Q: What is XenData Cloud File Gateway?

XenData Cloud File Gateway runs on a Windows Server 2012 R2 server or Windows 10 computer and provides file-based access to Microsoft Azure cloud blob storage. It allows you to write and read files to Azure, just as you would to a Windows share on a file server or to a local logical drive on the computer that hosts the XenData gateway software.

Q: Does it support storing files on-premises and in the cloud?

Yes, the XenData gateway software takes control of a local logical disk volume and tiering policies are set to define whether files will be copied to the cloud and for how long they will be retained on the local disk. No matter whether the file is stored locally or in the cloud, it resides in the same folder with the same file name and is accessed the same way.

Q: What are the benefits of using the XenData Cloud File Gateway?

It allows your existing file-based applications and workflows to use cloud storage without need for modification. In addition, it allows you to set tiering policies which keep frequently accessed files on local storage. This minimizes cloud access costs and use of Internet bandwidth.

Q: What file system operations are supported?

You can write, read, delete and rename files. The system supports partial file restores. You can create new folders, rename empty folders and delete empty folders.

Q: What protocols are supported?

You can use CIFS/SMB, FTP or local file transfers. NFS is not supported at this time.

Q: How do I create a file share?

You create a file share as you would for a standard Windows logical drive using the standard Microsoft utilities.

Q: Does the Gateway support both hot and cool blob storage?

Yes, you can define whether hot or cool storage will be used when setting the tiering policies.

Q: What Azure Regions are supported?

Any region that provides blob storage is supported.

Q: How can I control what files are stored locally?

Files are always first written to the local disk volume. The XenData tiering policies determine which files will be written to the cloud and which will be stored only locally. For files written to the cloud, retention rules determine how long files will be held on local disk after they were written or last read. The user can set different retention rules for different file types and different folders. For example, files in specific folders may be written to the cloud and also held on local disk for a week after written or last read; whereas others may be removed from local storage immediately after they are written to the cloud. An additional policy may be for files ending in ‘.tmp’ which causes them to be stored only locally and never written to the cloud.

Q: Is deduplication or compression performed?

No. There is no deduplication or compression.

Q: Can I schedule times when writing to Azure is postponed?

Yes, you can schedule time windows when you can write to local disk but the copy to Azure is postponed. This is useful when Internet bandwidth is limited and there are busy times when it is in heavy demand.

Q: How does file security work?

The XenData Cloud File Gateway is fully compliant with the Microsoft security model. The Windows computer that runs the XenData gateway software may be installed in a domain or Workgroup. The only limitations are those of the Windows operating system.

Q: Is there a limit on the size of the gateway?

The local disk volume is limited to 256 TB but the volume of content stored in the cloud is unlimited. A single gateway is limited to 2 billion files, no matter whether stored on the local disk and/or in the cloud.

Q: Is there a limit on individual file size?

File size is limited to 256 TB which means there is no practical limit for most applications. The XenData Cloud File Gateway is ideal for large files used in media and entertainment workflows.

Q: Can I use a second gateway to read files written by one gateway?

This is not supported by the first release of XenData Cloud File Gateway but we are working to add this capability in a later release.

Q: How do I know when my file is uploaded?

You can use File Explorer to view the file properties. This will identify whether the file is on local and/or cloud storage.

Q: How many concurrent users and file shares can I have?

The only limits are those of the Windows operating system that you are using.

Q: My application checks storage size before writing a file. What storage size does the gateway return?

It returns the space available on the local disk. As files are always first written to the local disk volume, there must be sufficient space available to write the file.

Q: Can I enable versioning?

Yes, you can configure your tiering policies to keep old file version and deleted files on the Azure cloud.

Q: What sort of encryption is used to protect my data transfers to Azure?

All data transferred is encrypted using SSL. In addition Azure Storage Service Encryption (SSE) for Data at Rest protects your data to meet your organizational security and compliance commitments. With this feature, Azure Storage automatically encrypts your data prior to persisting to storage and decrypts prior to retrieval. The encryption, decryption, and key management are totally transparent to users.