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Thursday, March 26, 2015

File Sync and Share Solution for Big Enterprises, with OpenStack Swift

OpenStack is used more and more by enterprises and service providers for the File-Sync-and-Share (EFSS) solution. A normal process is that the enterprise will start with a proof-of-concept with small number of users, figure out all the limitations and then move on to a bigger implementation such as make it ready for hundreds of thousands of employees to use in a production environment.

In OpenStack Swift, there is a small technical detail that affects scalability, which is the number-of-objects-per-container. Basically per-object upload latency will increase considerably once the number reach a certain point. From the OpenStack Swift community, the best practice is to keep number-of-objects-per-container to be just under one million.

In this article, we will lead you through the path from small POC to big all-employee deployment, with Gladinet Cloud Enterprise and OpenStack Swift, with this technical limitation in mind.

POC

In Proof-of-Concept stage, typically the users are focused on functionality. Ease of use is one of the important factor. In this stage, Gladinet Cloud Enterprise has built-in web portal management console that allows mapping of a root folder to an OpenStack Swift container. and all the users’ home directories are created inside this container. It is very easy to get started and easy for enterprises to check everything out in POC stage.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Look and Feel for 2015

Every once in a while, we will improve  the web portal user interface. This time around, we improves the icons used in the web portal. For example, the folder type icons and file type icons are increased from 24x24 to 32x32.

There are some other changes to the web portal too. Here you go, a quick video demonstrates the new web portal for the Gladinet Cloud Enterprise, the Enterprise File Sync and Share solution.

Multiple Roles for the Same User

Gladinet Cloud Enterprise is an Enterprise File Sync and Share solution. As it is used more and more in enterprise, it becomes imperative to delegate administrative tasks to different administrators or people. For example, you may want to have administrators that have read-only permissions to certain management scopes. You may also want to have some administrators take on a couple of management tasks but not all the management tasks.

In the past, we introduced Role Manager that can create roles and assign the roles to users. When it was first introduced, there was a limitation that each user can only take on one role. Now with the Multiple-Role support, each user can take on different roles. This makes it easier to manage bigger File Sync and Share deployments.

Create a Role

First create a role under Management Console\User Manager\Role Manager and select the different operational tasks for the role created.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Split Database for Better Performance

Gladinet Cloud Enterprise (GCE) is an Enterprise File Sync, Share, and Collaboration solution.  During POC (Proof of Concept) stage and early production stage, it probably doesn’t matter how the configuration information and runtime data is stored. However, as more and more users are getting onto the system. We need to start thinking about split the database for better performance and adding worker nodes for load balance.

Two Types of Traffic

GCE database is one of the most critical components of the GCE platform as it contains two distinct type of data. The first type is static which includes for example username, email, and the user’s published shared files and folders. This type of data is relatively small and can be estimated at 5000 bytes per user. Therefore, for a 2000 user implementation, the database size for this static data can be estimated at 10 MB.


The second type of data is volatile for example; file change log, audit trace, and the file list. The database size for this type of information which includes for example 100 file changes per user in a single day and each file change can be estimated at 1000 bytes for database storage is much larger. For example for a 15 day period (the default change log history) it can be estimated at 100x1000x15 = 1.5 MB per user for an upper limit estimation. For HIPPA compliancy the default change log history can be much longer. Therefore, the database size for the volatile data is much larger than the static information.

 

To use an analogy, it is like highway with lanes in two different directions, it is better to keep them separated. For performance and regulatory reasons, it is recommended splitting the database into two separate databases, one for static data and the other one for volatile data.
The secondary database for volatile data can either be MySQL or SQL database.  Before the only option to split the database was to add the connection strings in ‘web.config’ file which is typically located under C:\Program Files (x86)\Gladinet Cloud Enterprise\root.

New Setting

Now, a new setting ‘Logging DB Connection String:’ has been added under Cluster Settings\Settings which can be used to configure the secondary database which will hold volatile data.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Team Folder Ownership

Gladinet Cloud Enterprise is a file sync and share solution. When it comes to sharing, the first thing comes to mind was the built-in Team Folder feature since the very beginning of Gladinet Cloud Enterprise.

From the concept level, team folder is a lot like a traditional network share. They are both folders. They can both be assigned to users.

However, team folder is for the cloud while the network share was for the past.  In the cloud era, one of the biggest challenge is how to manage team folders for a very big organization with more than hundreds of users? Certainly you don’t want the same administrator to manage all the team folders for all the groups and teams for all the hundreds of users.

You want to delegate, you want to give ownership to team users so they can help manage the team folders. This article is about ownership of team folders.

Enable Advanced Settings

Since some large companies may want this feature and some smaller companies may not want this feature. First you can decide if you want to enable it.

It’s simply done by enabling ‘Show advanced setting in team folder publishing dialogue box’ under ‘Group policy’.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Install Gladinet Cloud Enterprise on Server 2012 R2 Core

Gladinet Cloud Enterprise is built on top of Windows Web Platform. When it comes to Windows Web Platform, the best available so far is the Windows Server 2012 R2 and the IIS Web stack that comes with the server.

Most of the time, you will just start with a Server 2012 R2 standard user interface, which is the easiest to get started. However, what if you have a Server 2012 Core to start with? This article talks about how to go from there.

The Gladinet Cloud Enterprise installation program itself is a GUI (Graphical User Interface) installer. So it requires the server-gui-shell Windows Feature.

Start with PowerShell

Let’s say we have Server 2012 core now, and all we have is a command line interface.

We are going to start with the PowerShell and use PowerShell to install the components we need.  We can use the command prompt to launch into PowerShell. At the command prompt, we just type powershell to do so.

After that, we need to install the first component server-gui-mgmt-infra. This is a dependency component of the server-gui-shell feature.

install_gui-mgmt

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Team Collaboration Notification

Collaboration is a key component of Gladinet’s Enterprise Data Sync, Share, and Collaboration solution. Comes together with collaboration, is the requirements of notification when people around you collaborates on the files and folders. You would like to see change notification or action-related notification such as someone uploaded a file or downloaded a file and so on.  This article documents the notification features in the Gladinet Cloud Enterprise.

Personal Share

Each individual user can share files and folders in his/her home drive to other users. There is a pair of  per-user setting “Send email notification when file is downloaded” and “Send email notification when file is uploaded”. This way, the user who starts a personal share can receive action-related notification when people touches the files and folders.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Turn OpenStack Swift into an Enterprise File Sync and Share Solution

OpenStack Swift is used more and more in Enterprise. This article covers one of the key use case of OpenStack Swift, by turning it into an Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) solution.

There are three aspects of the EFSS solution that makes it Enterprise ready.

(1) Active Directory Integration, and possibly cover multiple active directories or even multiple forests.

(2) Scripting Interface to provision the service to end users.

(3) Scale the solution up to support hundreds of thousands of users.

In this article, we will cover the PowerShell scripting interface to provision the service to an end user in the Active Directory. At the end, we will show a video demo which covers the process from end to end. 

Background Information

We will use the PowerShell scripting interface to connect the following e100_home OpenStack Swift container to an active directory user e100@tsys.gladinet.com

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Below is an Active Directory user e100@tsys.gladinet.com. We will provision the File Sync and Share solution to this user.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Multiple Active Directory Forests Support

Gladinet Cloud Enterprise is a private Enterprise file sync, share and collaboration solution. When it comes to enterprise solution, Active Directory support is a must-have feature.

In the past, Gladinet Cloud Enterprise supports multiple active directories from one single forest. For example, you can point to the root domain such as ACME.com and all the users from us.ACME.com, uk.ACME.com, apec.ACME.com are all available to the file sync and share solution here.

Enterprises’ active directory infrastructure can get complicated. For example, through merger and acquisition, the enterprise may have multiple active directories all co-exist at the same time, while these active directories are all independent. Now Gladinet Cloud Enterprise adds the feature to support multiple independent active directory forests.

Here is a quick How-To guide on how to enable the multiple active directory forests support.

Enable the Multiple Domain Support

Login as a cluster admin and check the option ‘Enable Multiple AD Domain Support’ option under Cluster Settings\Settings.

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