Enhance Remote File Server Access after lift-and-shift

Are you planning a lift-and-shift migration strategy for your file servers?
What about remote access to file servers afterward?
Do you want to turn file servers into a SharePoint-like service without having to worry about migration?

A SharePoint Migration Story

A service provider helps its customer migrate to the cloud. The file server being migrated does not have a lot of data, about 400G. By today's standards, 400G is not much, so the service provider sets out to migrate the customer's file server to SharePoint. The only way to migrate to SharePoint is with a tool called SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT). However, they found that the tool kept complaining about long file names and kept asking them to shorten and correct the file name. In short, after two months, the migration is still not complete. In hindsight, they wished they could have used a lift-and-shift migration strategy.

lift and shift on-premise file server to cloud

What is Lift-and-Shift?

Lift-and-shift is a migration strategy that involves creating another set of virtual machines in Azure, AWS or a regional co-location data center and moving the data on the on-premise file server to the virtual machines in the data centers. Once the data migration (robocopy!) is complete, the DNS name for the file server can be quickly switched from the on-premises file server to the file server in the cloud. In this type of procedure, lift-and-shift is also known as rehosting. It is a relatively fast and cost-effective way to migrate data from on-premises to the cloud, and the best part is that it is backward compatible after DNS redirection.

Can I have a SharePoint-like Interface after Lift-and-Shift?

Yes. You can have a SharePoint- or OneDrive-like interface after moving file servers to Azure or AWS, while maintaining backward compatibility of the SMB/CIFS file server network share with the on-premises client workstations. Before we learn how to do that, let us read a few stories.

Story #2 - Moving Dallas Office File Servers to Azure

An engineering firm has four offices in Texas. The main office is located in Dallas. More than 50% of the employees work from the Dallas office, while the employees in the other offices access the file servers in the main Dallas office via a site-to-site VPN. There is a mesh SD-WAN network between the four branches, so logically all four branches are like one large local area network. Since the pandemic started in 2020, most employees work from home. So if the Dallas office goes down (due to a power outage in the building, for example), all four offices will not have access to the file servers, and it's a classic single point of failure. They plan to move the file servers from Dallas to the Azure data center in San Antonio to mitigate the single point of failure. The Azure data center has better Internet bandwidth and power. However, the problem is that employees working from home still have to use a site-to-point VPN to connect to the file servers, which again is a single point of failure. They would welcome a solution that provides a better VPN-free solution for remote access to file servers.

Story #3 - CIO demands a cloud solution

The on-premise contract with NetApp is expiring, and the CIO does not want to renew it. He hires an on-premise IT consultant to help him move to the cloud. The only stipulation is not to repeat the same NetApp contract over the next few years, but to replace it with something new, modern and something in the cloud. The IT consultant moves the NetApp SMB workload to a regional data center and implements the SMB interface with a Triofox solution. The CIO gets a solution that is backward compatible with the on-premises workload while providing a SharePoint-like user interface with a browser interface, mobile apps, and remote access from Windows and Mac to file servers without a VPN.

lift-and-shift to cloud with Triofox front end

Triofox provides VPN-less file server access via HTTPS

  • Lift and Shift - Move your on-premise file server to an Azure or AWS data center first.
  • Site-to-Site VPN Next - After lift-and-shift, first establish a site-to-site VPN from the Azure/AWS data center back to the on-premise network. This way, the entire on-premises Windows application load can be 100% backward compatible after DNS redirection (rehosting).
  • Add Triofox on the cloud side - Install Triofox on the Azure/AWS/data center side and near the new file servers in the cloud. Triofox provides a web interface and file access protocol over HTTPS for the remote devices to enable faster remote file server access with offline capability, HTTP streaming, local caching, and cross-continent content delivery. It is a VPN-free solution for file server access.

Triofox Solution

Triofox provides secure mobile access and file sharing, disaster recovery and recovery for file servers in the cloud with a SharePoint-like user interface. It's the real cloud file server solution you have been looking for!

Remote Access

Triofox bridges file servers and cloud storage for secure remote access without the need of a VPN.

Web Access

Accessing files and folders directly from within a web browser is as interactive as from a desktop drive.

Mobile Access

Triofox leverages cloud storage for secure mobile file sharing from a web browser or a mobile application.

Mobile Sharing

Employees can share files and folders with external business partners with permission controls, expiration dates, and web links.

mapping a drive over HTTPS to the file server at work

Mapped Drive over HTTPS!

At work, we access Windows file servers via mapped shared drives. Our tasks include accessing files and folders through Windows Explorer on a mapped drive letter and sharing files with colleagues when we are in the office. These Windows file server shared drives are reliable and productive.

But when we leave the office, it's not so simple. The VPN is slow, problematic and unreliable. FTP and WebDav are no help and even worse than a VPN. Email attachments create large zip files and are likely to be blocked.

Benefits of adding Triofox to your lift-and-shift file servers in the cloud

move file server to cloud  with local features

Reduce Data Sprawl

Data stays on corporate file servers. Existing permissions govern remote and mobile access. File editing and modification permanently save back to the file's original location.

Enforce Permissions

Combines NTFS permissions, Active Directory users, and drive mappings with mobile access from any device.

Maintain Compliance

Takes care of file server compliance and enables administrators to perform HIPAA or GDPR compliance audits and generate reports that demonstrate compliance for mobile file access and collaboration.

Benefits of adding Triofox to your lift-and-shift file servers in the cloud

Simple & Fast

Files are cached locally so access is instantaneous without the hassle of setting up remote desktops or VPN file sharing. Users get local performance when working remotely.

Seamless Interaction

Older applications can continue to use the original file shares, which remain unchanged even though Gladinet provides remote and mobile access to the same file shares from any device.

Good Usability

Minimize training requirements for users with a mapped drive that works the same way both on-site and remotely. Provide users with a seamless local experience across multiple device factors.

Mapped Drive + Web Simplicity + Mobile Access? How??

Triofox solutions have a web server component that accepts file requests from client agents and mobile applications over the HTTPS/SSL protocol. These requests are then translated into Active Directory and File Server network share access protected by NTFS permissions. When all permission checks have passed, the file is sent back via HTTPS/SSL to the client agents. Gladinet uses this approach to combine the power of a mapped drive with the simplicity of web browsing and the handy mobile applications to present a unified file and folder view across multiple device factors!

1. Web Server Component

Gladinet solution contains a web server front end accepting client agent requests from remote Windows, Mac, web browser, iOS and Android devices. Mobile applications present files and folders and related functionality.

2. Agents Send File Requests

Mobile applications send HTTPS/SSL requests to the Gladinet server. Gladinet server can log the requests for auditing purposes and coordinate the file access and sharing demands before forwarding requests to file servers.

3.Active Directory Integration

Active Directory and NTFS permissions are used to check whether the file requests are allowed. After that, file requests are satisfied and returned via HTTPS/SSL to client agents such as mobile applications.

Remote File Access Problems Solved!

Support Costs

VPN, FTP and WebDAV have a high number of support tickets. There is also a cost associated with being away from productive work.

Large File Transfer

Sharing large folders over the Internet as email attachments can be cumbersome, problematic and slow.

Data Sprawl

Avoid the problems caused by splitting data sets between local file servers and online cloud storage like Dropbox.


With ad hoc file sharing services, it's harder for organizations to pass compliance checks.

Modernize Access

Modern mobile workforces are used to mobile first with mobile applications and web based file manager.

Security Threats

Eliminate threats from decentralized security and intrusion into personal cloud accounts (which is used for business purpose).

Web-Based Remote File Server Access Benefits!

Cloud-like mobility and local file server security work together in a unified way.

Guarantee Data Privacy

Businesses can address data privacy concerns by using Triofox to provide access to internal file servers. It’s common to talk about replacing existing file servers with cloud solutions to reduce costs and administrative overhead, and Triofox can facilitate that in any private cloud, but Triofox offers the unique option of using existing file servers to replace cloud file sharing!

Mobile Access to File Servers

Simplify remote access to file shares with familiar interfaces on any computer or device. Windows and Mac desktops display natively mapped drives in Explorer and Finder. That same experience is presented on iOS and Android devices like iPads, iPhones and Pixels or can be viewed from popular web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Internet Explorer.

Increase Productivity

Provide an always-on mapped drive that works anywhere on any device and allows mobile users to easily access internal file shares or cloud file servers. Windows file server network shares and shared drive become online shared folders guarded by the same security measures as those from on-premise file servers and governed by the same Active Directory.

Enhance Data Security

Files are secured at rest and in transit with military-grade encryption, secure connections, and more. Automatically use existing users and permissions to save setup time and money. When files and folders can stay in place with the Windows file servers, the security parameters are smaller and simpler than a public online sharing service and easier to pass compliance tests.

Simplify File Share Access

Easily collaborate with business partners by providing them with access to a limited set of internal files or folders. Share files with non-AD users while maintaining administrative controls. Simplify multi-site collaboration with automatic version controls and file locking. Mobile workers will see the same content in the online shared folder as if they were from an internal mapped drive.

On-Demand Synchronization

Mapped drives display directory structure but delay downloads until a user's file action, which reduces bandwidth usage and endpoint storage consumption. Shared folders and files also have generated web links, showing them in a web browser-based file manager. The files will not be actively downloaded or viewed (as in secure-data-room) until users generate access intents.

Reduce Costs with a Simple "VPN"

Eliminate the overhead and support tickets commonly associated with VPN file sharing, Always On VPN, or Direct Access. Automatically use existing users and permissions to save setup time and money. With the Triofox server's help, the internal shared drive has new online folder representations over HTTPS (SSL) protocols and RESTful APIs for client agents and mobile applications.

White Labeled File Sharing Solution

Triofox provides a white-labeled platform that makes it easy for MSP partners to build a private online file sharing solution based on Amazon, Windows Azure, or Google Cloud infrastructure. MSPs can even create the white-labeled solution inside their most preferred data center on a per-client basis with per-client branding support.

Simplify Management

Centrally manage users, access controls, and storage for the business. Easily keep track of where the data is, who has access and how it's shared. A centralized web-based management portal provides a single-pane-of-glass-style management console to manage shared folders and shared files, and other objects in the management scope.

On-Premises Alternative to Dropbox and SharePoint

Triofox has the flexibility to provide an on-premises alternative to Dropbox, OneDrive, and SharePoint using existing file servers. From the perspective of the online file sharing solution, you can modernize your file server so much that it is the same as those from public domains. At the same time, the solution keeps all the file server security and data ownership benefits.

Centrally Manage Granular Folder Permissions

For complete control and visibility, administrators can manage permissions from the file server that was their source. Businesses and their employees accumulate the NTFS permission structure over years of active use and practice. Those NTFS permissions will be inherited by Triofox and continue to control access to online folder sharing.

Maintain Compliance

Centrally manage users, access controls, and storage for the business. Admins can perform audits of GDPR and HIPAA compliance or keep track of any changes to individual files. It is easier to pass compliance tests when the Triofox servers and Windows servers' IT infrastructure is under your supervision and control.

Increase the productivity of your mobile workforce!

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