Turbo Charge Your Company’s Google Drive Experience

Although it is one of more than fifty storage clouds supported by the SME Enterprise File Fabric, Google Drive is not just a storage service. It also provides built-in integration with Google’s Web apps for creating and editing text documents, spreadsheets, slide shows, drawings and maps.

One of our customers, a college in the United States, asked us to look at how they could leverage Google Docs’ application integrations from within Storage Made Easy. In response to this request we implemented two productivity features that allow SME users to integrate Google’s Web based editors into their workflows in novel and useful ways.

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Cloud Storage Security concerns ? Why Hybrid Cloud offers the best of both worlds

Hybrid Cloud

With the recent celebrity photo scandal fresh in the minds of companies who are either using or anticipating moving to use Cloud questions regarding security, architecture and governance are fair  ones to ask.

Without a doubt cloud computing offers advantages to companies that encompass ease of use, productivity and cost savings, however companies have concerns about if, how and where they store their sensitive data. This is where hybrid cloud can play a part.

What is Hybrid Cloud ? Hybrid Cloud essentially continues to offer businesses all the benefits associated with the public cloud whilst enabling them to continue to have choices of storing certain types of data privately.

The benefits of a hybrid cloud strategy are that it addresses the security concerns of sensitive data whilst offering a dual strategy, unlike a pure private cloud implementation.

The Storage Made Easy Enterprise File Fabric provides such a public / private hybrid cloud solution but takes it a step further in the following ways:

– The File Fabric integrates with many existing private data applications and public cloud solutions. Private data application examples are SMB, CMIS, SharePoint, FTP and NAS/SAN. Public cloud solution examples are Amazon S3, RackSpace Cloud Files, Google Storage, Azure Blog Storage, Salesforce etc. The File Fabric does not force you to work with other storage or data that comes with the solution. The File Fabric is storage agnostic and it works with what data sources exist within a company.

integrate clouds

-The File Fabric offers a control point for all corporate data wherever it is stored. As  a control points Storage Made Easy can be configured to audit log all file events which can be exported as an excel file or as Syslog events for use with Business DashBoards. It also enables encrypting of sensitive files through the gateway that reside on public cloud Apps, or the choice of keeping these files entirely private behind the firewall but still accessible. GEO location tracking and restrictions are also built into the platform as is secure file sharing across all data stores enabling a common file sharing policy to be set.

Cloud Control

– The File Fabric provides a single pane of glass into all cloud services  and integrates into corporate identity management systems such asSAML,  LDAP and Active Directory. It can function as a public and private cloud data control point and can also be set to enable users to add their own consumer cloud accounts if this is a company policy, and it can track which corporate documents are moved, or shared, into a users consumer cloud account.

single pane of glass

– More effective governance is provided as the File Fabric not only provides the flexibility and security of the hybrid cloud model, it also provides a cloud control point for existing private data and public cloud data sets.

 

 

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Guide to creating a multi-OS shared Linux Cloud Drive with SAMBA using The File Fabric

The File Fabric provides a Linux cloud drive that can be mounted on a file system and then used as a normal drive. Samba allows file and print sharing between computers running Windows and computers running Unix. Samba sets up network shares for chosen Unix directories (including all contained subdirectories). These appear to Microsoft Windows users as normal Windows folders accessible via the network.

A File Fabric Cloud Drive can be set up as a shared drive on a Linux file server allowing you to share it amongst many users on your network. This is useful if you want to share cloud resources from a single user account across many users.

Here is a step by step guide to configuring Samba and the File Fabric Linux drive. First, make sure you have installed Samba. Samba is included with most of the Linux distributions. For this we are using CentOS 5.5.

1. Make a backup of your /etc/samba/smb.conf file and then edit the smb.conf file (Make sure the workgroup is the same as the workgroup windows machines belong to.). It should have the following:

[global]
workgroup = WORKGROUP
encrypt passwords = yes
[smedrive]
comment = smedrive mount
path = /export/sme
read only = no

For further information on Samba configuration file please see http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/ch06.html

2. The File Fabric Linux drive uses the open-source Fuse code and the out-of-the-box settings do not allow sharing in this manner. Therefore we need to  create a file /etc/fuse.conf with the following one line content and after we do that the machine needs to be rebooted for it to take effect.

user_allow_other

For further information on Fuse please see http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/fuse/index.php?title=Fuse.conf

3. Create the directory where we will mount the drive:
# mkdir -p /export/sme
# chmod 1777 /export/sme

4. Add linux and samba users:
# groupadd smeuser
# useradd -m -n -ppassword -gsmeuser smeuser
# smbpasswd -a smeuser

New SMB password:
Retype new SMB password:
Added user smeuser.
#
5. In the File Fabric Client select File →Advanced and check share your drive check box. Mount the the File Fabric Linux drive make sure the mount folder is /export/sme. By default the File Fabric drive mounts with the “allow_other” option enabled.

6. Start the samba services

# service smb start

Starting SMB services:                                     [  OK  ]

Starting NMB services:                                     [  OK  ]

#

7. Test the samba services.

8. If everything has gone correctly so far you can now mount the shared drive in windows and from the Finder in Mac OSX (using ‘Connect to Server->Go’) and any platform that supports SMB protocol

For windows make sure the workgroup is the same as defined in smb.conf file and you can ping the Linux machine.

9) Open a command prompt and run the command

net use t: file://localhost/smb/::172.16.195.161:smedrive /user:smeuser password

10. Open explorer you will see the drive appear in explorer

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