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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Mihai Corbuleac, Pat Romanski, David Bermingham

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Give User Home Directory a Dropbox-Like Access

In a recent Gladinet Cloud Enterprise trial, a customer tells us their story and why they are looking for a solution like Gladinet Cloud Enterprise.

The Remote Site Headache

The customer has multiple sites. For users from the remote sites, they are so used to save documents to the local My Documents folder. Even though there is a file server network share local to the remote site, users are still so used to save documents to My Documents folder.
However, in the past week, there were already 3 cases that the user’s PC broke down and together, took away the data stored on it.

The Dropbox Problem

Some users from the remote sites are using Dropbox on their own to solve the data backup problem. However, for the company, Dropbox is both a solution and a problem. The company simply can’t allow users to sync files anywhere because they need to meet certain data compliance criteria.
They have to find a solution that is similar to Dropbox but allowing them to have full control of the data.
The company already standardized on Microsoft technologies such as Active Directory and File Server, with each user assigned a home directory from the file server. There may be VPNs in between the main office and the remote office. But again, if users are so used to save documents to My Documents folder, not even bother to save to the remote office’s local file server, How easy will it be asking the users to connect the VPN, map a drive to active directory home directory and save documents there? The usability barrier is just too high.
Ideally, they want to find a solution, that can turn the remote user’s My Documents folder into an enterprise drop box, synchronize the local documents directly into the company’s file server, inside each user’s Active Directory home directory. 

The Enterprise Solution

Sounds good? Yes, that is Gladinet Cloud Enterprise.
There are many hurdles Gladinet Cloud Enterprise overcome to make this happen.
First, how to connect the remote offices to the company’s file server without setting up VPN? How to get it done when the only communication channel is HTTPS?
Second, how to monitor the My Documents folder and send the documents to user’s home directory?
Third, how to maintain security and single sign-on so only authorized users can use the solution?
Forth, how to link the user’s storage with user’s Active Directory home directory?

How it is Done?

Gladinet Cloud Enterprise solves the problem by creating a 3-tier architecture,
a. the access clients on user’s desktop and on web browser;
b.  the Gladinet access infrastructure that can be installed on-premise;
c. and the ability to connect to enterprise file server as backend cloud storage.
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The End Result

At the end, the remote users can go to the enterprise web portal, download the access client and turn their local folders into enterprise drop box folders. Files saved to their local folder will be migrated to their user’s home directory folder automatically.

Next Step

Visit http://www.gladinet.com/CloudEnterprise/ for more information.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jerry Huang

Jerry Huang, an engineer and entrepreneur, founded Gladinet with his close friends and is pursuing interests in the cloud computing. He has published articles on the company blog as well as following up on the company twitter activities. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1998 and has lived in West Palm Beach, Florida since.

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