Citrix ShareFile Storage Zones (Connectors..)

During Citrix Synergy Citrix released ShareFile Storage Zones Connectors, this enables you to re-use your existing data sources and not having to migrate your data to the follow-me-data solution you’re implementing. I already wrote a blogpost on Follow me data and so did Marco Drost with his ‘On Premises dropbox‘ but with the introduction of storage zones and storage zones connectors we’re really leveraging the full potential of this solution.

What’s a Storage Zone

Bill Carovano wrote a blog about the introduction of StorageZones at the Citrix Blogs. Main takeaway from this blog is the following piece of information:

ShareFile is composed of two sub-systems:

  • The Control system. This subsystem provides the ShareFile web application, account information (assuming you aren’t using Active Directory integration), and brokering services. It is maintained in Citrix datacenters, just as all of our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products such as GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, etc. Note that customers will soon have the choice of setting up ShareFile accounts on the sharefile.eu domain, where the control system lives in our Frankfurt-based data center. This complements what we offer today, where the control system lives in our US-based data centers.
  • The Storage system. This is where the files actually live. Prior to StorageZones, customers had achoice of 7 worldwide Cloud-based locations–3 in the US, Dublin, Tokyo, Singapore, and Sao Paolo. Citrix ShareFile operations uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) in each of these locations. The primary component in the storage system that Citrix ShareFile operations manages is called ”Storage Center.”

So with Storage Zones you can install and configure the Storage system where you want, it can be a private or public cloud environment as long as the files reside on that system. Bill added a good high-level overview of the storage zone solution:

 

 

So what’s up with those Storage Zone Connectors

The StorageZone Connector enables ShareFile clients access to legacy network shares that are on the intranet. With StorageZone Connector, you can enable your mobile work force to access files that would otherwise be difficult to access when on the run. The goal is to enable access to all legacy data sources in the enterprise.

Key Benefits

  • Enable access from the ShareFile tools to existing legacy data providers
  • Facilitates the transition from network shares to ShareFile storage.
  • You don’t need to migrate your all your data (boil the ocean).

How does StorageZone Connector work?

Once you click on the top level folder that points to a network share, the client will be instructed to start talking to the StorageZone Connector. The StorageZones Connector will ask the client for credentials. At this point, there is no more interactions with Sharefile.com.

At this moment Citrix has sharefile connectors for CIFS/SharePoint and the files are delivered only to the iPad and iPhone and are read-only, so when looking at the useability it is still limited but it’s a great step in the right direction as a data migration for follow me data isn’t what our customers are expecting.  In terms of availability you can download the tech preview here and you’ll see that the Storage Center Software is there for download. Requirements are:

  • Windows 2008 R2 server with IIS.
  • DMZ reverse proxy, ideally NetScaler.
  • Latest ShareFile client from the AppStore

 

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Kees Baggerman

Kees Baggerman is a Staff Solutions Architect for End User Computing at Nutanix. Kees has driven numerous Microsoft and Citrix, and RES infrastructures functional/technical designs, migrations, implementations engagements over the years.

2 comments

  1. Igor van der Burgh says:

    Hi Kees, nice article, was looking at this today. Also did the AD user connector setup. Shame thats it still an Tech Preview..

  2. […] Data (ShareFile and ShareFile Storage Connectors) […]

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