CentreStack
Enterprise File Sharing

Sync outside the box with this self-hosted, enterprise file sync and share platform.

 

Host Your Own Sync & Share Solution in Amazon EC2

Provide a Dropbox-like Solution to Your Users with Security and Control

CentreStack (Gladinet Cloud Enterprise) was released in 2012. The goal was to help businesses create a self-hosted file sync & share solution (dropbox-like solution) by leveraging business’s own file server and existing Active Directory services. Some refers to this kind of solution as the EFSS (Enterprise File Sync and Share) solution.

As more and more customers discussing the use cases with us related to the self-hosted sync and share solution, an important use case shows up - running the CentreStack enterprise file sharing solution from within Amazon EC2 and connecting to Amazon S3.

As customers migrating to the cloud, many of them are migrating to “Virtual Private” data centers such as Amazon EC2. They will move their files to Amazon S3 and start Amazon EC2 servers to connect to their data, from within a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). Basically, the Amazon EC2 servers are like on-premise servers that connect to the company network.

So the interesting idea is: How to make CentreStack run on Amazon EC2 servers?

In this other article, it discusses using Gladinet Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) to setup the enterprise file sync and share solution. This article will show you how to start from base Windows Server 2008 R2 English Base images provided by Amazon.


Step 1 – Prepare Amazon EC2 Key-pair

Amazon Key pair is used to launch Amazon EC2 Windows 2008 R2 image. It will give you a private key that is capable of decrypt the Windows administrator's password. With the password, you can log in remotely to the server and install Gladinet Cloud Enterprise.

If you already have an Amazon EC2 key-pair before, you can use that again without generating a new one.

Step 2 – Prepare the Security Group

Security Group in EC2 about network rules regarding inbound and outbound connections. We will need to prepare a security group with the following three inbound ports open.

  • HTTP - 80
  • HTTPS - 443
  • RDP - 3389

HTTP port can be closed later on once the SSL certificate is setup and ready to convert to HTTPS only application. The RDP port will be used to login to the server and manage the EC2 server from the server console.

Step 3 – Elastic IP

The EC2 server to be launched will need to have a fixed public IP address. It can be later bound to a DNS name. To get started, we can allocate an elastic IP ready to be used.

Step 4 – Launch the EC2 Instance

When we launch the EC2 instance, it will be based on Amazon EC2 AMI image of Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit English Base.

We will first select "Community AMI". After that, check the "Windows" and "64-bit" checkboxes on the left hand side panel.

On the search box, we will type in "Windows Server 2008 R2 English Base Amazon". This will limit the search result to Windows Operating System, limit it to 64-bit and finally, apply the search to "Windows 2008 R2" and by Amazon.

We will select the latest one and will get it started.

Updated March 2, 2014 : Server 2012 Base Image is also tested. Please use the AMI image below.

  • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-English-64Bit-Base-2014.02.12 - ami-814642e8
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 RTM 64-bit Locale English Base AMI provided by Amazon
  • Root device type: ebs Virtualization type: hvm

Step 5 - Install CentreStack

Once the Amazon EC2 Windows 2008 R2/2012 R2 base is launched, the rest is pretty straight forward.

Below is a recorded 10-minute demo video started from preparing the key-pair, security group, to all the way installing the CentreStack (Gladinet Cloud Enterprise) and get it up and running.

Updated March 2,2014: Same 10-minute video with Server 2012 Image (instead of Server 2008 image).