Mapping Drives with Windows Server & CloudDav

Storage Made Easy offers drive tools for Windows, Mac, and Linux. These tools require installation, and are run as a user. What if you wanted to map a drive letter without installing SME tools? Or desired to give a service a UNC path that would connect to even if a user wasn’t logged in?

Most often Windows Server administrators run services that need access to storage when users are not logged in.  Alternatively, admins may wish not to install 3rd party tools on Microsoft servers. Whatever the reason, Storage Made Easy has you covered.  CloudDav can be used as an alternative to the SME Cloud Drive.

CloudDav

CloudDav is a WebDav compatible feature in Storage Made Easy.  It is enabled on the SME SaaS platform (webdav.storagemadeeasy.com), but must be setup by the SME Admin on our Enterprise File Fabric Appliances.  For information on enabling CloudDav on an Enterprise File Fabric Appliance please contact support.

Mapping Drives with WebDav

Microsoft Windows 7 through 10 and Server 2008 through 2016 allow for the use and mapping of storage through WebDav.  On Windows Server, this must be enabled in the features/roles before trying to use.  For Desktop OSs Windows 7 to 10, proceed to the Tuning Registry step.

Installing Desktop Experience

Windows Server requires the installation of the Feature “Desktop Experience” in order to use WebDav to map UNC paths.
(Note: This feature may require access to the DVD media for Windows server.  The  X:/sources/sxs  directory is required for installation)

In Server Manager, Click Manage ->  Add Roles and Features

Select Role-based or feature-based installation

Select the Server to Install this feature on:

Do Not Select any Roles.  Click Next to continue

Find and Install the Desktop Experience Feature.  In Windows 2012 R2 this is located under the User Interfaces and Infrastructure grouping.

A secondary window may open requiring addition components to be installed.  Allow these components to install by selecting Add Features.

Installation of this feature requires a reboot.  If the server can be rebooted at this time, check the Restart checkbox.  Otherwise, complete installation, but refrain from using the feature until a reboot is preformed.

Tuning Registry

It is necessary to alter some of the default registry values for the WebClient service.  The following are the suggested values for using CloudDav to map drive letters.
(Note: The following step is not needed if you install the SME Cloud Tools as the following registry settings will be changed by SME during installation.)

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WebClient\Parameters] 
"UseBasicAuth"=dword:00000002 
"BasicAuthLevel"=dword:00000002 
"FileSizeLimitInBytes"=dword:ffffffff 
"FileAttributesLimitInBytes"=dword:01312d00 
"InternetServerTimeoutInSec"=dword:000000b4 
"ServerNotFoundCacheLifeTimeInSec"=dword:00000005 
"SendReceiveTimeoutInSec"=dword:000000b4 

The above can be pasted into a text document with the “.reg” extension such as “CloudDav.reg” .  Double clicking on the file will paste the proper values into the registry.  Alternatively these settings can be imported via CLI with the following.

reg import CloudDav.reg

After making these changes a restart of the WebClient service must be performed.  This can be done from CLI or via the Services GUI.

net stop webclient
net start webclient

Using and Mapping UNC Path

Now that WebClient is setup, applications can access the SME storage via UNC path or mapped drive.  The UNC path for WebDav Drives in Windows is the following:
\\your.webdav.fqdn@SSL\DavWWWRoot

So for Storage Made Easy SaaS service this would be:
\\webdav.storagemadeeasy.com@SSL\DavWWWRoot

My demo appliance with CloudDav setup at:
\\webdavdemo.smestorage.com@SSL\DavWWWRoot

This should now prompt for a Username and Password.  Use your SME login for authentication and check the Remember my Credentials if you desire to have this mapped by applications running under the same account.

Mapping a Drive Letter

The same UNC path can be used if mapping a drive letter is desired.

Important Notes

More information on the Microsoft Windows WebDAV can be found at:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/iis/publish/using-webdav/using-the-webdav-redirector

The maximum file size is 4,294,967,295 Bytes or approximately 4GB.   This is a limitation of the Windows WebDav Redirector.  For use with larger files use the SME Cloud Drive instead.

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Douglas Soltesz

Director Product Solutions at Storage Made Easy
Doug's focus is in Object and Cloud Storage APIs, Data Governance, Virtualization, and Containerization.

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