Use Amazon S3 as Your File Server

“I want to build a file server in EC2, storage use Amazon S3, user management integrated with Active Directory, and publish network shares with CIFS”.

As Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) getting more and more popular and becoming the default for EC2 servers, we are seeing more and more requests like this for Amazon S3.

As we will show you in this article, it is not hard to implement this with Gladinet Cloud solutions. There are two hurdles for you to overcome, which Gladinet Cloud does it for you.

Problems to Solve

(a) Amazon S3 is not  CIFS (Microsoft Network Share) protocol, so you will need an Amazon S3 to CIFS protocol converter. Otherwise, you can’t map a drive directly to Amazon S3.

(b) CIFS protocol is a LAN protocol, suitable for local area network. Performance wise, it wasn’t designed for wide area network (AKA Internet). The CIFS protocol is too chatty, involving too much requests and acknowledgements. It is slow to stream files over the Internet from Amazon data center to your office.

How Gladinet Solves this Problem

(a) Gladinet Cloud was built around a drive mapping technology. From Gladinet Cloud Desktop client to Gladinet Cloud File Server client, you will see drive mapping technology converting Amazon S3 storage into a storage space that you can view and use from Windows Explorer with a drive letter.

Behind the scene, it is a Cloud Storage Service (in this case, Amazon S3) to CIFS protocol converter and vise versa.


(b) Gladinet Cloud Server is the product that on one hand, runs locally as a file server, presenting CIFS protocol locally to the Microsoft Network. On the other hand, translating CIFS protocol to Amazon S3 commands over the WAN (Internet) to Amazon EC2 data center. It also does necessary local caching to improve performance. To say it in another word, it is a WAN accelerator for CIFS when it comes to using Amazon S3.  Gladinet Cloud Server is part of the Gladinet Cloud Team Edition or Gladinet Cloud Enterprise Edition.

Extending the CIFS Sharing

If Gladinet Cloud Server can get the job done, why not use it as a stand-alone product? Why do you need Gladinet Cloud Team Edition or Gladinet Cloud Enterprise Edition?


The reason is that the Cloud Storage and Internet enables wider use cases than the traditional Microsoft Network. Traditionally, inside a Microsoft Network, you can have users collaborate over a Microsoft File Server. However, in the cloud storage era, you can also access the files and folders over web browser clients and mobile clients, in addition to the traditional Windows Desktop clients.

In the past, Microsoft clients such as Windows XP, Windows 7/8 dominates the business use cases. As long as you have a Microsoft PC/laptop, you can use Microsoft network share to collaborate with users. But nowadays, you have web browsers that are closing in on native desktop user experience, and you have iOS and Android devices that you wish to do online collaboration with.

This is when the Gladinet Cloud Team Edition and Gladinet Cloud Enterprise Edition bring the additional online collaboration features. This way, the Amazon S3 cloud storage becomes your file server in the cloud era, and your Windows PC, iOS and Android devices all becoming the client devices to your cloud file server.

Next Step

Visit Gladinet home page for a Team Edition account or install the Enterprise product to check it out.

For more Gladinet Cloud Server related information, please visit


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