Remote Server Mount


Files.com's Remote Server Mount feature gives you the ability connect a specific folder on Files.com to a Remote Server in a real time manner.

The Remote Server can be a third party cloud, another Files.com account, or even an on-premise file server accessible via FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3 protocol or anything else.

That folder then becomes a client, or window, accessing the files stored in your remote server or cloud.

Remote Server Mount is also a way to leverage Files.com's apps, API, and workflows without using our storage services.

Once you configure a Mount, any operation you perform on or inside that folder will act directly on the remote in real time. Whether you are dropping a file into that folder, deleting a file, creating a subfolder, or performing any other file/folder operations your Files.com user has permissions for, those operations will "pass through" to the remote in real time.

This powerful feature enables a wide variety of use cases such as:

  • accessing files on a counterparty (client or vendor)'s cloud without provisioning individual access to individual users.
  • reducing storage costs by leveraging on-premise or bulk storage solutions
  • enabling applications to access 3rd party clouds via Files.com API, FTP, SFTP, or Files.com Apps
  • and many more

The remote server types that we currently support include: Azure Blob Storage, Backblaze B2, Box, Dropbox, FTP, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, OneDrive, Rackspace Cloud Files, Amazon S3, SFTP, SharePoint, Wasabi, and WebDAV.

Setting up a Remote Server Mount

First, make sure that the Remote Server you wish to mount has already been added and configured. Available Remote Servers can be found by navigating to Settings > Integrations > Remote Servers.

Web

To set up a Remote Server Mount using the web UI, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the folder that you want to mount the Remote Server onto. (Or create the folder if it doesn't exist.)
  2. Click the button containing a flag icon, at the upper right of the page, to show the configurable folder attributes.
  3. Select the Remote server mount option.
  4. Select the desired Remote server from the available choices.
  5. Optionally, enter a Name and Description.
  6. Select the Remote Folder by either typing in the folder path or by selecting the Choose a different remote folder link and selecting the remote folder.
  7. Save the updated settings for this folder by clicking the Save button.

API

You can set up a Remote Server Mount programmatically using the Remote Server Mount Behavior API.

Command Line Interface

You can also configure the Remote Server Mount from the command line using the Files.com CLI App.

First, you'll need the ID of the Remote server which can be found using this command:

files-cli remote-servers list

Then you can configure the Remote Server Mount using this command:

files-cli behaviors create --path "path/to/folder" --behavior "remote_server_mount" --value '{ "remote_server_id": <ID>, "remote_path": "/remote/server/path/to/remote/folder" }'

In the above command, replace <ID> with the ID found with the previous command.

Folder Settings Available In Remote Server Mounted Folders

Most folder settings available in Files.com work with Remote Server Mounts, with the exception of the File Expiration and GPG Encryption settings.

We are aware that File Expiration and GPG Encryption would make great features to support on Remote Mounts and we have internal feature requests filed to support both of them.

The behavior of Webhooks, Automations, and Action/History Logging may also be a bit surprising on Mounts. We only log actions and history for file operations performed via Files.com. This is because we otherwise have no visibility into how, when, or by whom any files are modified on the Remote Server.

Since Webhooks are fired based on Action logging, they will not be fired when a file is changed on the remote server without going through Files.com. The same limitation also applies to Automations triggered by actions.

If you require Webhooks or Automations to be triggered on new files, we recommend you consider a Remote Server Sync instead of a Remote Server Mount.

All of the other folder settings, like Share Links, Inboxes, etc. will all work fine with Remote Server Mounts.

Moving Existing Files and Folders to Remote Server Mount

Because Remote Server Mount is a new capability, we are having a lot of existing Files.com customers seek to move high volumes of files from Files.com's internal storage to a Remote Server Mount.

As such, we've put together the following guidelines for moving things to a Remote Server Mount:

High Volume Copies or Moves

First, we recommend always using our Web Interface to perform moves. The web interface will show the progress of cross-remote moves via a status bar in the upper left. If you use some other client, such an FTP client, you will not get real-time status of the move.

Secondly, if the files being moved number in the thousands, or are more than a few levels deep, we recommend breaking up the move into smaller moves. You can do this by creating the top level of target folders inside your mounted folder as new folders, then move the files and folders they are to contain in batches. Again, do this via the web interface, using it's Move command.

The services we allow you to integrate with all respond differently to high volume transfers, and managing with smaller batches helps ensure that your Files.com site does not overwhelm the remote service.

Whenever you run a Move via the web UI, we will automatically update Share Links, Permissions, Styles, Notifications, and Folder Settings (including Inboxes) to the new destination.

This happens automatically and you do not have to make any changes for these things continue to function normally.

However, this only occurs when you do a direct move. If you Copy a folder from one location to another, no metadata or settings will be transferred during the copy.

This is why we recommend doing everything using a Move, rather than a Copy followed by a Delete.

Adding remote servers

Adding remote servers in Files.com is easy. As a Site Administrator, simply head to Integrations > Sync/Mount to select the type of server you want to add. Note that only Site Administrators can add or configure remote servers at this time.

Depending on the type of server you are adding, you may need to have different details on hand.

When you select the remote server type, the form will adapt to prompt you for the information needed specifically for that type. Any optional settings for your selected type will also appear on the form.

Number of Mounts

There are no limits for the number of Remote Server Mounts that you can configure on the Files.com platform. However, some systems limit the number of connections made to them. Contact the system administrator of the remote servers to determine what their limits are.

Maintaining a one-to-one relationship between Mounts and remote servers will allow you to have as many Mounts as you require. For example, if you have 50 remote servers then you can have 50 Mounts, each to one of the remote servers, without any issues.

When there is a many-to-one relationship between Mounts and a remote server, then the number of Mounts will be limited by the restrictions and performance of the remote server. For example, if you have 50 Mounts set up with the remote server, and it only supports 5 concurrent connections, then only 5 of the Mounts will work at a time.

Finding the exact number of Mounts for optimal performance will be based on factors such as the concurrent connection limitations of the remote server, the connection protocol's limitations, and the performance of the remote server. Calibrate the number of Mounts until you find the optimal quantity that work best with the remote server.

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