Multi-tenant use of Amazon S3 and billing different departments

One of the things we’ve been dealing with recently is how companies who use our Organisation Cloud can either:

– Use one set of Amazon S3 keys but bill different users or departments on their use

– Use different sets of Amazon Keys but still present a single user interface to their users.

Lets tackle the the former first. The SMEStorage Organisation Cloud enables Organisations to have a secure online environment in which to share files and collaborate. Unlike other solutions it does not tie you into the actual storage so you can use whatever cloud you like for the platform to sit on. One of the clouds supported is Amazon S3, so the Administrator of the Organisation Cloud can associate his companies Amazon S3 account with his Organisation Cloud.

Once he has done this he can invite users to the cloud. These users get their own login and password but the same set of keys are still used (although this is transparent to the users invited to the cloud). The login and username can be assigned by department or assigned to each user that reside in the different departments.

Once this is done, each user logins in and can upload and download files via any of the tools we support. Each user, and ultimately each departments bandwidth utilisation and file storage is recorded by the platform and is available to the Administrator. He can use this information to internally bill each department for their use of the Amazon Cloud.  Easy !

For the second question, using multiple sets of Amazon keys but presenting a united interface is again pretty easy. The Administrator of the Cloud can add more than one Amazon Account via the Cloud Provider Provider management screen. These accounts can be mapped to user and folders so that any data is stored there. Again, information on storage and bandwidth utilisation is available to the administrator of the cloud and can be used for billing.

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