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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Windows Azure Storage Desktop Integration

When you hear of Windows Azure Storage, you may be thinking it is a developer’s storage. First of all, you may see it in action from Visual Studio 2010. Second, you may be hearing it together with a geeky term – Azure Blob Storage. Since you are not a developer, you dismiss it and walk on.

Now wait a second; clear your mind;  picture Windows Azure Storage as an external drive, offsite hosted by Microsoft, with drag and drop integration from Windows Explorer, would you still ignore?

After all, Windows Azure Storage is just one of the many cloud storage, such as Amazon S3, Google Storage for Developer, AT&T Synaptic Storage, Rackspace CloudFiles and so on.

As soon as the Windows Azure Storage can be integrated to your desktop, you can put it to use with familiar Windows user experience.

Scenario A – Direct Desktop Integration

It is like buying your own USB key drive and plug it into your PC or laptop, you can have a mapped network drive to Windows Azure directly from your desktop. With Gladinet Cloud Desktop, you have a network drive, a desktop sync folder and backup functionalities, all backed by Windows Azure Storage.


Scenario B – Gateway Access Through File Server

Windows Azure Storage can be mounted on a file server side. When you are at work, you can do a mapped network drive to the file server, indirectly using Windows Azure Storage. The benefit is that your colleagues and you can do shared access to the file server.

The IT admin can install Gladinet CloudAFS on the file server and mount Windows Azure Storage as tier2 storage. 

On your desktop side, you will need to do a map network drive.



In scenario A, you use Windows Azure Storage as your own personal storage from the cloud. In scenario B, you use Windows Azure Storage as your company’s extended storage supported by the cloud.

Either way, you have Windows Azure Storage integrated to your desktop.

Related Article:

Extend IT Infrastructure with Azure Storage

A Secure Network Drive for Windows Azure Blob Storage

How to Access Windows Azure Storage using CIFS

Map Drive and Backup to Windows Azure Storage in 3 Steps

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