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Monday, August 12, 2013

Facilitate Easy Remote Access to File Server

If you are an IT admin working for a construction company, the title probably immediately grab your attention. Quite frequently, you have users working on various construction sites around the country and can be there for a while before moving to the next site.  Most of the time the users are in the middle of nowhere and rely on mobile 3G hotspot to access company file servers.

Pain Point

The user need to access various documents, such as construction drawings and Excel spreadsheets from the company file server. However, accessing it with  3G over VPN from the remote location, to ISP , then to the company file server is such a slow process that makes it very unpleasant to access those files.

Why it is Slow?

There are several factors that contributing to the slowness. First is the CIFS/SMB protocol used for shared network drive is a very chatty protocol, involving requests/acknowledgement many times over the transfer of a single file. With slow network and long latency, this delays the delivery of the file. Streaming files over HTTP/SSL is a much better way to deliver the files.

Second, the file needs to be fetched from the company, going to the ISP and then transfer to the remote site. The Internet pipe (bandwidth) between the company and the ISP may not be fast enough. It will be better to bring the file out of the company network, ready to be accessed remotely to cut down the company-ISP bandwidth bottleneck, also bring the files closer to the remote user.


Cloud Storage/Local Storage hybrid solution will help. Cloud storage is streaming data over HTTP/SSL, instead of CIFS/SMB's back-and-forth. It will be faster.

The hybrid storage solution also replicate your file server network share into cloud storage, and use cloud storage directly from the remote sites. So you can stream the files directly from cloud storage to your remote users over 3G network. It brings the file out of the company network and bring it closer to the remote user for easy and yet secure access.

So, the solution is to replicate the company file server content into the cloud, which brings the content closer to the remote user. On one hand, cloud storage can stream file over to the remote user. On the other hand, cloud storage is closer to the remote users, compared to the company file server.

Next Step

Gladinet Cloud Server (File Server Agent) is designed specifically to solve this problem. You can continue to read at the Cloud Server page and sign up for a Gladinet account to try it out.

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