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Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Sync Folder over Amazon S3

Amazon S3 is getting more and more popular.

2 years ago it was only known to the developers community. However, because of its leadership position in the cloud storage category, it got viral and now many small business owners are knowing it and thinking about leveraging it for more productivity.

One of the common use case is:

   If I already have an Amazon S3 account, how do I set it up so I can sync a folder from PC1 to PC2 when the PCs can be on different places.

Gladinet Cloud Desktop 3.0 comes with a file sync feature that allows you to sync over your existing cloud storage. This article shows how to set it up.

Step 1 – Setup Amazon S3

First you will need to visit http://aws.amazon.com, set up your AWS (Amazon Web Service) account.

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Now click on the Security Credentials linkaws2

The most important concepts here are your Access Key ID and your Secret Access Key. These two parameters are used to connect to your Amazon S3 account.

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You can choose to create an Amazon S3 bucket now. (A bucket is a container of files and folders). If you do now, make sure you turn logging option OFF. If you want to have logging ON, make sure it logs to a different bucket, instead of leaving it on the same bucket.

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Step 2 – Setup Gladinet Cloud Desktop

First step is to mount the Amazon S3 Bucket, using the same Access Key ID and Secret Access Key.

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If you have created a bucket in Amazon S3’s web interface, you can use the same bucket name here. Or you can put in a brand new bucket name, the software will create the bucket if it detects that the bucket doesn’t exist. (Important: the bucket name is global, like a domain name so it may conflict with some existing bucket names)

If you are attaching the same bucket from a second machine, you just use the same bucket name that you used from the first PC.

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Next step you will need to enable Cloud Sync Folder. If you have an existing folder to sync, you need to provide the full path to the existing local folder in the text box below.

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Step 3 – Wait for the First Sync to Finish

Once the sync up to Amazon S3 finished, you can go to a second PC, repeat the step 2. Now you can pick an empty local folder on PC2 to receive the folder content from the first PC. After that, you can modify from both PCs and the changes are version controlled and will be sync back and forth between the two PCs.

Step 4 – Monitor and Version Control

If you need to check the files and its related versions, you can look into the Cloud Sync Folder section inside the Gladinet Management Console.

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