1 Getting Started

Introduction

Welcome to the CentreStack Server Installation Guide. This guide describes the installation tasks for CentreStack, the managed file synchronization and sharing solution.

CentreStack includes the CentreStack server, which runs on Windows server platform, and client agent applications for Web browsers, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and for mobile platforms such as the Android and the Apple iOS operating systems.

Overview

CentreStack is a managed file sync and share solution that focuses on file server cloud-enablement. It differentiates from other file sync and share solutions (EFSS) by focusing on the security, control, file server and team collaboration. CentreStack does really well in the following areas:

  1. maintain security and permission of NTFS permission on files and folders.
  2. provide on-demand access that honors read-only, and write permission in real-time.
  3. mirror local network share on file server to team collaboration in the cloud.
  4. provide virtual drive letter mapping to the files and folders for access.
  5. provide file locking, version control, client encryption and etc features for the virtual drive.

CentreStack Server is software built on top of the Microsoft Web Platform:

  • Windows Server
  • IIS (Internet Information Server)
  • .NET Framework and ASP.NET
  • WCF (Windows Communication Foundation)
  • MySQL Community Edition (for the all-in-one deployment) or SQL Server

Since CentreStack Server is built on top of the Microsoft Web Platform, it integrates very well with other Microsoft components such as the NTFS Permission on files and folders, the Active Directory users and the File Server network shares.

It provides file access and sharing functionality through client agents for PCs, Macs, File Servers, Web Browsers, and Mobile Devices. The client agent software on Windows and Mac provide real drive mapping and volume mounting support that contains many optimization for WAN(Wide Area Network) data transfer.

The services can be deployed in flexible combinations to meet different needs. There are two primary ways to deploy the CentreStack Server.

  1. Deploy in the same site as the File Servers and Active Directory domain controllers:
_images/SelfHostedCentreStackDirectShare.svg
  1. Deploy in a site remote, such as Amazon Web Services EC2, Microsoft Azure, or in a Data Center where the Managed Service Provider (MSP) hosts their infrastructure:
_images/SelfHostedCentreStackRemoteShare.svg

System Components

There are three different system components (logical components that can co-exist in the same server) in CentreStack server. In the smallest deployment unit, the three different components can co-exist in one single machine (all-in-one deployment).

1. Web Server Component - The CentreStack Server

The Web Server component is ASP.NET and WFC code that is hosted by IIS on a Windows Server. The Web Server component is actually comprised of two separate “sub-components”:

  • Web Node
  • Worker Node

These sub-components exist for historical purposes and there are still elements in the Cluster Manager user interface for configuring these sub-components.

2. Database - Configuration Information and System Log

The database contains persistent information for the system. The persistent information includes static configuration information such as user name, file storage and active directory connection information. The database also stores dynamic information such as activity log, file change log and audit traces.

CentreStack supports the MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server Database Management Systems (DMBS). The all-in-one deployment will deploy MySQL Community Edition on the CentreStack server. The all-in-one deployment is useful for evaluating the software but an external database server is recommended for Production deployments.

3. Back-end File Storage - Where Files and Folders are Stored

The back-end file storage component is the persistent storage location for files and folders. There are two different types of storage services. One is managed by CentreStack, such as the default storage for the cluster and the default storage for tenants. The other is imported storage, for example, existing file server network shares that wasn’t managed by CentreStack but can be imported to CentreStack for remote and mobile access.