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Monday, August 29, 2011

OpenStack Based Cloud Backup Solution

OpenStackLogoBefore cloud storage, it is not easy for service providers to provide an online backup solution. There were several technology barriers. First it is not easy to maintain a cheap storage solution in the service providers’ data center. Second, it is not easy to develop a protocol to talk between customer’s PC and the storage in the service provider’s data center. Third, it is not easy to develop a backup agent software that runs on the customers’ PC.  That is why most of them choose to OEM or resell solutions from Carbonite,  Mozy or Amazon S3 based backup solution if the customers want online backup from the service provider.
With the progress of the cloud storage technology in recent years, the landscape is changing. First, OpenStack storage is a mature cloud storage solution that allows the service providers to create a scalable storage solution based on cheap commodity hardware and also based on open source software. Second, OpenStack protocol is compatible with Rackspace Cloud Files protocol so it is battle tested too. Third,  with OpenStack’s open platform and well documented API, it is fairly easy to find a backup agent software that supports OpenStack storage.
This article discuss Gladinet Cloud Backup’s capability with OpenStack Storage. Gladinet supports several OpenStack based cloud storage services, such as Rackspace Cloud Files (US/UK), Internap XIPCloud, Korean Telecom uCloud. More important, Gladinet supports free-form OpenStack based access endpoint. This means as long as you have an OpenStack access point, you can use Gladinet Cloud Backup for online backup purpose, with your OpenStack based cloud storage solution.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How to Mirror Server Folders to Windows Azure

azure_whiteYou may have several important folders on the windows server that you want to protect online. Also as part of the cloud adoption strategy, you need the near term protection turned into a long term cloud migration. With these goals, it makes sense to mirror these important folders into a cloud storage service such as Windows Azure Storage or Amazon S3. In the near term, it fulfills the off-site backup purpose. In the long run, you can migrate your storage to these cloud storage services since your data is there over time.
This tutorial focuses on Windows Azure Storage and how to set it up so your folders are protected by Windows Azure. The steps are similar if you want to replace Windows Azure with Amazon S3 or Rackspace Cloud Files.
The product that can get it done is Gladinet Cloud Backup. Gladinet Cloud Backup is packaged into two different products – the stand alone Cloud Backup or as an add-on to Gladinet Cloud Desktop. Cloud Backup is a Windows background service so it can monitor the folder and mirror the changes to Cloud Storage service. Cloud Desktop is more a Windows front-end application that help you *see* the contents in the Cloud Storage service, such as through a mapped drive.
This article shows the Gladinet Cloud Desktop with Gladinet Cloud Backup add-on. This way you get the best of both worlds, a background service monitoring the folder and do the backup; also a mapped drive to see what has been backed up to Cloud Storage service and what is available there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Amazon S3 User Identity Explained

logo_aws2Amazon S3 was designed with developers as its audience. Developers create applications around the Amazon S3 and those applications are used by the end user.
Seeing the amazing growth from Amazon S3, we are also seeing more and more people from real estates, dental office and many other small and medium sized businesses started to use Amazon S3 directly since the aws.amazon.com web-front provides many basic functionalities.
Gladinet supports Amazon S3 from day one with functionalities like map a network drive to Amazon S3; backup to Amazon S3; leverage Amazon S3 as a PC-2-PC sync bridge and conduit. As long as you have your master Amazon S3 account credentials, you can use Gladinet software with Amazon S3.
Now, Amazon introduced IAM (identity and account management) in its aws.amazon.com web interface. This introduced new user identities in one single master account. So now, not only it is possible to have a set of master account credentials, normal S3 admins can also create sub-users for his/her team. It is very good in that it can support a group of users with one single Amazon S3 account and one single billing. However, it also introduced complexity because the sub-accounts have different permissions from the master-account.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Setup File Server With Amazon S3

logo_awsYou have a file server for your team to share. You have heard of cloud storage and the leading service such as Amazon S3. Now you are considering how to extend your file server with cloud storage services.

Objectives

There are several objectives to combine a file server with cloud storage service.
First, you want your team to continue to have the same user experience with the file server since they are already familiar with the file server.
Second, you will like to extend the file server’s capacity with cloud storage so you don’t need to buy internal hard drives.
Third, possibly backing up some existing folders on the file server so in case anything happen to the file server, you can quickly replace it and restore the files and folders.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Organize Digital Documents in the Cloud

tab-paperport-pro-14-boxEarlier this month, Nuance released PaperPort 14. PaperPort 14 is a successful software program helping users organize digital documents and files on computers. With the new release, PaperPort extends the capability to organize digital documents in the cloud.
One of the key component is Nuance Cloud Connector, which is also powered by Gladinet Cloud Desktop. As shown in the following picture, the Nuance Cloud Drive (N:) shows up inside PaperPort. You can mount many different kinds of cloud storage services such as Google Docs, Box.net, Amazon S3, OpenStack, RackSpace, Windows Azure and so on into the drive and organize digital documents from these services as if they were local on the computer.
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Saturday, August 13, 2011

An Easy Way to Move Data Across Cloud Storage

movetruck2There are many options for cloud storage services. For example, you can put your documents and folders in Google Docs, Windows SkyDrive, Box.net, Amazon S3, Windows Azure and so on.

The one cloud storage service you started using may not be the one you will end up sticking to for long term. Problem arises when you want to move your data from one cloud storage vendor to another.

This article discuss how to use Gladinet Cloud Desktop to migrate your files and folders from one cloud storage service to another. 

The idea is simple. If the cloud storage services you are using can be mounted into Windows Explorer as side by side virtual folders, you can initiate a drag and drop from one to the other. The drag and drop will trigger Gladinet Cloud Desktop to schedule tasks to copy files over.

The following steps assume the Gladinet Cloud Desktop is installed already.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bridging On-Premise and Cloud Storage

cloudbridge2Yesterday, Gladinet Cloud Storage Access Suite (Gladinet Cloud Desktop, Gladinet Cloud Backup, Gladinet CloudAFS) registered over a Million downloads. It is an important milestone, validating the market of bridging On-Premise storage and cloud storage.
There are several observations we have made from the growing Gladinet user base.

1. Cloud Storage needs Local Access Point

Cloud storage is in the Internet. However, people need easy and practical access from local IT infrastructure. In general, people call this the gateway or the on-ramp to cloud storage. The cloud gateway can be generalized  to include desktop client, special backup agent or a central access point like a file server replacement.
In Gladinet’s product suites, the desktop client is Gladinet Cloud Desktop; the special backup agent is Gladinet Cloud Backup; the file server replacement is Gladinet CloudAFS. The three products have similar look-and-feel as they fit into a single platform for cloud storage access purpose.