How to Cloud enable on-premises (onsite) Windows CIFS File Shares

One of the predominant use cases that companies have is to enable file sync and mobile access to file share data that lives behind the corporate firewall without the need for a VPN and without reconfiguring permissions whilst using Active Directory or LDAP for authentication.

In many cases this is done for compliance or security reasons or perhaps because there has been a  large investment in internal storage that has yet to be realised.

Cloud File Server Architecture

Accessing files over CIFS/SMB network over VPN using a mobile network is possible but access can be patchy, clients apps limited and it is often extremely slow.

The Storage Made Easy enables this using its built in CIFS connector. This blog post will step through how to cloud enable Windows file shares.

Continue reading →

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Adding a WebDav Drive for access to almost any Cloud Storage on Windows 8 RT Surface Tablet

Windows RT Surface is a great tablet but the non-pro edition is pretty locked down and getting access to files from the integrated Apps can be an issue. Enter SME Personal Cloud.

Amongst other desktop tools the SME Personal Cloud comes with what we refer to as CloudDav and provides WebDav access to any of the Cloud Storage Accounts that you have mapped to your Account.

Enabling WebDav on the Windows Surface Tablet can be done simply with a batch file in the following format:

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

(or NET USE * \\webdaveu.storagemadeeasy.com@SSL\DavWWWRoot for the SME EU Server)

Once this is done you have a fully functional cloud drive on your Surface Tablet to get to all your public / private cloud files !

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Rich Client enabling HP Object Cloud Storage

SMEStorage Cloud File Server now supports HP Object Storage which is in public beta. You can sign up for HP Object Storage from HP Cloud Services here.

To add HP Object Storage to your account after sign up please take the following steps:

Navigate to your DashBoard and choose to add a new Cloud Provider and choose the HP Cloud:

Next follow the wizard to enter the correct information:

When you are authenticated, if there are existing buckets then you can choose to index them to make them available via the SME Cloud File Server and/or you can create a new bucket name:

Next your can choose to sync or index your data. All this does is find out information about your data such as filename, date, size etc.

Once done your data is available to work with through the web rich client as well as other mobile and desktop tools:

In a future blog article we will look at how you can use HP Cloud Storage to implement a full fledged multi-tenant Cloud File Server in which you can assign user permissions and governance controls to data.

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BaseCamp API integration

We recently added support for the BaseCamp cloud which is a more non-traditional type of information Cloud focused on Project or Task Management. As with Other Cloud Providers the BaseCamp Cloud is invoked by choosing to add a provider from the Cloud DashBoard after login:

Choosing this option invokes the Cloud Wizard:

Enter your authentication details and your BaseCamp company endpoint either in classic BaseCamp Classic format (https://yourcompany.basecamphq.com/) or in the newer Basecamp API format (https://basecamp.com/111122111). Which you use will be dependent on your account.

Once the required authentication details have been completed you can choose to index or sync the meta-data associated with your BaseCamp Projects and files:

Once the meta-data is indexed then the BaseCamp files appear in the consolidated files view through any desktop, mobile or web access client:

You can then easily move other assets into BaseCamp folders form other Clouds, or even work directly on documents or share files using the build in integrations with services such as Google Docs and Zoho:

Files can also be accessed directly from integrated Desktop Cloud Drives on the Mac, Windows or Linux. You can see an example of this with a Mac below (personal lifetime or business account needed):

You can also edit your BaseCamp documents directly on your iPad using iWork, or even using a standard  FTP client (personal lifetime or business account needed).

We hope you enjoy the BaseCamp integration which has been frequently requested. It works with the older BaseCamp API accounts and also the new API and we welcome any feedback.

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New version of Windows Cloud Drive and Sync Tools released

We’ve updated our Windows Cloud Tools which are available to purchase by free users or as part of the Personal Lifetime and Team Cloud File Server Plans. The tools integrate the Cloud directly in the desktop via the means of a Cloud Drive with a drive letter that you can control, and also come with sophisticated sync tooling and a Cloud Management DashBoard

These are now available to all existing users of the Cloud Tools that are under support by logging into their DashBoard  and navigating to Cloud Add In’s.

Updated include:

– Fixed a Sync Centre ordering bug that could occur on scheduled sync

– Added speed (byte rate) limits.

– Sync Center – fixed windows system function GetLastWriteTimeUtc bug that cause an issue with some timestamps.

– saves endpoint when credentials are not saved.

– Added new endpoint MyCompany.FileServerApp.com/api, to be easier for appliance users to manage their private Clouds.

– Sync Center: Now runs in background when launched by schedulers. Shows a log at the end, if there were sync errors, or if “Don’t close” was checked when scheduled.

– Retries failed HTTP requests (3 times, at 3 seconds interval).

– Skip folders that failed to create.

– Logs more info on failed folders.

– Virtual Drive performance improvement

– WIndows 64 bit IFS Virtual Drive Driver update :resolves issue for some 64 bit machines

– other Minor fixes.

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Encrypting Cloud Files on Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and iPad / iPhone

One of the issues that becomes apparent with more users choosing to work from mobile phones and tablets is the issue of security. Sometimes these devices can end up in the wrong hands and when that happens it is reasonable to take precautions about how can open and gain access to files you have stored in the Cloud.

The secondary security concern can be with Cloud the Providers themselves. Users often want to protect certain  files on the actual Cloud where they reside, and to that end they can want to use encryption independent of the Cloud Provider.

This particular use case can be solved by using the Cloud encryption service that SMEStorage provides. This features is provided to free, personal, and Cloud File Server users.

Encryption works when users upload files from SMEStorage web or desktop access Client, to any of the 35 Cloud Storage and Saas Providers that SMEStorage supports. Users connect over SSL and assign files a key phrase to file that are uploaded. This key phrase is not stored anywhere on the SME service, and files are encrypted as they stream through the SME service to the remote Cloud Provider.

When web, windows / Mac / Linux, or iOS, Android, WP7 or BlackBerry mobile clients are used to try and access an encrypted file then a password prompt will be presented and the file will be unable to be accessed until this key phrase is entered. If the files is share using a file share link then anyone who then tries to open the file will also be required to enter the key phrase before accessing the file.


SMEStorage uses AES-256 encryption using the Rijndael cipher, with Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) where the block size is 16 bytes. The cipher Rijndael consists of:

– an initial Round Key addition
– Nr-1Rounds
– a final round.

The chaining variable goes into the “input” and the message block goes into the “Cipher Key. The likelihood of recovering a file that has been encrypted using our encryption is fairly remote. The most efficient key-recovery attack for Rijndael is exhaustive key search. The expected effort of exhaustive key search depends on the length of the Cipher Key and for a 16-byte key, 2 to the power of 127 applications of Rijndael.

Any AES-256 decryption tool that supports the Rijndael cipher with 16 byte blocksizes can be used to un-encrypt files. For example the popular freeware file manager Total Commander has a free plugin to handle such decryption.

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Alfresco, OpenS3 and Office365 Clouds added to SMEStorage

We’ve added support for three new clouds to the SMEStorage Open Cloud Platform. These are:

Office365: Office 365 includes the Microsoft Office suite of desktop applications and hosted versions of Microsoft’s Server products (including Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync Server), delivered and accessed over the Internet.

Alfresco: Alfresco is a general purpose content repository with content management services.

Open S3: Support for S3 compatible Clouds in which you can specify you own endpoint, such as Eucalyptus.

All Clouds are available to free and business accounts and Clouds are accessible from Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone/iPad, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 Clients.

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