Is limited network access affecting your jobsite productivity?
Are you tired of wasting time waiting for files to sync with the cloud?
Do you need to control access rights for sensitive data?
Need to simplify change management for multiple projects?
There is a solution!
A construction company has 16 TB of data on its file servers. The size of the data limited the options for cloud migration. Employees and field technicians used VPN to access the file server, but the VPN was not compatible with iPads. iPads are an essential part of the workflow. They are used to take photos of job sites. Engineers on site also use the Bluebeam application on the iPad to render CAD drawings. So the current digital foundation on the Windows file server did not support the mobility requirements, and they were looking for a cloud solution that would allow mobile workers on the iPads while providing application compatibility on the file server with a huge amount of data.
An oilfield services company migrated file servers to Azure as part of a "lift-and-shift" strategy to move on-site file servers to Azure data centers. Mobile workers currently use a Site 2 Point VPN to connect to file servers for remote and mobile access. However, as more employees have joined the remote workforce, the CIO is concerned about the security risks posed by the VPN service and wants an alternative way to remotely access file servers without a VPN.
The modern workforce is becoming increasingly mobile. In the construction industry, there are mobile workers. And moreover, more and more employees are working from home. However, working on the road is not without its challenges. Are you familiar with the following issues?
A traditional VPN requires a stable and active connection to the corporate firewall in order to function. A disruption in the Internet or an interrupted connection to the firewall interrupts employees' work with unsaved files. With offline editing, remote workers can save and edit documents without an active connection and asynchronously save the files to a corporate file server once the connection is restored.
A firewall vendor typically offers VPN without an always-on feature. Always-on VPN requires more infrastructure components such as identity servers, authentication servers, compatible clients OS, etc. However, most modern cloud applications are always-on. They allow offline access to files and folders and store files on a local device before synchronizing them with online servers.
Accessing file servers is hardly high-performance because when a VPN serves as an enabler, file access is done via the SMB/CIFS protocol. First of all, the SMB protocol is not a data streaming protocol with many requests and responses. If we can switch to HTTP streaming for file transfer, the performance will improve. Second, HTTP-based file transfer traffic can take advantage of a global content delivery network, so HTTP is faster for cross-continent transfer.
There are many different options for your data and storage, as shown below. Most likely, your files and folders are stored in one of the following six locations. Perhaps you started with a local Windows File Server or local NetApp device and later migrated to a VMWare environment or migrated the workload to AWS or Azure in a lift-and-shift fashion. You may also be in the process of considering SharePoint, Box or ShareFile, or you may be using Amazon S3 or Azure Blob Storage directly. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. How should you decide?
|Name||Application Compatibility||Web & Mobility||VPN Required?||Backup & Recovery|
|Existing File Server||Excellent||Poor||Yes||Fair|
|VMWare & Storage||Excellent||Poor||Yes||Good|
|Azure VM & AWS EC2||Excellent||Poor||Yes||Excellent|
|SharePoint & OneDrive||Fair||Excellent||No||Fair|
|Other Cloud Storage||Poor||Excellent||No||Fair|
|S3 & Azure Blob||Good||Excellent||No||Excellent|
From the above comparison, you can see that almost every single solution is excellent in some areas, but none is perfect in all areas. The table above shows that VMWare, Azure, and AWS virtualized file server infrastructure is excellent in several areas. If they can improve the Web & Mobility category, they can be excellent in all categories. So in search of a robust digital foundation, look for a Web & Mobility enabler solution for your file servers!
With Gladinet Triofox solution, the cloud file access solution is interoperable with existing file server network shares and provides offline folder capabilities. It includes integration with Active Directory, cloud drive mapping, global file locking, and NTFS permission control. These native integrations make the file-sharing solution an extension of the current file server rather than another data silo that takes away data.
Mapped drive over the HTTPS channel to the corporate file server is a crucial feature. Employees are familiar with a mapped drive, and no additional training is required.
Corporate users already have corporate identities in Active Directory and related Active Directory federation service and SAML single-sign-on. They don't need additional credentials to access a file-sharing solution.
Most file-sharing solutions offer manual file locking in the form of file "check-in" and "check out". Gladinet provides automatic file locking by detecting file opening requests. When Microsoft Word opens a file, the file locking process will be initiated automatically and finished automatically when the file editing finishes.
Finally, integrating with Active Directory and NTFS permission makes it easier for system administrators to set up the permission control. The permission features make the Gladinet solution stands out among its peers.
Here are the most frequently mentioned functions for Triofox users. These standard features help you access files remotely without using a VPN and help you share files with external parties.
Instead of sending files as Outlook attachments, you can share files and folders as links through Outlook.
Improve performance on large file transfers by sending only the changes made, rather than synchronizing the entire file.
Files and folders can be turned into weblinks and accessed via web browsers or any mobile client.
Weblinks can be generated for web browser-based upload to receive files and folders.
Policies such as expiration dates and read/write permissions can be attached to file sharing.
File-sharing can be as easy as right-click on a file from within Windows Explorer.
Shared folders have optional secure data room features to enable view-only permissions that disable downloads.
Define different permissions for folders at different levels of the directory structure.
The destination email domain is one of the white list parameters that control who can receive file-sharing invitations.
The destination IP Address is another parameter to control who can be the receiver for a file-sharing action.
Integrates with Office365 to take advantage of built-in co-editing features.
Keep track of important changes and events in the system.
Maintain compliance and control by keeping track of all management tasks and activities.
Keep track of all file-sharing activities. For example, it's easy to see who is sharing what with whom.
Gladinet solution contains a web server front end that accepts client agent requests from remote Windows, Mac, web browser, iOS, and Android devices. Mobile applications present files and folders and related functionality.
Mobile applications send HTTPS/SSL requests to the Gladinet server. The Gladinet server can log the requests for auditing purposes and coordinate the file access and sharing demands before forwarding the requests to the file servers.
Active Directory and NTFS permissions are used to verify that file requests are allowed. File requests are then satisfied and returned to client agents such as mobile applications via HTTPS/SSL.