Office 365

We’ve had a quite a few requests now for SMEStorage to offer integration with Office 365, Microsoft’s online offering for small businesses. We’re doing some analysis to see whether we can add connection to Office 365 so that users can work with data from iOS, Android, and BlackBerry (with Windows Phone coming soon), as well as, of course, Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Office 365 has built in access to files folders via integrated SharePoint capability and unfortunately the SharePoint in 365 does not seem to have any means to connect via WebDav for users.

We’ll post an update when we have more news on our work to add Office 365 integration.

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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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Update to SkyDrive Provider to support Microsoft Live Essentials / Live Sync

We’ve updated our SkyDrive Provider to support Windows Live Essentials / Windows Live Sync files. Live Sync files appear as a folder within your “My SkyDrive files” contained within the Virtual Cloud File System on the SMEStorage gateway. This means you can now access your Live Essentials files from Mac and Linux, as well as Android, iPhone/iPad and BlackBerry.

As with accessing the files directly via SkyDrive, the files in this directory are read only and can only be downloaded. Anything in your Live Sync directory is for download only ie. you cannot upload files in this directory via our Gateway.

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Zimbra Briefcase now supported as a Cloud Provider via the SME Cloud Gateway Appliance

We’ve just added support for a new Cloud Provider, Zimbra briefcase. Zimbra is a groupware collaboration tools that is now owned by VMWARE.

The Briefcase was a new feature in Zimbra 5.0 and it allows users to upload files to the Zimbra Mail Store and then have access to the files anywhere they can access the Zimbra Mail Client.

In adding the Zimbra briefcase as a supported cloud Zimbra users can now get access to their briefcase from our Windows, Mac or Linux tools in which they have a native cloud drive for files access, and also from the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry or Android mobile devices.

When signing up, you are able to enter your own Zimbra URL so that this solution should work with any hosted Zimbra server.

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Using the SME Data Access Platform with Cisco Smart Storage

Cisco Smart Storage is a high-speed network attached storage solution that is affordable for SMB’s as well as the Enterprise. Cisco Smart Storage supports WebDav which means you can easily take advantage of the SMEStorage Data Access Platform to access and manage your files.

Cisco SMart Storage supports  WebDAV which means the  the Cisco Smart Storage NAS user will be able to access shared folders from SMEStorage Data Access Clients, such as the Web, Operating Systems, and of course iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and (soon) Android clients.

To work with Cisco Smart Storage with SMEStorage you first need to enable WebDav support. This can be done from Network Services->Web Server from the Smart Storage config screens.

Next you need to setup WebDav access rights for shared folders.You can do this by choosing Network Shares->Shared Folders and click WebDav Access control in the Action column, and then setup the access rights for the folder.

Now you are ready to configure your Smart Storage to be accessed from SMEStorage. First sign up for a free account and choose the “WebDav compliant storage” package. Once you have registered, log in and you can then enter your Smart Storage WebDav details.

Once completed you can access your SmartStorage anywhere in the world via the web, use sophisticated Windows sync tools to sync files from your desktop, access your storage with rich business and collaboration functionality from your iPhone / iPad and BlackBerry, and have access to much more tools and clients that can be found on our Tools page. Additional to this you can also upgrade to a multi-cloud account to see an aggregated view of all your public and private cloud storage files. For example you could see all your Cisco Smart Storage, Google Docs, and Microsoft SkyDrive files all from one Virtual Cloud File System (VCFS).

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SME add support for Mezeo Personal Cloud Storage

We’ve just added Mezeo Personal Cloud Storage to the list of cloud providers that we support. This means you can use SMEStorage as a gateway to your Mezeo account and access your data via our Windows Cloud Desktop tools, our Linux and Mac virtual drives (currently in beta) and also through the iPhone and BlackBerry cellular devices. You can also take advantage of our iPad application which is being submitted to Apple in the next few days, and of course all our other integrations, such as Firefox, Facebook, WordPress etc.

If you are using Mezeo On-Premise and wish to be able to use our Data Access platform with Mezeo, that include  our unique collaboration and Work Portal features that are available with our Organisation Cloud offering,  then please contact us.

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