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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Google Storage, Where is the Attack Point?

Yesterday we saw the announcement of Google Storage for Developer from the Google I/O event. A closer look at the Google Storage API revealed that it is similar to Amazon S3’s API. This means direct competition between Google Storage and Amazon S3.

Year 2010 is already interesting for the Cloud Storage wars. S3 is still enjoying a commanding lead. Windows Azure came full release. EMC Atmos came full release too at the EMC World earlier this month. Now seven days later the Google Storage came.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

First Look at the Google Storage for Developers

 So what exactly is the Google Storage for Developers (GSD)? We have been waiting to see since the news hit TechCrunch yesterday about the launch at the Google I/O 2010 event today.

From an S3 developer’s perspective, it looks almost exactly like S3’s RESTful API, with several twists. From a Google Data API developer’s perspective, it looks different from the existing Google Docs APIs.

Here is a quote from the Google Storage for Developers site:
Interoperability
Google Storage is interoperable with a large number of cloud storage tools and libraries that work with services such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Eucalyptus Systems, Inc. To use these tools and libraries, all you have to do is change the request endpoint (URI) that the tool or library uses so it points to the Google Storage URI, and configure the tool or library to use your Google Storage developer keys.

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.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Manage Azure Web Pages From Your Desktop

You can store your web pages in Windows Azure Blob storage. After that, you can map a DNS CNAME record to your Azure Blob storage endpoint URL so your web pages become available in a web browser. It is a good way to construct a web site without the fixed hosting cost. It is also a good way to service important documents through the Azure CDN(Content Delivery Network). This tutorial describes an easy way to manage your Azure web pages directly from your Windows Explorer.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Journey to the EMC Atmos Cloud

 The EMC World 2010 is over. One of the key take away is the vision of “Hundreds of Public Clouds” and “The Journey to the Private Cloud”.

For Small and Medium businesses (SMBs), having hundreds of public clouds to pick from is a very good news. Businesses can continue to drive the infrastructure cost down by leveraging the clouds and focusing on the key competency of the business. As shown below, AT&T Synaptic Storage is one of the biggest public cloud built on EMC Atmos technology. Anyone can sign up for an account and start using it immediately.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cloud Storage Land Grab: S3, EMC Atmos or Windows Azure

 Cloud storage wasn’t well known until Amazon popularized it with S3. S3 is still ahead of competition, while competitors like EMC Atmos and Windows Azure are quickly closing in. Windows Azure went from beta to release in February this year. EMC makes major marketing push for the Atmos offering at the EMC World this week. They are all competing for the cloud storage king position.

S3 may be busy defending while EMC Atmos and Windows Azure are playing offense. What kind of offensive marketing strategy have we seen? As marketing guru will predict: Find a weakness in the leader’s strength and attack at the point.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gladinet’s Access Solutions for AT&T Synaptic Storage

As a CTO or an IT admin thinking about AT&T Synaptic Storage, you may be looking for an access solution that delivers AT&T Synaptic Cloud Storage to your user’s desktops and your organization’s file servers. Thinking access? Try Gladinet …

CloudAFS™ and Cloud Desktop complement each other to provide IT professionals with a complete access solution for their AT&T Synaptic users. Whether the needs involve expanding storage space, replacing tape backup systems, or supporting various local or remote access scenarios, Gladinet has the answer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Complete Access Solution for EMC Atmos Cloud Storage

It is the first day of EMC World 2010 and the cloud is being discussed everywhere. How is the cloud best leveraged? How can EMC Atmos Cloud Storage be easily accessed from a user’s desktop?  If you are the CTO or an IT admin thinking about EMC Atmos Cloud Storage, you may be looking for an access solution that delivers EMC Atmos Cloud Storage to your user’s desktops and your organization’s file servers. Thinking access? Try Gladinet …

The combination of CloudAFS and Cloud Desktop provides IT professionals with a complete access solution for their EMC Atmos users. Whether the needs involve expanding storage space, replacing tape backup systems, or supporting various local or remote access scenarios, Gladinet has the answer.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

CloudAFS in the Cloud Gateway Mode

Since we launched Gladinet Cloud Gateway beta last October (2009), thousands of users have downloaded and registered for the beta license while more than ten thousands downloaded the Gladinet Cloud Desktop. Based on user feedback, we have since released the CloudAFS as a sequel to the Cloud Gateway, with CIFS/NFS support, with Active Directory integration and with Cloud Backup functionalities to a file server. The functionality has exceeded what a cloud storage gateway is so the product name thus becomes CloudAFS – Cloud Attached File Server.

However, Cloud Gateway is still an important part of the CloudAFS. This tutorial covers how to configure CloudAFS as a Cloud Gateway for the Gladinet Cloud Desktop clients.

Access Nirvanix SDN via CIFS net share

There are two ways to access Nirvanix SDN using Gladinet Software. As illustrated below, you can either use the Gladinet Cloud Desktop to map a drive to your Nirvanix account directly or you can install CloudAFS with mounted Nirvanix account and access Nirvanix SDN as if it was a part of your existing file server with expanded cloud storage.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Access Google Storage (GDrive) using CIFS

Late last year, Google cut its storage pricing for its Picasa and Gmail applications, offering 200GB of storage for $50 per year (25c/GB/year). The pricing was fantastic for online storage. The downside is that it was limited to Picasa and Gmail.
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How to Access Windows Azure Storage using CIFS

 

Windows Azure as a cloud service platform has gone commercial since January this year. Azure Storage is one of the key offering, providing pay-as-you-go cloud storage for your organization.

Thinking about how to best leverage the Azure offering for your company? Being faced with the challenge of providing access to Azure Storage for a group of Active Directory users? Or perhaps your existing file server needs to be upgraded or replaced. In either case, attaching Azure Blob Storage to your file server and publishing it to your user groups can address these issues.

Gladinet CloudAFS (Cloud Attached File Server) allows you to do just that. It also gives users the ability to access the attached, published cloud storage using CIFS. Here’s how:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Deliver Cloud Storage To Your File Server

Cloud Storage Services

2010 could be the year of cloud storage and cloud services. Consider the recent developments: Amazon’s expansion of the Asia Pacific Region (along with the US and EU regions) for S3; Google’s addition of support for any file type in January; the official release of Windows Azure Storage in February; the strengthening of the strategic partnership between EMC Atmos Online and AT&T Synaptic Storage; the important new partnership between Nirvanix and Commvault; and Mezeo has signed up several new hosting partners.

Clearly, there’s lots of cloud buzz. As shown in the following Google Trend graph about "cloud storage", Cloud Storage search volume tripled in less than a year.

Fig 1: Google Trend of Cloud Storage

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Desktop Access To the Cloud

A common theme of cloud storage services is that they all provide some API (Application Programming Interface) over HTTP. For Cloud Storage to be as popular today as FTP for the past decade, it needs to have native desktop access to remote storage. Nobody wants to code a Ruby script or a .NET application just to get some simple transfer done using the API.

For consumers, this means that a mapped network drive to cloud storage is perfect. However, SMBs may prefer to have cloud storage attached to their existing IT infrastructure, such as file servers. These SMB users can use native CIFS/NFS connectivity to connect to the cloud through the file server. Attaching cloud storage to the file server makes it easy for SMBs to leverage cloud storage and to extend current infrastructure. Is your file server cloud ready?

Attach Cloud Storage to the File Server

The idea of attaching storage volumes to a file server while exposing it as disks to the OS is not new. This is what Windows Server 2003 or 2008 does when you use it as a file server. Attaching cloud storage to Windows 2003/2008 Servers is transparent to the users, adds cloud storage capacity, and you can backup the file server to the cloud.

From Ubiquitous Client To CloudAFS

Gladinet's effort is to combine different cloud storage services and bind them to the Windows OS. In the case of Cloud Desktop, the end result is a ubiquitous client that turns Windows Explorer into a Storage Portal. . All the supported cloud storage services are mountable within a single virtual network drive with a locally accessible drive letter.

As a natural extension, the cloud network drive can be moved to the server side and attached to the file server. Cloud Attached File Server => CloudAFS! Now your file server is cloud ready and your organization can leverage cloud storage immediately, without any disruption of workflow or interruption in service.

Fig 2: Accessing Cloud Storage via a network drive

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Fig.3 Accessing Cloud Storage via a file server

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Conclusion

For SMBs that are looking for a quick way to leverage cloud storage and to enhance the existing storage infrastructure in the company, attaching Cloud Storage to a file server and publishing CIFS/NFS shares to end users is a good way to go.

Visit http://www.gladinet.com & http://cloudafs.com/ for more information.