Enabling hybrid storage with Egnyte

By Shyam Srinivasan, Egnyte Product Manager

This article discusses integrating Egnyte and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to deploy a hybrid cloud and on-premises model.

Egnyte, a GCP Technology Partner and a 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS), offers Google customers the ability to create a hybrid SaaS file sync and share infrastructure that harnesses the power and flexibility of GCP services with the security and centralized IT administration of on-premises content management.

With Egnyte Connect, customers who require that some content remain on-premises and who must avoid a cloud-only model can easily use Cloud Storage in addition to their on-premises storage.

Egnyte delivers EFSS services that anticipate IT and business needs, so users can easily, securely, and intelligently access and share files stored on premises and in Cloud Storage. Egnyte provides unparalleled flexibility, unified visibility, and centralized control over data to facilitate collaboration and to optimize legacy and future infrastructure investments. Egnyte Connect also works with G Suite.

Integrating GCP with Egnyte Connect

Enterprise organizations often need to collaborate on large files, such as videos, construction blueprints, or medical imagery. Storing these file types in the cloud might result in undesirable latency using a pure cloud-based storage approach, and potentially business disruption if internet connectivity is lost. The problem is compounded for geographically dispersed organizations, where some locations might have an unreliable or narrow pipe to the cloud.

Egnyte's hybrid deployment model offers the option to deploy an on-premises storage device located at each of the user facilities which is connected through Egnyte's Storage Sync product to the cloud. Content stored in a public cloud is synchronized through Egnyte to this on-premises storage. As a result, access to content is real-time and reliable. Users based in different locations can collaborate on their content while maintaining version control and having access to the most recent content.

Large, unwieldy files aren't the only concern of companies with hybrid model enterprise file sync and share needs. Additional considerations include regulatory or compliance requirements, or business continuity requirements that ensure the organization can function if internet connectivity is disrupted.

Companies that are interested in a hybrid model want:

  • The cloud as a file server for a portion of their corporate data
  • Collaboration on sensitive files with strong IT control and administration
  • On-premises storage seamlessly synchronizing with cloud storage
  • A single location to view, manage, and access on-premises and cloud data

Visualizing the architecture

The following diagram illustrates a hybrid storage solution using Cloud Storage and Egnyte Connect.

Diagram showing Cloud Storage and Egnyte Connect

Objectives

  • Create a Cloud Storage bucket for Egnyte Connect to use.
  • Create a service account.
  • Create an Egnyte Connect trial account.
  • Connect the Cloud Storage bucket to Egnyte Connect.

Costs

There is no additional charge for customers to download the app that integrates Egnyte Connect to a new or existing Cloud Storage account, but you must have paid subscriptions to both Egnyte Connect and Cloud Storage before you start your integration.

Egnyte is typically priced as a software as a service (SaaS) solution, with monthly per user subscriptions starting at $8. For more information on Egnyte Connect pricing, visit the Egnyte website.

When you finish this tutorial, you can avoid continued billing by deleting the resources you created. For more information, see Cleaning up.

Before you begin

  1. Sign in to your Google Account.

    If you don't already have one, sign up for a new account.

  2. Select or create a GCP project.

    Go to the Project selector page

  3. Make sure that billing is enabled for your Google Cloud Platform project.

    Learn how to enable billing

Deploying the architecture

This section walks you through getting a trial Egnyte account and setting it up, creating a new storage bucket and service account in Cloud Storage, and integrating the two products.

If you are already use Cloud Storage, you can get started by creating an Egnyte Connect trial account to use with Cloud Storage. If you are already an Egnyte customer who is interested in using Cloud Storage, contact Egnyte customer support to proceed.

Set up a Cloud Storage bucket

  1. In the GCP Console, go to the Cloud Storage Browser page.

    Go to the Cloud Storage Browser page

  2. Click Create bucket.
  3. In the Create bucket dialog, specify the following attributes:
  4. Click Create.

Set up a service account

  1. Set up authentication:
    1. In the GCP Console, go to the Create service account key page.

      Go to the Create Service Account Key page
    2. From the Service account list, select New service account.
    3. In the Service account name field, enter a name.
    4. From the Role list, select Project > Owner.

      Note: The Role field authorizes your service account to access resources. You can view and change this field later by using the GCP Console. If you are developing a production app, specify more granular permissions than Project > Owner. For more information, see granting roles to service accounts.
    5. Click Create. A JSON file that contains your key downloads to your computer.

Create an Egnyte Connect trial account

  1. Go to the Egnyte Free Trial page to create an Egnyte Connect trial account.
  2. Activate your new account by email.

Configure Egnyte and Cloud Storage

  1. Log into your Egnyte Connect account. The first time you log in, you are prompted to configure your Cloud Storage settings. This is a mandatory step that must be completed before you can begin using Egnyte Connect.

  2. Click Go to Google Configuration.

    image

    The Storage Provider section in your account's settings opens. You can find this section under Settings > Configuration > Security & Authentication.

  3. Enter the storage bucket name and private key from Cloud Storage that you created earlier.

  4. Click Save. A checkmark next to the Saved button displays if your Cloud Storage settings were accepted:

    image

You're ready to begin using Egnyte Connect. Check out the Egnyte Getting Started guide for some useful resources to kickstart your trial.

Reviewing security features

Egnyte takes a holistic view of account security and breaks it down into four components: user, device, content, and network security.

User security

Egnyte ensures strict user and login enforcement, including SAML 2.0 Single Sign-On (SSO), Active Directory, and two-factor authentication. Additional user security comes from subfolder permissions, minimum password length and strength, password rotation, password history, account lockout, and more to ensure that only users with the right credentials can access data.

User security components:

  • Active Directory integration
  • Google Single Sign-on Using OpenID, Active Directory Two-Factor Authentication
  • Read/Write/Delete/Owner folder
  • Subfolder permissions
  • Guest access roles
  • Password rotation
  • Minimum password length and strength

Device security

The rapid increase in mobile usage has enabled significant productivity gains, but it has also created potential security concerns. To address these concerns, Egnyte Connect features a comprehensive set of tools specifically for mobile users.

Egnyte delivers additional options including mandatory passcodes, idle-timeout settings, and automatic file wipe after a set number of incorrect passcode attempts. Admins can also control whether files can be downloaded for offline access, and if a device is stolen, the employee or admin can remotely wipe the offline files in the Egnyte application.

Additional security features include local encryption and certificate-based device trust, so only authorized devices are allowed to access files.

Device security components include:

  • Passcode use enforcement
  • 256-bit AES on-device encryption
  • Remote-wipe for mobile & desktop clients
  • Trusted device
  • Offline file access controls
  • Automatic offline file expiry

Content security

Protecting files when they are at-rest sitting on a hard drive is as important as when they are being accessed. Egnyte Connect addresses this by using 256-bit AES encryption and storing the encryption key in a secure key vault in a completely separate, decoupled database. In addition, multiple domains can be used, each with unique encryption keys to further isolate and protect content. And for greater security, Egnyte can be configured so that files and metadata reside and can be accessed only on-premises and never touch the cloud.

Content that is stored at-rest in Google Apps storage accounts is encrypted using the same standards as other documents stored in Google Drive.

Content security components include:

  • Tier III SSAE 16 compliant data centers
  • Data center redundancy
  • Crypto-shredding of deleted files
  • Physical premises and rack security
  • Network redundancy
  • Available customer-managed encryption key solutions

Network security

Egnyte takes a multi-layered approach to network security. First, data is encoded during transmission using 256-bit AES encryption. ICSA-certified firewalls are deployed to police the traffic between the public networks and Egnyte's data center servers. SSL encryption and a network Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) to monitor and block hackers, worms, phishing, and other infiltration methods are also incorporated.

Egnyte network security details include:

  • 256-bit AES encryption in transit
  • Network Intrusion Prevention System
  • ICSA-certified firewalls
  • Third-party security audits
  • Real-time network monitoring
  • Network security experts on staff

Cleaning up

To avoid incurring charges to your Google Cloud Platform account for the resources used in this tutorial:

Delete the project

  1. In the GCP Console, go to the Projects page.

    Go to the Projects page

  2. In the project list, select the project you want to delete and click Delete .
  3. In the dialog, type the project ID, and then click Shut down to delete the project.

What's next

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