Hi, I’m James, a Senior Developer at Storage Made Easy. As a developer, I often look for ways to reduce coupling in the tools and technologies that we use, and I see this from the low level code that we write, to the higher-level architectural choices we make.
Total Commander is a popular free file manager for Android phones and tablet devices. It essentially provides an Android version of a desktop File Manager.
Total Commander can be used with Plug-In.’s and these include WebDav, FTP and sFTP plugin’s. The plugin’s add extra functionality to the Total Commander product, enabling it to connect to data using WebDav, FTP and sFTP protocols.
Storage Made Easy provide WebDav, FTP and sFTP protocol adaptors enabling any storage cloud mapped to the SME service to be accessible over these standard protocols, even if the default storage cloud does not support them.
Today we made an update on our FTP and SFTP DNS entries for our US and EU SaaS services.
Personal or Business Cloud customers who have access to SME FTP and SFTP should now use the below to access the FTP and SFTP services:
We quite often assume that when working with Cloud data it will be from the web or from mobile “on the go” devices. To be fair this can often be the majority of cases, but the Enterprise throws up all sorts of different use cases and I thought it would be useful to go over one of the more esoteric ones.
One of the customers that use the Storage Made Easy on-premise Enterprise File Share and Sync Cloud Control product is a medical company. They use the SME product as a hybrid on-premise cloud product that is able to offer storage locally and on Amazon S3. Both sets of storage use the Amazon S3 API. The SME Appliance is able to make local storage accessible over an S3 compatible API and then off-board this storage to Amazon S3 as required. This meant that the companies scripts and applications could easily work locally and with Amazon S3 with very minimal configuration changes.
Their field staff quite often find themselves in a situation where, when working remotely, their only means of access is using a terminal ie. there is no direct web access and mobile devices are blocked and cannot be turned on. In the past this meant that the consultant used to carry around CD’s / DVD’s in which information that may be required is burned off.
The consultants did however have direct access to terminals which were internet enabled. As the SME EFSS product also include a protocol gateway this mean it was possible to get direct terminal access to remote files using SFTP.
As the SME EFSS Gateway product integrated with the companies Active Directory services then terminal access was still using Single Sign On and the Active Directory credentials for each user access
User access can be obtained directly from the command line as per the example below..
Once authenticated the user can do a simple “ls” to get a file listing.
Once connected the view of the folder/files is available and can be worked with via the command line.
All access to the files are also logged and audited, including the username, the IP address and the types of interactions occurring, all part of a the HIPPA compliant process the customer implements. These reports can be exported and made available in excel to any compliance officer.
Secure access to files and data can take many forms and in the Enterprise the edge cases also need to be catered for as well as the more common access use cases.
Storage Made Easy have now made live a new SFTP protocol adaptor. SFTP is one of the two primary technologies for secure FTP networking, the other being FTPS, which Storage Made Easy already supports (along with FTP, WebDav, Secure WebDav and S3).
The primary reason we investigated implementing SFTP is due to a government POC in which access was required to secure AWSGov Cloud files from medical terminals. This was the primary requirement, but because Storage Made Easy works with almost any back-end Cloud. once added, it can be used as protocol gateway for any cloud mapped to an account, note that the Port is 2200
Below is an example of using the SFTP protocol to access a Storage Made Easy account using Transmit (a Mac App).
Once connected, all data and mapped clouds are accessible.
Access can also be done directly from the command line.
Once connected we can do an ‘ls’ to get a file listing and the view of the files is similar to our earlier UI view.
To find out more about the SME protocol gateway feature that is part of the SME solution please check out the below video.
SaaS access to FTP (for business plan users) can be achieved using the following URL’s:
Regular users of our business cloud will know that we offer a variety of protocol adaptors as entry points into the various back end private storage and cloud storage products that we support. Currently we support:
Companies can access data using any of these protocols irrespective of whether the underlying data store supports such protocols. A good example is users who want to use DropBox directly with Apple iWork for example. iWork only supports WebDav or iCloud therefore you cannot use it to directly open and save data to DropBox from an iPhone or iPad. SME enables this not only for DropBox but also for almost any other cloud.
Also any data that is accessed from a protocol adaptor is also governed using the same access controls set for any other clint access mechanism and all interactions, as always, can be fully audited and logged.
We have had requests from the medical sector and from federal government to make access available via SFTP as in many cases this is the only mechanism they may have to access data. The good news is that we are about 50% through the work required to enabled access to any Cloud Storage over SFTP (screenshot below of a user logging into the SME virtual cloud file system using SFTP).
The benefits of SFTP is that it is very secure and from the command line it has a great variety of windows tools and is installed by default on Linux and Mac. We will continue to post further updates.