Automatically Archiving CIFS Windows Shares to OpenStack Swift, Amazon S3 and other object storage clouds

Following on from our last post in which we demonstrated how CIFS Windows  shares can be exposed outside of the corporate firewall this blog post will focus on how to Archive CIFS Windows shares to OpenStack Swift.

The SME Enterprise Cloud Appliance allows any primary cloud to be paired with a backup cloud for archive and business continuity purposes.

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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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Backing Up Instapaper To DropBox or Any Other Cloud Storage

When content on cloud services starts to become useful it also starts to become vulnerable ie. what happens if the service went down or you lost it ? To this end, one of the features that Storage Made Easy provides for Personal, Business, of its service is the ability to backup and/or migrate data from one Cloud Service to another.

The purpose of this post is to demonstrate how data from the InstaPaper service can be be backed up.

First ensure that the account is a personal cloud or business cloud account and choose the Cloud Migration from the right sidebar after logging into the account from the web:

Cloud Migration Assistant

Next choose the Instapaper service from the import section of the Migration Assistant:

Instapaper Backup

 

This will launch the import wizard and the first steps are to enter the Instapaper username and password for the account (note that it needs to be a premium Instapaper account).

Import Instapaper

The next step in the wizard is to select the folder where you wish the Instapaper data to be backed up (note you can also create a new folder in the selected destination). This can be within any cloud account that has been added to the SME service.

instapaper migration

Now the import can be named and started:

Instapaper Backup task

 

Once the task has started it can be monitored from the SME Cloud Tasks DashBoard:

Cloud Sync Tasks

 

Once done the content of each folder within Instapaper is backed up and accessible from the cloud location you defined earlier.

Instapaper Backed up

 

The content is simply a HTML file containing the title,description and link of the separate entries for each content folder in Instapaper.

Instapaper items backed up

 

This completes the Instapaper Backup overview.

 

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Cloud Computing Case Study: Google Docs continuous backup / sync to DropBox

We very often have businesses who want to keep files in sync between two clouds. This can be as simple as having a backup copy held between two providers in the cloud for continuous availability should one provider go down, or it could be due to a particular use case in which files need to be made available on two Clouds. In any case the request is a common enough for us to highlight it in our Cloud use cases section to show how this is easily achieved using the SME Open Cloud Platform.

We will look at providing a continuous backup / sync between Google Docs and DropBox, in which Google Docs is what we will refer to as the primary cloud, and DropBox will be the backup cloud. The first thing to note is that this option that we highlight below is only available to users who have a personal business or Cloud File Server account with us, and that it is available in our normal hosted offering as well as our appliance offering.

The guide to setup the continuous backup / sync are outlined step by step below:

1. Log into the personal business or Cloud File Server account either on the web or the appliance

2. Navigate to the “My DashBoard” link

3. Choose to add a new Backup provider and choose DropBox

4.  Authorise the DropBox account to be accessed

5. The DropBox OAuth screen will appear an you can sign into DropBox and choose to authorise access

6. The sync will now be kicked off an you will see the settings screen of the backup provider you just added.

7. If we now visit the dropbox account we can see a new folder called “My GMail files” has been created

8. If we look inside this folder we can see the files and folders  have been copied across

After the initial sync any news files that are uploaded direct to Google Docs via SME are also backed up to DropBox. Any files uploaded direct to Google Docs are uploaded to DropBox when SME discovers them either through you accessing your account if real-time update is enabled or by forcing a refresh between the SME meta-data and Google Docs. You are also able to control whether files are deleted on the backup if they are deleted on the primary from the settings page in step 6.

Although we used Google Docs to DropBox as an example this is equally applicable to any of the 35 clouds that SME supports, including private data to public clouds or vice-versa.

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Cloud Computing Use Case: Automating Website backup to Amazon S3 using Plesk

Continuing on our theme of presenting interesting use cases that we come across when dealing with customers and businesses, this one is to do with backing up data to Amazon S3 in an automated fashion using Plesk. This was the request from the company involved. The condition being that the control panel can only backup to an external server via FTP. There is no native way to back up to S3 via Plesk.

This of course is tailor made for our CloudFTP product which turns any Storage Cloud into an FTP Server even if the Storage Cloud does not support FTP. This works with any of the Clouds you add to a SME Account, and of course S3 is one of these.

To satisfy this use case, the first thing to do is ensure the relevant S3 account is added to your account. This can even be a free account. You can do this either as part of sign up or from the Cloud DashBoard.

SME Dashboard

 

 

 

Once you have added the S3 Provider You can add CloudFTP to your account from “Cloud Add On’s” available on the right sidebar after login to the website. Once this is added to your account you can access any Cloud mapped to your account over ftp (Ftp://ftp.storagemadeeasy.com) with your username and password as authentication. This works even though the underlying Cloud, in this case, S3 does not natively support the FTP protocol.

Once this is done you can then automate your website backups using Plesk and your recently created S3-FTP. First login to the Plesk Control Panel:

 

 

 

 

 

Next navigate to the correct domain:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and finally navigate to the Backup Manager:

 

 

 

 

 

from here you can select to backup to a personal FTP repository:

 

 

 

 

 

and then enter the StorageMadeEasy.com FTP settings as outlined earlier in the post:

 

 

 

 

 

The end result is your website backed up safely to S3 (or any other Cloud that we support that you can choose).

 

 

 

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Automating OpenStack Swift backup to Amazon S3

One of the interesting things you can do when you have added an OpenStack Swift Provider to an Account is to automate the backing up off data to another Cloud, something we call ‘Cloud Safe’. This means if the OpenStack Swift data is not available then you can access the data from the backup Cloud.

We’ll step through an example of how to automate the backing up of data from OpenStack Swift to Amazon S3.

First you’ll need an account that supports such a backup. For this you’ll need either a Personal Lifetime Cloud or an Organisation Cloud File Server Account, or you’ll need to be using the SMEStorage Open Cloud Platform Appliance.

Once you have mapped OpenStack to your Account you can proceed to the Cloud Dashboard to assign a backup Cloud Provider for OpenStack:

If you click on the “Add Cloud Provider” dialog you will be asked to choose whether you wish to add a primary cloud provider or a backup cloud provider:

Ensure you Select the backup provider radio button and also Amazon S3 as the cloud to be used for backup. Once you have done this you will be taken to a wizard to enter your Amazon S3 Details:

Once you have stepped through the wizard and completed adding your S3 account a sync task will be generated that will synchronise the existing data that resides on OpenStack with the Amazon S3 Cloud you just added. You can check on the status of this Cloud sync task from the Cloud Sync task link in the right sidebar after login from SMEStorage.com.

Once this task has completed your data is sync’d to S3. If you upload any new data a sync task will be created to also transfer this to S3. If you delete any data then it will be deleted from your primary cloud but the default action is not to remove it from your backup cloud, in the event you later wish to find such removed data.

This mechanism of “Cloud Safe” or Cloud-to-Cloud backup will actually work with any combination of Clouds that are mapped to your account.

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