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.