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Cloud Storage: Solutions for Mapping Storage to Network Drives

Based on an article by ItProToday

Cloud storage is a norm today, but one of the problems is that data typically can’t be accessed in the same way as on-premise data. When mapping storage to network drives is an issue, cloud storage clients can help.

Organizations are now taking cloud storage seriously–to the point that many businesses now have significant amounts of data both on premises and in the cloud. One of the problems with storing file data in the cloud, however, is that the data typically cannot be accessed in the same way that users might be used to when accessing on-premise data. Windows, for example, cannot always natively map a network drive to cloud-based object storage. Fortunately, there are a number of third-party utilities that can help with mapping storage.

In some cases, mapping a network drive to cloud storage simply is not going to be an option without the use of a cloud storage client. In other cases, it may be possible to map a drive letter to cloud storage using nothing but native operating system capabilities.

Indeed, even though object storage is normally accessed through REST API calls over HTTP or HTTPS, there are other ways of mapping a drive letter to an object storage account. Doing so allows object storage to be used as seamlessly as other types of networked storage.

WebDrive is a tool that can seamlessly map a drive to online storage.

Map SFTP Drive screenshot

However, there are some important things to look for when deciding on a solution.

  • Supported Clouds

Even if your organization has standardized on a platform such as Amazon S3 for cloud storage, changing business requirements could mean that users need to access OneDrive for Business, Google Drive or practically any other type of cloud storage in the future. One of the best ways to protect your investment in cloud storage connectivity software is to look for a solution that works with all of the major cloud providers, such as WebDrive. Ideally, such a solution should allow for simultaneous connectivity to multiple clouds.

  • Cross-Platform Support

Another consideration that you should take into account is cross-platform support. If you have both PCs and Macs in your office, it is better from a support standpoint to find a single solution that works on both platforms, rather than adopt one product for PCs and another for Macs.

  • Simplicity

Ideally, any tool for mapping storage should be easy to configure. Administrators should not have to guess how to set it up, and users should not have to struggle with how to use the software. It should be seamless, exposing cloud data through any application. There are cloud connectivity tools that I omitted from the list above because they function more as cloud browsers than mapped drives. This means that cloud data has to be accessed through a proprietary application rather than being made available seamlessly through a simple network drive letter.

  • Transfer Speed

Another consideration when shopping for a cloud storage client is that it can efficiently transfer data to or from the cloud. Some cloud clients do have a reputation for being slow, but this is not an issue with WebDrive.

In addition to these general considerations, organizations must keep in mind specific business, industry, regulatory and security requirements. Organizations should also review the performance and relevance of storage systems on an ongoing basis as business and customer needs invariably change.

Ready to map a network drive to your cloud storage with WebDrive?

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