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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.

CentreStack Tenant Storage Explained

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution. When managed service provider use it to help clients to move local storage into cloud, they need to understand how the per-tenant storage is managed.

This video demonstrates how to setup a tenant (a client or an organization) and setup tenant storage.

There are two different kinds of storage on a per-tenant basis. One is the primary storage and one is secondary storage.

So basically it is a multi-tenant system, and with each tenant can map its own root folder storage and mount additional secondary storage with the end goal of sharing folders in those storage locations out to other team users.

Friday, September 2, 2016

CentreStack Windows Client Explained

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution. There are many ways to access files and folders, such as from web browser portal, from mobile devices and from desktop clients.

Windows client is an important part of the solution.

There are two main functionalities of the CentreStack windows client, first is drive mapping, and second is folder synchronization.

Cloud drive mapping is critical for team folder business collaboration use case. It offers a drive letter to the cloud storage managed by CentreStack and offers the on-demand access to files and folders.


Folder synchronization is good for personal cloud productivity use case. The files and folders used the most by the user himself can stay local and synchronized to cloud.


The two combined to present a complete solution on a Windows Client.

Here is a video for the CentreStack Windows Client.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Cloudify Remote File Server with CentreStack

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution.  It can help a remote file server sync folders to cloud and also maintain same set of permission control with same set of Active Directory users.

This video demonstrates how to use server agent to connect remote file server to CentreStack over the Internet without using VPN (virtual private network).


The end result is business continuity as the file server content is replicated to the cloud and maintain two-way synchronization. At the same time, the folder permission is maintained with Active Directory user identity. Business users when they are in the local office, they can continue to access the local file server as it was before; and the same business user can access file server now from mobile devices, web browsers and remote PC/Mac without using a VPN.

Sometimes, this is also called hybrid cloud with local network performance and cloud productivity combined.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

CentreStack Active Directory Integration

CentreStack is a managed sync and share solution. It can be used in a multi-tenant setup to service multiple companies or multiple departments of the same company.

The companies almost always have an active directory each. There are two different ways to integrate active directory. The first one is traditional LDAP connection. The second one is via Server Agent to help connect remote active directory.

This video demonstrates how to connect Active Directory to CentreStack on a per-tenant basis. The next video in the blog will demonstrate connection Active Directory via Server Agent. (Server Agent is a small piece of software included in CentreStack that can install on remote file servers that are in the active directory).

Here is the video for Active Directory connection via LDAP.