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Saturday, October 15, 2016

CentreStack Azure AD Support

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution for users who want to use their own file servers and storage services.

More and more users are adopting Office 365 and Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). This video demonstrates the CentreStack Azure AD support.

CentreStack File Locking Explained

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution. It is different from other file sync and share solution in that it has client side drive mapping support, instead of having a sync folder.

When it comes to client side drive mapping, a native benefit is file locking.

Many other file sync and share solution is built on top of folder synchronization. With folder synchronization, it is not easy to do file locking, nor file permission because after the file is synchronized to local machine, the user has full control.

With drive mapping support, like CentreStack’s client applications does, it is possible to do file locking. Because the request for the file first reaches the drive , and the drive can decide what to do first before the request goes to the real file.

Here is a demonstration video.

Windows Server 2016 File Sync and Share

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution.

Windows Server 2016 has reached general availability.

Installing CentreStack on top of Windows Server 2016 turns the Windows Server 2016 into a managed file sync and share server.

Yes we are announcing that CentreStack works with Windows Server 2016.

Here is a demonstration video.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

CentreStack macOS Sierra 10.12 - Mac client

This week, CentreStack Mac client was released, supporting the latest macOS Sierra 10.12.

Check this video out.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

CentreStack File Sharing Explained

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution. File and folder sharing is one of the core competency.

In practice, there are two types of sharing functionality. One is sharing with internal users, where files and folders are more controlled by Active Directory user and user group and permission related to users and groups. This type of sharing is very similar to the traditional network share in the local area network, now is called Team Folder in CentreStack’s term. You can think of Team Folder as an extension of Network Share to the Wide Area Network – a.k.a. Cloud.

The other is sharing with external users. This is something we never saw with t he local area network share. The external share has ability to share with external email address, set expiration, set a one-time password and so on.

This video explained the two types of file sharing.

Monday, September 19, 2016

CentreStack Easy Installation and Configuration

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution. For managed service providers, time is money and the easier it is to setup CentreStack, the better.

There are a few changes in the CentreStack installation and configuration to make it easy.

First – One less question in Install

Previously, there is an installation screen asking about whether you need Enterprise Edition or Service Provider Edition. The difference is small, just single tenant against multi-tenant, with some optimization for single tenant when you can use sAMAccountName, UPN and Email to login to Active Directory and allow AD users to be created on-demand. Now service provider can also use sAMAccountName to login so that bridge the gap further so no need to ask for the question again.

Second – Only one question asked in Configuration

Now, only the cluster admin’s email and credential is asked. The storage configuration and active directory configuration is postponed to later. This gives admin immediately access to the solution.

Check out the demo video here:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Using MDM (IBM Maas360) to manage CentreStack iOS App Configuration

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution for managed service providers. After service provider installed the CentreStack solution, one of the step is to direct customers to download the white label application from Apple App Store and then configure the Access Point to point to the MSP's CentreStack installation.

With MDM (mobile device management) and remote app configuration, this step becomes easier. The MSP can use a MSP friendly MDM solution such as IBM Maas360 and deploy the application, together with the AccessPoint and UserEmail field. This greatly simplified the steps that required for the end user and immediately the app is usable without keying in the lengthy Access Point or the user email.

This is great for managed service provider to manage applications and enhances usability for end users.

Here is an early preview of the feature. It requires iOS application version 7.9 and higher. The app as of the writing is being deployed to Apple AppStore and it will take a week or two to show up.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

CentreStack Team Folder with Server Agent

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution, specialized in connecting file servers to cloud to extend the collaboration from local area network to wide area network, aka, Cloud.

Talking about file servers that managed by managed service providers, many file servers are in customer’s site, such as in their office, in their building, away from a data center.

One deployment scenario is installing a CentreStack server directly next to the file server. This is one way of doing it, which we covered in the previous blog.

This article cover the case when the CentreStack server is in the data center, and customer’s file server is in their office, away from the data center. In this case, CentreStack can leverage the included server agent software to connect remote file server to cloud and thus turn local network share into cloud facing team folders.

Here is the demo video.

Monday, September 12, 2016

CentreStack Team Folder with Active Directory

CentreStack helps managed service providers cloudify their customer’s file server. One of the common use case is that the customer are already collaborating over network shares from the file server with Active Directory identities and NTFS permissions.

One of the common use case is to add CentreStack server to the mix and expose the network shares via the CentreStack server to the cloud as team folders, while honoring the NTFS permission 100%.

This video demonstrates how to setup CentreStack server for team collaboration by turning a network share in the local area network into a team folder for the cloud.