Mounting Remote Servers

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Two of the main reasons people tell us they use our platform are:

  1. they want to save time
  2. the want to save money - both while securing their files.

Here is one of the latest features we've added to help you do both. We call it Remote server mount, or RSM.

You're already used to the security and user management features that you have in What if you could extend those features to use with resources that you might interact with outside of our ecosystem?

Let's see what that looks like.

Here is an SFTP server that I'm connected to that is not related to [see video] It's a plain and simple, no frills server and lacks the user management features that you would want if you are working with a busy dynamic team.

So the question is: how do we give our team of users on access to the files here on this remote SFTP server, while still taking advantage of the security features, and the permissions that are built into our site that we have here?

To start, we first have to make a connection to this remote server, so we're going to go to Settings >> Integrations >> remote servers, and you can see that I've got an SFTP server setup here. Let's click Edit and take a look at that. This is the server, and here we've got the hostname, the port, saved credentials, and so this server is ready to connect.

Now note that when you're making a connection to a remote server, you're not limited to SFTP. You can use FTP, Box, Azure, any of these services and protocols.[see video] Since this is an SFTP server, that's what we use to make this connection.

The next thing we need is to make a folder. We'll call this SFTP server. Let's open this. Right now this new folder is just like any other folder on your site, but we're now going to go into Folder settings and turn it into something different.

Let's scroll down until we see Remote server mount. This is the RSM feature that we mentioned earlier. Click on that. Now we're going to add a new remote server mount. And when we choose the server we're going to use, you'll see there's only one here. If you had multiple selections, you would see them all here. So you choose the one that you want. And for the remote path, I've got this named a giant file store. So let's go ahead and put that in there. That is the folder that we want to access on the remote.

That's all that we have to do there.

And you'll see once we save that here are the files: same files here, same files here. You'll also notice that when we look at this folder, it does look a little different. [see video] If we go up to this folder, which is just a normal folder, it shows us that it's stored in the USA region, and it says If we go to any of our other folders, they will look like that. But, when we go back to this SFTP server folder, it tells us that it's connected to a remote SFTP server. [see video]

So what happens if we interact with these files? Let's say we're going to delete these two files. [from the mounted folder] We're a user with those permissions, so we can delete them. What happens on the remote? Let's refresh and see. They are gone.

Now we see the same files here as are here once again.

How about if we upload? Let's upload one file here. There's new file 14. A quick refresh here, and we see that file is here automatically.

And note as well that I've got another FTP client here. This is FileZilla. So let's hit refresh, and go into this folder. There's SFTP server, same one that we're seeing here. This is a different user than this administrator connected to this folder. These two clients are looking at the same folder, and this is the remote server. So now we're looking at this in three different locations.

What if our FTP user uploads a couple files? Let's check the remote, and there they are. And we'll of course, refresh the web interface. Again, there are those files.

You can connect to this folder using any of the protocols that we support: SFTP, FTP, WebDAV. And always have access to the files that are actually stored on the remote. Note, they're not stored here in your site, you're just seeing them here. They're stored on the remote server.

And what happens if our FTP user wants to upload an image file that we want to preview? We've got this image file uploaded. We're just going to double check and make sure that it's on the remote. There it is. Now we're going to go back to our web interface, and see that it's also there. What happens if we try to preview it? We can see it just fine; the preview generates just like any other file that we might have stored on your site.

We talked about saving money and saving time. Let's imagine that all these files instead of 14 bytes, are 14 gigabytes, just huge files. Here, your staff has access to see these files, but you don't have to actually store them here and use up storage space or bandwidth pulling them across. And, when your users need them, they can select the ones they need, rather than having to download all of them.

So, you're saving bandwidth by only interacting with the files that your users need rather than having to download and store all of them. You're also saving time by taking advantage of the secure folder settings, the security settings, and the user settings that you have already set up on your site. You don't have to duplicate them to other servers and services, or even try to build workarounds for servers that don't have these features.

So this is remote server mount one of our new features that is already proving very popular.

If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us or give us a call at 1-800-286-8372.

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