How to Enable Remote Employees to Securely Access On-premises Company Data in Under 1 Hour

Interest in letting employees to work from home has never been higher and will remain high even after the Covid-19 virus has run its course.  For Companies large and small  the key challenge is how to make Company data available remotely in a way that is easy for employees to use without compromising on information security.  The Enterprise File Fabric™ offers an unmatched set of features to support secure remote working.  In this post we’ll see how to set up the File Fabric in less than an hour to provide secure remote access to on-premises data, be that SMB, NAS / SAN or Microsoft DFS shares.  The best part is that data is not copied or removed anywhere, it remains in the same secure place and the File Fabric provides web scale secure access  to it .

Continue reading “How to Enable Remote Employees to Securely Access On-premises Company Data in Under 1 Hour”

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Why Mac OSX WebDav is not it for purpose

WebDav is a great ubiquitous protocol for file transfer. It’s been around a long time and is well supported. If you want to know more about WebDav please check out our white paper on the WebDav protocol.

Unfortunately WebDav for Mac OSX is not implemented well and is the reason we block the use of our own CloudDav WebDav protocol adaptor, that spans all mapped Clouds, and promote the use of the Cloud Drive within our Mac OS X App.

Continue reading “Why Mac OSX WebDav is not it for purpose”

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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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Mac Cloud Tools released !

We are really please to announce that we have released the first version of our Mac Cloud Tools.

The cloud tools encompass:

– A virtual Cloud Drive that works within Finder

– A Desktop to Cloud folder sync utility

– Cloud Files integrated into Spotlight indexing

Unlike other silo’d storage provider SMEStorage works as an abstraction layer above over 15 storage clouds and enables users to access and manage files from all the major storage vendors.

The Cloud Tools really bring the Cloud into the Mac desktop enabling users to witch storage cloud providers by simply changing directory, and editing files becomes as easy as double clicking on the file in question from within the Cloud Drive and saving when done. We’ve also integrated file actions into the Mac Finder on right click so that, amongst other things, you can easily get a URL of a file to share, or generate an email with a file link for example.

Our desktop to folder synchronisation tools makes it easy to keep files from different clouds in sync with different desktop folders. Just drop your files into the folder and the sync tool will pick up and ensure they end up on the relevant Cloud.

Lastly, we’ve integrated spotlight to work with all the Clouds mapped to a SMEStorage Account so that when Spotlight indexes the Cloud files are also searched

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Mac Cloud Drive beta 4 for Google Docs, S3, SkyDrive + other clouds released

We’ve just updated our Labs page with the beta 4 of our Mac Drive. This is a huge step forward in our goal of having a robust multi-cloud drive for the Mac OSX. We now have implemented a cache to keep Finder happy when files are first copied or dropped there, and we add them to a queue so that they are uploaded in the background. If you shut down then the files resume next time you fire up the laptop and the drive is mounted

We also catch queueing operations so we can deal with renames and deletes, and we also now support the opening of encrypted files as well as letting you get a URL for a file using Finder Service actions. You can watch the video below to get more of a feel for what the drive does.


Mac Cloud Drive Beta 4 for Google Docs, S3, SkyDrive other Clouds

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Mac Cloud Drive updated to beta 3

We’ve updated the Mac Cloud Drive to beta 3. This resolve an issue relating to Google Docs and Skydrive. When these two cloud providers are first sync’d it is not possible to know the file size. After the files are first downloaded through the SMEStorage platform the file size is discovered and available thereafter. This does not cause problems in other clients but the Mac file system has a problem with downloading what appears to be zero sized files.

We have therefore introduced a fix in this build that enable any zero length files to be downloaded within the file system when using the Virtual Drive. The Mac Drive is available for download on our Labs page.

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