Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Gladinet CloudAFS™ presents a new approach to cloud storage by attaching cloud storage to existing file servers and intelligently managing data transfer between the two tiers (local and cloud) to maintain LAN based access speeds to recently used data while storing all data in the cloud. This allows for a seamless integration of cloud storage to existing IT infrastructure.
CloudAFS use cases will fall into one of two categories. Either it will be used as an enhanced file server or as an alternative to Cloud Desktop for users with specific requirements.
Use Case 1: Enhanced File Server
BackgroundTraditional IT rollouts have three choices to satisfy their storage needs. They can use direct attached storage (DAS),network attached storage (NAS) or a storage area network (SAN). Each of these solutions have their own unique set of advantages and limitations. Gladinet CloudAFS introduces a fourth option, attaching cloud storage, giving 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 can be as low as $0.25/GB per year.
- 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.
- Allows IT to Shift Focus - No longer having to worry about constant server updates and other computing issues, government organizations will be free to concentrate on innovation.
Use Case 1.1: CloudAFS for Workgroup Access
The SituationYour 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 SolutionUse Gladinet CloudAFS to attach cloud storage and configure it to publish the attached storage.
- 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.
- You can seamlessly switch cloud storage providers or use multiple concurrently.
- 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.
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.
Use Case 1.2: CloudAFS for File Server Backup
The SituationYour 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 SolutionUse Gladinet CloudAFS to attach cloud storage but do not configure it to publish the attached storage.
The ResultGladinet 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.
Use Case 2: Cloud Desktop Alternative
The SituationYou are a Cloud Desktop user running unconventional applications that improperly bind to port 80. Gladinet Cloud Desktop complains that it needs access to port 80. Also, you would like your backups to run even when you are not logged in.
The SolutionUse Gladinet CloudAFS as your desktop client.
The ResultGladinet CloudAFS has advanced technology that avoids port 80 conflicts with other applications. And you can backup while being logged off from the system because all of the key processes are run as services.
It was fairly easy to understand the concept of a Cloud Desktop, with cloud services such as Google Storage, Windows Azure/Live, Amazon S3, EMC Atmos Online, AT&T Synaptics Storage, Nirvanix, Box and Mezeo all mapped through a network drive to your desktop.
It should be pretty easy to understand the concept of a Cloud Attached File Server too, with the same Google, Microsoft, Amazon, EMC. AT&T services attached to your file server as a Tier 2 storage.
Introducing CloudAFS™ …
When the Gladinet Cloud Desktop introduces cloud services to your client OS such as Windows XP/Vista/7 as a mapped drive, the Gladinet CloudAFS is a server product that enhances your file server with cloud storage services published as CIFS/NFS shares.
CloudAFS replaces the Gladinet Cloud Gateway (beta) that was launched 6 months ago (PR for Cloud Gateway). You may still consider CloudAFS as a cloud storage gateway. However, cloud gateway is only a subset of the functionalities of the CloudAFS.
In the simplest deployment scenario, you can install CloudAFS on a file server and publish the cloud storage services as CIFS/NFS net shares. You can also publish shares to Cloud Desktop instances (as in Cloud Gateway Beta). In this use case, you use CloudAFS as a gateway to the cloud.
What if you don’t want to publish cloud services directly as CIFS/NFS shares? Instead, you prefer CloudAFS to periodically backup your file server data to the cloud? This is the cloud backup use case.
In a different deployment scenario, you can use CloudAFS as a tape backup replacement. This is a variation of the cloud backup use case.
CloudAFS also has the capability of attaching multiple cloud services from Google/Microsoft/EMC/Amazon. So, in the future you will be able to configure policies and manage data across multiple service providers. This use case is for cloud data management and is one strategic focus of CloudAFS.
Cloud Desktop and the CloudAFS provide a powerful cloud solution suite for your desktops and file servers.
The news just hit the PRNewswire this morning at this link.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
First you need to have a Mezeo account and the address of the access point. The user name typically is your email address. The access point normally is in the form of https://eval.mezeo.net/v2, which you can get when you sign up for a mezeo account.
Second you will need to install Gladinet Cloud Desktop from the download page. (Support for Mezeo will be introduced in version 2.1 which will be available April, 2010)
Launch Gladinet Cloud Desktop
Click to MountUse the click-to-mount icon in your Gladinet Drive to mount Mezeo Cloud Storage.
When the mount virtual directory dialog appears, select Mezeo Personal Cloud.
Use your Mezeo Server address/credential
Use Mezeo Cloud Storage From Windows Explorer DirectlyNow you can use the Mezeo Cloud Storage as if it were a Virtual Drive or Folder. Simply drag and drop to backup local documents to the FTP storage.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Perhaps you have considered backing up your data to Google Docs, but wondered what assurance you have that your data will be secure when backed up online?
With the introduction of AES 128-bit encryption for files backed up to Google Docs, Gladinet has an answer for you: The system encrypts your files before saving them on the Google Docs servers in their encrypted form.
By default, Google Docs has the capability of converting .doc, .xls and .ppt kind of files to Google Docs format. The benefit of converting is that you could later share and collaborate on the converted documents with your team members and friends. In our use case yet, we are encrypting files before uploading to Google Docs, so we must disable the conversion feature:
Next, we have to select a Google Docs folder for encryption in the Virtual Directory Manager of the Gladinet Management Console:
After clicking on the icon to add a new encrypted folder, select the Google Docs folder (or subfolder) that will be your backup target.
The first time an encrypted folder is added, you will be prompted for a password that will be used to generate an encryption key.
Now everything that is uploaded to Google Docs and inside this encrypted folder will be encrypted. We can now select this encrypted folder, or any of its sub folders as a backup target in the backup wizard.
For example, if you want to backup all documents to Google Docs, first select the “Backup My Documents” option from the systray menu:
The following steps for the backup wizard are pretty straightforward and self explanatory.
Just make sure to select the encrypted folder as your backup target:
And this backup task to Google Docs will be protected by AES 128-bit encryption.
For more information about Gladinet products and features, please visit http://www.gladinet.com/