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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Attach Google Storage to a File Server or Desktop

As the Google I/O conference gets underway, Google Storage seems to be a major focal point. For example, according to TechCrunch, “Google will be announcing a new service that is a direct competitor with Amazon’s S3 cloud storage. Google’s service will be called Google Storage for Developers, or ‘GS’. We also hear that the service will be positioned to make it very easy for existing S3 customers to make the switch to Google Storage.” This may be true, but the service will be geared towards developers who are able to leverage it using a REST API.

This is great news for Gladinet customers, especially those who are interested in commercial IT applications. Gladinet specializes in effective integration with storage service providers through their REST APIs, so you won’t have to be a developer or hire developers to leverage Google Storage when it is released. Those who are familiar with Gladinet Cloud Desktop are undoubtedly aware of its existing ability to map Google Docs as a network drive. Combined with its ability to map services from other providers, this means that migration from Amazon S3 to Google Storage is as simple as a drag and drop.




There’s more. Gladinet CloudAFS also allows Google Storage to be attached to a File Server. Thus the combination of CloudAFS and Cloud Desktop provides IT professionals with a complete access solution for their users of Google Storage. Whether the needs involve expanding storage space, replacing tape backup systems, or supporting various local or remote access scenarios, Gladinet has the answer.


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IT professionals with storage expansion needs can use Gladinet CloudAFS to attach Google storage to existing IT infrastructure, creating a cost effective multi-tiered storage solution with low migration impact and faster backup or restore times. These benefits come from using local storage as tier one for fast access and attaching cloud storage as tier two for unlimited pay-as-you-go storage. CloudAFS also provides CIFS\NFS access to Google Storage with Active Directory integration and strong data encryption. Furthermore, the concurrent licensing model adopted by CloudAFS makes it very practical for the group access scenario.

For migration or redundancy, Gladinet products are fully integrated with many other providers including EMC Atmos Online Storage, AT&T Synaptic Storage, PEER 1 CloudOne Storage and others.

Let’s take a closer look at these solutions:

Attaching Google Storage to a File Server with CloudAFS

Attaching Google Storage gives a file server access to a limitless supply of storage with all the benefits that come from cloud computing:
  • Reduced Cost - Cloud storage is paid incrementally, saving organizations money. Traditional storage costs range from $1/GB to $5/GB. Cloud storage costs are much lower.
  • Increased Storage - Organizations can store more data than on private computer systems.
  • Highly Automated - No longer do IT personnel need to worry about keeping software up to date.
  • Flexibility - Cloud computing offers much more flexibility than past computing methods.
  • More Mobility - Employees can access information wherever they are, rather than having to remain at their desks.
Combining these benefits with the performance gains from CloudAFS tiered storage management, the introduction of credential based access controls for published shares, and the ability to provide seamless data migration with immediate availability, creates a compelling solution for the organization with restricted IT budgets. Two common reasons for attaching Google storage to a file server are to provide access to workgroup members or to replace a tape backup system.
Use CloudAFS to Publish Google Storage to a WorkGroup
The Situation
Your IT department has outgrown its onsite storage capacity. You need more storage but you don't have the resources. Whether the costs are too high for a new NAS or a bigger SAN, or you don't have the space or power, more of the same just won't do. All this talk of cloud storage is interesting and it certainly sounds cheaper, but it raises as many questions as it answers:
  • Do you really want to give a single provider control of your data?
  • What about security?
  • How can you get all your data into the cloud quickly to avoid downtime?
  • How will your users be able to access data from the cloud?
The Solution
Use Gladinet CloudAFS to attach Google storage and configure it to publish the attached storage.
The Result
  • Your storage capacity is virtually limitless and unconstrained by the physical limitations of your IT infrastructure while keeping costs to a minimum.
  • Your users can access data from the cloud as quickly as when it was all on the LAN. And they can use CIFS, NFS or Gladinet Cloud Desktop to access the files.
  • Your data is stored securely in the cloud using AES 256-bit encryption.
  • Gladinet CloudAFS manages the transfer of data between the cloud tier and local tier so that the system is live immediately after installation. There is no need to wait for large data sets to be uploaded.
This solution keeps things simple for users. They simply need to mount the CIFS/NFS network share that was published (net use) or configure Gladinet Cloud Desktop as shown below: ConfigureCAFS.jpg Once this has been done, they don't have to worry about access points, keys, settings, or complex network configuration issues like making sure that Gladinet Cloud Desktop has access to port 80 on the loopback interface. Everything is managed at the server.
CloudAFS for File Server Backup
The Situation
Your IT department has decided to leverage cloud storage for backups. You don't need to give users access to cloud storage, but you want to leverage the lower cost storage for offline backups. As with most enterprises, you recognize that less than 2% of your data is actively used. So, why maintain expensive onsite backups.
The Solution
Use Gladinet CloudAFS to attach Google Storage, but do not configure it to publish the attached storage.
The Result
Gladinet CloudAFS cloud backup capabilities negate the need for tape or other onsite backups. Users can schedule folder or file type based backups. Furthermore, scheduled backups can be simultaneously saved to multiple cloud storage providers, enhancing reliability and availability.

Provide Direct Access to Google Storage with Cloud Desktop

The Situation
Your users need to access Google Storage directly from their PC. They may also need to create backups for data on the PC and access Google Storage when off premise.
The Solution
Use Gladinet Cloud Desktop to map Google Storage as a network drive.
The Result
Users can upload or download files and folders using the familiar drag and drop paradigm. They can create scheduled backups based of specific file types or folders. They can manage and monitor their own transfers and use files stored in Google Storage as if they were sitting on their desktop. And they can do all of this whether they are in the office, at home or on the road. Visit http://www.gladinet.com/ for more information.

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