Turning a NetGear ReadyNas into a Cloud File Server with WebDav and SME

NetGear ReadyNAS is a fully featured NAS appliance for individuals and small businesses (SMB’s).

The ReadyNAS is a great way to store locally accessible content but it would be even better if you could get to that content when out of the office and on the road. Even better what if you could organise that content, assign which users can access which files remotely, set file access permissions, and more, in essence turning your ReadyNas into a private Cloud File Server.

Thankfully, the ReadyNAS supports WebDAV, or “Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning”, which is an an extension to HTTP that allows access to files remotely over HTTP or HTTPS. This enables you to map your ReadyNAS as a Private Cloud to SME This is a true Private Cloud in that your files do not need to be moved or synchronised anywhere else for this to work.

First you need to setup the ReadyNAS for WebDav. You can find a detailed guide on how to do that here.


Once this is done we can begin to add the The WebDav enabled ReadyNAS as a Mapped Private Cloud to SME.

To do this the first thing to do is setup an Account at StorageMadeEasy.com. We will be stepping through the setup of a Cloud File Server Account, but this will also work for free or personal accounts.

After creating an account (in this example a Cloud File Server Account) let’s first configure the WebDav connector to work with the ReadyNAS.

To do this navigate to ‘My DashBoard’ from the sidebar and choose to add a new WebDav Provider.


Choosing ‘Add Provider’ will take you to a screen where you can add the ReadyNAS WebDav provider details.


For the WebDav Server host enter the “IP Address (or DDNS name)/sharename” that you setup when getting your ReadyNAS for WebDav. For username and password use the same name and password that you use for accessing a share on your PC. Change the port to 443 as SSL is enabled. Enter the ReadyNAS share path that you previously entered.

Once done click ‘continue, and you will be prompted to sync the ReadyNAS file meta data from the share that you just created.

Once this is done your ReadyNAS device is available to be used as a CloudFile Server.


If you navigate to the file manager you will see the ReadyNAS files/folders from the share you created on the ReadyNAS:


As well as the ReadyNAS files we can also add other Cloud Files, from any of over 25 Cloud Storage Providers. In this case I’ll add Google Docs using the exactly same procedure as adding the WebDav provider we outlined earlier except this time I’ll choose the Google Docs Provider and step through that wizard. Once Added I’ll be able to add both sets of files in a virtual file tree:


This is now setup to be able to access files using iPhone / iPad, Android, Windows Mobile 7, BlackBerry or any of the Mac,Windows, and Linux desktop drives that SME Supports:


Now we’re ready to create some users. We can do this from our Web Dashboard:


Users login become <username>@<Cloud File Server name>. In this example we used marketing@ReadyNAS.

Once the users are setup we can add some shared Organisation Folders from the File Manager and then set some access permissions against them. These folders can be a mixture of folders that reside on the ReadyNAS or Google Docs, or indeed any other Cloud you have added.


The Cloud Admin can also enable users to be able to setup their own private Clouds with data only they have access to, for example Google Docs Apps accounts that are allocated to each user, or SkyDrive Accounts etc:


There are a myriad of file sharing options which include file links, file links with managed expiry, sharing with collaboration groups, making files public (and if required protecting them with passwords even if public). All these options are also available from mobile devices and tablets:


This is the end of the brief overview of setting up a ReadyNAS appliance to work with the SME Cloud file Server.

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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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New Cloud File Manager beta launched on SME

We’ve updated our Rich File Manager on our website to address one of it’s major criticisms which was only loading up to 10,000 items in the cache. Now it has been designed from the ground up and the cache is dynamic and loads on demand so the number files you wish to view in the browser is not a restriction.

It still has the look and feel of a real file system, except of course it aggregates Clouds and is, in essence a Cloud File System Aggregator.

It has a mode where it becomes enlarged and is a web ‘App’ in the browser so you can use it like a regular old File Manager once it’s launched.

You’ll find a beta link under the current file manager if you wish to use it.

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New Cloud DashBoard beta

My Cloud DashboardYou may have noticed a new item on your Sidebar recently called “My  DashBoard“. This is going to be the new place where consolidate all the information about your account and your settings, and when out of beta it will replace the “My Account” link.

It has the same content as the tabs contained within ‘My Account‘ but it is contained within one dynamic screen and information can be rolled up or rolled down depending on what is needed.

Cloud File Server users have an extra beta DashBoard within their Organisation SideBar called ‘Options‘.

This details all the Organisation Options that are available for managing the Cloud File Server.

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Visual Versioning added to Web Platform

We have now added support for visual versioning of files in the SMEStorage web platform to easily identify and manage files that have been edited or changed by individual and business users of the Cloud File Server.

The Cloud File Server Admin can manage whether files versioning is turned on or off, and can also choose whether versioned files are visible in desktop and mobile clients.

Visual versioning  is an enhancement we have made in the web application so that users can easily identify which files are versioned, and if they choose to, even easily promote previous versions of files.

If a file is promoted then all user comments attached to the file being replaced move to the file that is promoted so that there is consistency.

Versioning works on files above any of the numerous storage clouds that are supported by the SMEStorage platform. This means that the same files shared between organisations and stored on different storage clouds can still be tracked and versioned as if they resided on the same data service

The visual versioning feature is available now for all existing, and new, users of the SMEStorage SaaS  platform.

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