Publish Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) as Cloud Storage using the SME Enterprise Sync and Share Fabric – Part 1

This blog post will highlight how a company can leverage their existing Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) infrastructure as a part of their cloud strategy. Companies will be able to treat DFS shares as cloud storage and automatically create cloud DFS shares for users based on their DFS home directory.

Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) is a technology that allows multiple servers to host a single file share, providing fault tolerance and performance enhancement for multi-site Active Directory topologies.

Microsoft introduced DFS as an add-on to Windows NT 4.0, and DFS has been included in all versions of Windows since Windows 2000. DFS consists of a server component, included in all versions of Windows Server, and a client component, included in all versions of Windows. It works with the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol (sometimes referred to as Windows networking). The SMB protocol is also more commonly known as the Common Internet File System (CIFS). Continue reading →

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Cloud Computing Use Case: Extending Remote Desktop with a Cloud Drive

Many service providers and companies offer Remote Desktop Services to enable companies to access their desktop remotely. Applications are installed for the users where user settings and data are saved to their profile.

We’ve had a few requests from companies and service providers now who wanted users to easily be able to access data on remote clouds (such as Azure, DropBox, Box, FTP, WebDav, Sharepoint Amazon S3 etc) from a remote desktop.

With Storage Made Easy, this is easily done as SME presents a WebDav entry point to all clouds that SME supports whether they support WebDav or not. This means the service provider needs only co-locate the SME software appliance (supplied as an OVF compliant file) in their network and add a simple script to the users startup. The script it:

NET USE * \\webdav.storagemadeeasy.com@SSL\DavWWWRoot
pause

This enables user to get a mapped drive to remote cloud storage as soon as they login to their remote desktop and to browse and access these files like any other data drive and is a simple solution for bringing remote clouds directly into a users remote desktop using a simple metaphor they understand, “a drive”.

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Native SkyDrive provider

Microsoft rolled out their changes to SkyDrive overnight which means that our native SkyDrive provider is currently in-operable. We are checking to see if it is possible to re-activate this with the new version of SkyDrive. Users can still use the native SkyDrive API provider. For an overview of the differences between the two please see our earlier blog post.

Update: This is now resolved and the native provider functions as normal

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SME adds support for Windows Azure Blob Storage

It may be 2011 but there is no rest for the wicked, as they say ! We’ve been hard at work over the holiday period adding support for Windows Azure Blob Storage. This is now implemented and you can sign up for free from the site.

As well as working with the SMEStorage web interface, you can also access Windows Azure Blob Storage from our free Windows Dashboard client, Windows Tools (which also include virtual drive and desktop sync) Mac Virtual Drive, Linux tools, and of course our mobile clients which encompass iPad, iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry.

Key features are:

– Map Network drives from any desktop OS to Azure Blob Storage

– Use the SMEStorage Lifetime Cloud package to connect to as many Windows Azure Blob Accounts you require.

– Create, browse or delete files and folders directly from the web or the desktop

– Manage your containers and blobs from the web or the windows desktop tools

– Create / Delete Rename blob containers

– Complete access from Mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry)

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SME Android Application updated to 1.6 and adds support for Samsung Galaxy Tab and other Linux Tablets

We’ve now released the update to the Android SMEStorage application which adds support for the Samsung Galaxy Tab and other Linux Tablets. Other updates to the Application include:

– Now supports in-app registration

– Added support for large file downloads

– Enhanced sync and added support for background sync on login

– Added a simplified view option

– Changed folder navigation to make it easier for those without trackpads or thumbwheels (now double click supported)

– Adds support for DropBox and Google Storage Clouds

– Updated Notes to support categories

You can find out more about the App and it’s features on our wiki here.

User who already purchase this through SMEStorage can update their App bu logging in from the website and going to “My Cloud add-in’s”. Other users can update from the Android marketplace.

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Further news on iSMEStorage 2.0 for iPhone and iPad

We’ve just released the new version of iSMEStorage to the App Store. We put so much effort into it that is has become a major release version rather than the 1.67 version we had previously intended.

The release includes the following features:

Enhanced Security: The App can now be assigned a PIN over and above the normal login (for security of local files)

Better local file sharing: Added ability to email local files as file attachments

Sync from any Cloud: It is now possible to sync any cloud directory (from any of the clouds we support) to your phone. You can do this with as many directories as you wish and can set the sync directory from within the App.

The first App to offer cut and paste between clouds: We’ve added cut and paste of files between cloud directories and even between different storage clouds used the concept of File and Folder Actions! You can also now use the Cloud Clipboard to store multiple files that you wish to cut and paste in this manner.

Fully fledged FTP Server: You can now turn iSMEStorage into an FTP Server and batch upload as many files locally as you wish.

Fully Fledged Local File Manager: We’ve beefed up the local file operations so you can now cut and paste files between directories locally and also added the ability to create and use folders as categories for the Memos and Voice Memos sections of the App.

Enhanced Text Editor: We’ve beefed up the text editor so it is now full screen and has a word search as many of you requested. We also added the ability to edit any local text file as you wanted and enabled .html .css .xml and any other type of text format file to be edited.

Google Maps integration: The GEO location of where a file was uploaded and where a file is stored is now integrated with a Google Maps view.

Enhanced Cloud Support: Added support for DropBox, Zimbra Briefcase and Files Anywhere (Web Advanced Plan required)

Email to Cloud Support: Added FileBox menu option so that you can easily get to file attachments that you have mailed to your Cloud

Mark Folders as Favourites: Added support for marking folders as favourites from directly within the App.

Web Viewer fixed: Amended Web Viewer so that state is kept when browsing in menu.

Organisation Ready: Added icon for Organisation Folders and Organisation Support for our business users



Apple normally approves within a week so we are hoping that the App will be released around the 20/21st October unless we have to do any amendments as required by Apple.

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