Secure online access to your file server from remote sites with any device
This white paper describes CentreStack file server integration which can be
used by businesses to enable secure online access to file server from remote sites.
Problem Statement #1
You have employees collaborate locally over a file server in the Local Area Network.
You also have some remote users quite frequently need to access company file server
from remote locations. For example, this happens quite often in the construction
industry, where users work on various construction sites around the country and
can be there for a month to a year before moving to the next site.
Pain Point - Slow, Slow , Slow ...
The remote users currently VPN into the server at head quarter and access the internal
sites and shared network drives. Most of the time, the users need to use mobile
hotspot as they are in the middle of nowhere. Accessing files over CIFS/SMB network
over VPN, on top of 3G network is extreme 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.
How to Solve the Problem?
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.
CentreStack solves the problems by creating a hybrid cloud storage and access
solution. File servers from different locations can contribute folders to a global
distributed file system namespace. The global distributed file system namespace
can be accessed from web browser, desktop PC , mobile devices or other file server.
When combined with the CentreStack product, which allows the use of
your own storage as the backing storage, you can create a hybrid storage and access
solution involving file servers in your local branch office and file servers in
your co-location data center, and still enables the web browser, desktop PC, any
device and anywhere secure online access.
The first implementation has the CentreStack running in a data center, away from your file server.
The CentreStack File Server Agent will be installed on the file
server that has folders to share. You can get online access to file server folders
once you attach a folder from the file server to your CentreStack account.
The second implementation will have CentreStack running on-premise, side by side with your file server. You can have
web browser access to file server folders in the LAN environment. If you put the
CentreStack in the DMZ zone, you can also enable secure online access across
Traditionally, you only have CIFS/SMB drive mapping access to file server. With
CentreStack file server integration, you can have any device, anywhere secure access, which makes
employees more productive and focus more on running the business and focus less
on the access methods like IPSEC/VPN.