"We try to help our customers with a better journey to the cloud and CentreStack is a big piece of that for us. The goal is to provide a super intuitive experience and CentreStack provides easy cloud access with a mapped drive, so there is not learning curve for users like with Dropbox or OneDrive."
Jim Stover, Cloud Advisors
The cloud has a lot to offer businesses in nearly any industry. Cloud storage services specially are one of the most mature cloud services that offer scalability, data availability, mobility and performance for mobile workforce. For example, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. S3's biggest rival, Windows Azure Storage also provides various cloud value and benefits. All these services make it interesting to move file server to the cloud.
However, as great as Amazon or Microsoft is at providing cloud services, there are common pitfalls to avoid when it comes to "cloud only services".
When cloud service providers discuss data availability, they usually talk about data replication within different zones of the same data center. However, to use the cloud storage services, the Internet has to be reliable to deliver the service. What if you lose Internet connectivity to file servers in the cloud?
A better approach will be for local on-premise file server and remote cloud storage service to setup a bi-directional replication link so they backup each other.
In workspace, we are so used to map a network drive to a centralized file server and collaborate from a drive letter. When outside of the corporate building, most of the mobile workers are still using a VPN service to "tunnel" back to the corporate network and continue with the drive mapping experience to access files and folders from the centralized file server network shares.
When you switch to a different "cloud file server", do you keep the same drive mapping and file locking user experience or do you need to be trained all over again?
What about QuickBooks, CAD software and any other line-of-business applications that rely on the old Windows file server interface and can only work locally over the local area network?
You may already find out that QuickBooks and these suite of applications can not work well with OneDrive , nor with SharePoint or other cloud storage services. A better approach comes back again to the hybrid cloud file server approach, where local on-premise file server and cloud storage combined together to create a "hybrid cloud file server".
CentreStack provides a file server agent to synchronize existing file shares, users and permissions to the cloud. Users can continue to use the existing shares until the migration is complete. And once the migration is completed, the file server can be kept as a local gateway (most businesses pick this option) or retired to create a cloud-only file access and collaboration platform. The process is so seamless that users generally require no downtime and minimal, if any training.
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CentreStack adds secure remote access and file sharing, disaster prevention and recovery, to file servers on-premises with easy cloud migration to cloud storage. It is the seamless file server cloud migration solution you have been looking for!
The local server to cloud replication is seamless and under the hood. Corporate employees and mobile workers can continue to use file servers regardless of migration process.
Local file server continues to run, while at the same time cloud file server is setting up. The two sides synchronize to each other for backup.
The drive mapping and file locking end-user experience is preserved. Together with Active Directory and NTFS permission integration. It is ease of use for end users.
Line-of-business applications such as QuickBook and CAD software continue to run on local file server and over the cloud mapped drive.
After installing CentreStack, the Cloud Server Agent is installed on the tenants file server. This will automatically synchronize file shares, AD users, and NTFS folder permissions to the CentreStack installation in the cloud.
After login, users automatically get a mapped drive which contains all the shares they have access to, just as if they were on-premise.
CentreStack maintains synchronization with the client file server until it has been retired. It also remains the primary source for permissions and acts as an optional proxy to the local domain controller.
When a user attempts to open a file on the endpoint, it is downloaded from the back-end storage configured for CentreStack and cached locally for fast future access.
"CentreStack just resonates with people- it isn't as scary for your clients to make that switch to the cloud when it feels like they are still in their same mapped drives"
Attach existing shares to cloud storage with no user disruption. Remote users gain instant access during background migration. Existing shares remain untouched for internal use. Easily retire file servers or use them as local gateways.
Use existing AD users and NTFS folder permissions with a simple interface to identify remotely accessible file shares that automatically appear in user's mapped drives
CentreStack allows admins to run HIPAA or GDPR compliance checks and generate reports demonstrating compliance for file access and collaboration.
Mapped drives delay downloads until files are opened and cached locally for fast future access, significantly reducing bandwidth and storage consumption. Users get local performance when working remotely.
Line of business and legacy applications can continue to use the original file shares which remain unchanged.
Minimize user training with a mapped drive that works the same on-premises or remotely. Provide a seamless local experience for users even when they are offline.
CentreStack eliminates the common drawbacks of remote file server access and online folder sharing solutions and provides the best of both worlds – the security and control of local file servers combined with the efficiency and productivity gains of online folder sharing and file sharing over the Internet.
Local on-premise file server and remote cloud storage service form a two-way synchronization link so both sides become a backup for the other.
Cloud drive mapping feature continues to provide a drive letter for end users to access files and folders outside corporate network without the need of a VPN.
Provide global file locking for files that are actively used to facilitate group collaboration on same set of files and folders. Manual check-in and check-out is also available.
Access file server shared files and shared folders from mobile devices such as from iPhone or Android phone.
Define different permissions for folders at different levels of the directory structure or inherit from NTFS permissions directly.
From internal Active Directory users to external clients and partners, you can define user rights for folder sharing.
File server network shares can be backup to cloud in addition to the two-way synchronization for enhanced business continuity.
File server network shares are put under version control and notifications are available for users subscribed to the folders.
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