Online and Mobile Access to User's Home Directory on File Server

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Connect User’s Active Directory Home Directory to Remote User’s Desktop and Mobile Devices

Introduction

This white paper describes Databox with Active Directory Home Directory integration. The solution can be used by businesses to privately deploy and host a file sync and share solution, providing an access layer (browser, mobile, desktop and file server access) around private cloud storage service and local file server storage, and retaining full control of data and the related access infrastructure.

Problem Statement

Problem Statement
The Remote Site Headache – You have multiple sites and remote offices. For users from the remote sites, they are so used to save documents to the local My Documents folder. Even though there is a file server local to the remote site, users are still save documents to My Documents folder on their desktop. However, in the past weeks, there were already several cases that the user’s PC broke down and all the user’s documents saved on the local PC were all lost.

The Dropbox Problem – Some users from the remote sites are using Dropbox on their own to solve the data backup problem. However, for your company, Dropbox is both a solution and a problem. The company simply can’t allow users to sync files anywhere because it needs to meet certain data compliance criteria. You have to find a solution that is similar to Dropbox but allowing you to have full control of the data.

Previous Options

Previous OptionsThe company already standardized on Microsoft technologies such as Active Directory and File Server, with each user assigned a home directory from the file server. There may be VPNs in between the main office and the remote office. But again, if users are used to save documents to My Documents folder, not even bother to save to the remote office’s local file server, How easy will it be asking the users to connect the VPN, map a drive to active directory home directory and save documents there? The usability barrier is just too high.

Ideally, you want to find a solution, that can turn the remote user’s My Documents folder into an enterprise drop box, synchronize the local documents directly into the company’s file server, inside each user’s Active Directory home directory.

Databox Solution

Databox provides a solution for the problem above by natively integrated with Active Directory and the home directory settings in the Active Directory. As an end result, User can easily access their home directory from web browser, mobile devices, desktop and file servers, without using VPN.

There are many hurdles Databox overcome to make this happen.

  • First, how to connect the remote offices to the company’s file server without setting up VPN? How to get it done when the only communication channel is HTTPS?
  • Second, how to monitor the My Documents folder and send the documents to user’s home directory?
  • Third, how to maintain security and single sign-on so only authorized users can use the solution?
  • Forth, how to link the user’s storage with user’s Active Directory home directory?

Databox solves the problem by creating a 3-tier architecture,

  • The access clients on user’s desktop and on web browser;
  • The Databox access infrastructure that can be installed on-premise;
  • The ability to connect to enterprise file server as backend cloud storage.
Databox Implementation

Benefit 1 – Support Active Directory Users
There is no additional setup to add active directory users to the solution. Active Directory users can simply log in to the on-premise Databox web portal.

Benefit 2 – Native integration with Home Directory
User’s home directory information will be directly used for web browser based and mobile device access.

Implementation

It is recommended that Databox be installed on Windows 2008 w/ Service Pack 2 servers, or Windows 2012/R2 servers. You can connect the Active Directory to the Databox instance as the user manager. You can also connect your local file server to the Databox Server.

Summary

At the end, the remote users can go to the enterprise web portal, download the access client and turn their local folders into enterprise drop box folders. Files saved to their local folder will be migrated to their user’s home directory folder automatically.

For more information, please contact Databox Support @ help@databox.ca or visit http://www.databox.ca