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Cloud Enable Your File Server

White Paper

Give on-premise file server new cloud access & secure file sharing capabilities, while retaining the old security, permission controls and data ownership!

cloud file server illustration

File Server Cloud Enablement

Do you love Windows File Server's security and control but also want the cloud's ease of use and productivity?

Are you searching for a product that simplifies remote access to file servers and inter-office collaboration?

Have you tried Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive or other solutions and at the end found out how messy it was to setup the new configuration with security and permissions?

Do you like your file server's NTFS permissions, Active Directory user identities and drive mappings, but also love mobile access from phones and remote access from home?

CentreStack is the cloud file server you have been looking for. Cloud enable your file servers!

Challenges at Work - Security or Mobility?

business man worried about public cloud service

CentreStack addresses the challenges. Cloud File Servers reduce cost and complexity by eliminating on-premises file servers and the management overhead they require while simplifying remote access and collaboration between offices. CentreStack also provides a Cloud Server Agent that can be used to automatically migrate file servers to a cloud-only solution or create a hybrid deployment that replicates file shares to the cloud for remote access.

To better grasp the challenges, productivity gains are forcing businesses need to access local file servers over the Internet from mobile devices and remote locations. This trend is pushing local file server content towards public file sharing services such as Dropbox and OneDrive. For example, employees are using 3rd party file sharing services on their own to be more productive.

However, security and control is becoming a big concern for businesses that are sensitive to compliance and data leakage problems. This forces some companies to block public file sharing services and revert back to traditional methods such as virtual private networks (VPNs) to access corporate data.

The situation is even more complicated when you need to collaborate across multiple file servers in multiple sites.

Businesses need to migrate file server content to cloud storage for remote access and continuity. CentreStack solves all these problems and presents a unified name space directory structure across all distributed file servers.

Problems to Solve

Businesses have traditionally relied on virtual private network (VPN) solutions to access corporate data. However VPN has its own problems, which is not a good fit for a modern mobility and productivity friendly solution. Most of the time, VPN is a headache for manage service providers since they normally generate quite some support tickets. Besides the VPN problems, you will also need additional solutions to enable mobile access, web browser based access, sync & share, team collaboration functionalities. You will also need solutions for backup and multi-site collaboration. In addition, you may also have the following concerns.

Mobile Access

Remote access to file servers from mobile devices, PCs and browsers is a challenge.

Server Costs

Replacement costs for servers is high, so does the management costs of servers and VPNs.

Data Sprawl

It is a headaches of data sets split between internal file servers and cloud solutions like Dropbox.

Migration Costs

It takes time and money to manual replicate or recreate permissions.

Multiple Offices

It is a management headaches of cross site replication among remote offices.

Security Threats

There are threats from de-centralized security and personal cloud accounts.

Hybrid File Servers with Cloud Server

Deployment Option #1

CentreStack File Server Agent shall be installed on the file server that you would like to migrate to cloud over time. File shares stay with the existing on-premise file server, while at the same time, the file shares, the Active Directory and permissions are synchronizing with CentreStack server deployed in the cloud. Employees can access files from both on-premise file shares and remote offices. This hybrid cloud server and local server deployment can stay as long as you like it to be, with the option to go cloud-server-only in the future when you retire on-premise file server.

Hybrid File Servers with Cloud Server illustration
File Servers in the Cloud illustration

File Servers in the Cloud

Deployment Option #2

You may already have moved file servers to cloud as a hosted file server, such as in Amazon VPC or at a local data center. For ultimate security and control, you can deploy CentreStack server in the same network as the file servers so the whole solution is part of the infrastructure that is completely under your control. It gives you remote and mobile access to your hosted file server with all existing Active Directory security and NTFS permission control. Normally you will front your file servers with Remote Desktop services (RDS) for business application interactive access and use CentreStack server to provide light weighted mobile access. In this case, Remote Desktop Service and CentreStack work in tandem to provide a complete access solution to your file servers.

Cloud Enablement Feature Highlights

Cloud Mapped Drive

Remotely access file shares from a drive letter, without the need for a VPN. Cloud replication is optional!

On-Demand Sync

Minimize storage and bandwidth consumption by automatically syncing and caching only the files you need.

File Locking

CentreStack provides full support for file locking from the cloud, with a familiar file server locking experience.

business woman showing cloud file server features

Folder Permission

Granular folder permissions that can mirror NTFS permissions or start from scratch.

Active Directory

Preserve NTFS permissions and Active Directory identities when connecting file servers to the cloud.

End Point Security

Encrypt remote agent caches or revoke remote agent access privileges from a central management console.

Problems Solved

Either using a hybrid file servers deployment option or using a file servers in the cloud hosted deployment option, CentreStack file server integration and enablement solves these problems by installing agent software on your file server or directly mount your file server network share into CentreStack if direct access is available. It intelligently manages local and cloud storage together to provide a range of cloud enablement options.

Most important, the active directory security and NTFS permission model is maintained as if it was never changed. Secondly, the drive mapping functionality is maintained so end users get a familiar drive letter to access files from remote locations. Thirdly, the familiar file locking functionality is maintained when multiple users collaborating on the same file at the same time.

Anywhere Access to File Shares

You can attach local file server folders to your CentreStack server. After the storage is attached, it is accessible online, enabling web browser access, remote access and mobile access. At the same time, the file server is still providing network share access over the local area network.

Migrate Existing File Shares to Cloud Storage

As a second option for deployment, for the attached local folders, the file server content will be migrated over time to cloud storage. When it is an enabling method for online access, it is also a backup process happening in the background so it can provide business continuity functionality.

Global Workspace

You can attach local folders from different file servers to your CentreStack account. It is a global name space directory structure unifying the different file servers into a single folder structure, enabling multiple-site collaboration. It is a distributed file system in the cloud.

Server in the Cloud

You can also leverage the features above by using the existing file server as a private cloud.

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