Cloud Gateway FAQs

Last Updated: Nov. 20, 2017

Q: What is XenData Cloud File Gateway?

XenData Cloud File Gateway software runs on a Windows platform and provides file-based access to Microsoft Azure cloud blob storage. It runs on an Azure virtual machine or an on-premise computer and allows your existing file-based applications and workflows to use Azure blob storage without need for modification. It also manages a dedicated disk volume allowing frequently accessed files to be cached for high performance.

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

Yes. When installed on-premise, the XenData gateway software takes control of a local logical disk volume; tiering policies are set to define whether files will be copied to Azure blob storage and for how long they will be retained on the local disk. No matter whether a 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: How is it used when installed in the cloud?

When installed on an Azure VM, the XenData gateway software takes control of an Azure logical disk volume and an Azure blob storage account; configurable storage policies are set to define whether files will be stored on the VM’s disk volume and/or Azure blob storage.

Q: Can I create a shared file system across multiple gateways?

With multiple machines running the gateway software, files may be written to a shared blob storage account by each system and accessed by them all.

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, NFS, FTP or local file transfers.

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 on the disk cache?

Files are always first written to the disk cache. The XenData tiering policies determine which files will be written to blob storage and which will be stored only on the cache. For files written to blob storage, retention rules determine how long files will be held on the disk cache 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 blob storage and also held on the disk for a week after written or last read; whereas others may be removed from disk immediately after they are written to the blob storage.

Q: Is deduplication or compression performed?

No. There is no deduplication or compression.

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

Yes, you can schedule time windows when you can write to the disk volume but the copy to Azure blob storage is postponed. This is useful for on-premise installations 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 VM or physical 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 volume of content stored on blob storage is unlimited. The size of the disk cache is limited to 256 TB. A single gateway is limited to 2 billion files, no matter whether stored on the disk volume and/or on blob storage.

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.

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: Can I enable versioning?

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

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

For on-premise installations, 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.