What is a File Server?
Documents, sound files, photographs, videos, images, and databases have all become crucial parts of the enterprise’s content repertoire. With more content being created than ever before, knowledge workers face an increasingly difficult task trying to access the relevant information. Traditionally, enterprises would utilize file servers to create a centralized access point for this content.
A file server is a computer that acts as a central storage location and data file manager so that other computers on the same network can access the files. A file server enables users to share files with colleagues over a network. Any computer on a local network can be configured as a host and act as a file server. An ordinary PC can be set as a file server to handle requests for files and send them over the network.
File servers may also take the form of a dedicated network-attached storage (NAS) device that can double up as a remote hard disk drive for other computers. With NAS, users can store files on the network as though it were their own hard drive.
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File Server Problems.
In the age of Big Data, managing an in-house file server has grown increasingly difficult. File servers must now process more data than ever before. The costs of file server maintenance continue to grow. There is hardware and software upgrade costs to consider. File server recovery and backup costs may also be encountered, and there are issues surrounding the level of remote access in certain locations. As a result, enterprises have been moving their data to cloud storage options.
The popularity of cloud storage services such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Onedrive, and Amazon continues to grow. Cloud storage offers reduced cost and eliminates the need for regular updates and patches. Important company information becomes more accessible than ever and collaborative file sharing and synchronization are now the norm. With cloud storage, file backup can now be automated eliminating the possibility of catastrophic data loss.
The move to Cloud Storage.
With the move to the cloud continuing at pace, more companies are gearing towards file server replacement. Before any such move, companies must weigh up a number of key considerations. When moving application and file locations security remains a vital concern. Ensure that the security posture of your chosen cloud service is acceptable. There should be an ongoing security plan set in place.
Traditional file servers after all do come equipped with a robust set of user permissions. The enterprise must question whether their cloud option will cater for their preferred permissions. Other important factors to consider before moving to the cloud include mobility, reliability, flexibility, sustainability, affordability, and whether or not the service can be integrated with your active directory.
The Docurated Solution
While the benefits of cloud storage certainly outweigh any reservations companies might have, file server replacement can still feel like a momentous decision. Entrusting years of corporate infrastructure to the cloud is no mean feat. Luckily Docurated’s file server transformation solution instantly transforms legacy file servers and cloud-storage solutions such as Box, Dropbox, SharePoint, and Google Drive into secure, searchable, and actionable knowledge and file sharing platforms.
This means that Docurated not only quickly provisions all of your users, but mirrors all of your Active Directory permissions dictating what files your users can access, a task that could take months for an IT department to replicate. With Docurated, any lingering reservations about a move to the cloud can be dismissed. File server replacement can be implemented without a single change to company infrastructure. Security concerns can also be allayed as Docurated is the only solution that goes beyond basic user level provisioning to provide granular file-level access control and permission mirroring in the market.
The Docurated File Server Transformation Solution consists of a lightweight agent that indexes content and reads Active Directory and LDAP permissions. The Active Directory integration is set up through a simple, guided process and leverages existing identity management systems, mirroring file system access settings with absolutely no extra IT department effort. Docurated automatically inherits all permissions based on existing Active Directory/LDAP settings. Systems are kept in sync, with changes automatically reflected in Docurated, including auto-provisioning and deprovisioning of users and groups.
Written by Cóbhan Phillipson