that mounts the SMEStorage file system to the local file system (on linux). SMEStorage provides a cloud gateway in which it syncs the file meta-data from different storage clouds but all the files continue to reside on the original storage platform. The Cloud Storage Providers SMEStorage currently supports include Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud Files, Box.net, MobileME, Microsoft Live SkyDrive, Microsoft Live Mesh, GMail-as-a-Cloud, Email-as-a-Cloud, FTP-as-a-Cloud, and any WebDav enabled cloud.

It is possible to browse many different storage clouds using the SMEStorage Linux Cloud Drive with any filemanager after it is mounted. Usually, linux filemanagers (in different distributions) try to preload some files (documents, images) to create thumbnails . This is fine if the files are stored locally but not good if they are not, because of the time needed to load all the file information from the remote server .

I found an easy solution to prevent this – using Midnight Commander. This filemanager doesn’t load any files . That is why it works very fast with file systems that are not local. So now when i want to get some file very quick from my cloud I Run SMEStorage Linux Drive, mount it and the run Midnight Commander, browse the relevant folder, and get the required file. This is very fast!

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