Using Amazon Web Services with censhare

  1. chevron left iconUsing Amazon Web Services with censhare
December 11, 2013

With censhare 4.8, companies can also use Amazon's S3 Cloud storage as an external data system. The Oracle database and the Application Server have already interoperated with Amazon Web Services. Consequently, censhare can now be operated locally, or partially or totally in the Cloud.

Freedom of choice for the infrastructure

Adequate resources rank among the production critical IT factors. It is not always easy to estimate the requirements correctly. And every expansion ties up additional capital. With the integration of Amazon's S3 (Simple Storage Service) Cloud storage in 4.8, censhare may now be operated completely on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The Application Server was already compatible with Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Cloud Computing) and the Oracle database with the ARDS (Amazon Relational Database Service). It is also possible to just relocate the external file system into the Cloud. Depending on how much flexibility a company needs, without tying up too much capital, the AWS can be used completely or partially.

Mapping of various file systems such as Amazon's S3 to a particular domain in censhare

Operating a solution in the Cloud means that a company does not have to commit any of its own hardware resources. Server, database and external file system are provided by AWS. The solution is then located centrally in the Web, is available for all divisions of a company and can be extended very easily. Additional partners, service providers or customers can be linked in over the Web. censhare is a technology partner for AWS and supports companies in implementation and operation.

If a company only uses Amazon's S3 in the Cloud, it can very flexibly relocate some or even all of its files into the Cloud. Application Server and database then work in the company. This allows very flexible reaction to varying storage requirements, without tying up additional capital on site. In this way the investment costs can be kept low, or temporarily increased storage requirements handled.

Amazons S3 can be integrated very simply into censhare. All that companies need for this is an Amazon S3 Account. With this it only takes a few steps to integrate the Cloud storage as an external file system. From then on, Amazon's S3 is transparently available.

Customer Benefits

  • Complete operation of censhare as a Cloud solution with Amazon Web Services
  • One central installation for all company divisions, partners, service providers and customers
  • Flexible provision of all necessary services with the Cloud
  • No investments necessary for server, database or storage hardware
  • No laborious planning of storage capacity for files
  • One central storage system covering multiple sites
  • No high investment costs for the extension of the external file system
  • Fast and cost-effective provision of storage space at peak times, especially when the average storage requirement is considerably lower
  • Granular control of the deposition of files on Amazon's S3 or other file systems with the domain concept, including rights administration
  • Simple setup of the Amazon S3 storage area in censhare
  • Simple migration of files in a domain to Amazon's S3 and back

Application Case

  • No high investment costs
  • Central provision
  • Simple linking in of partners, customers or service providers
  • Provision of a central file system for multiple sites
  • Cost-effective and simple provision of the required storage space
  • Coverage of times with high storage requirements such as the production of a catalog

Comprehensive protection mechanisms

Amazons S3 appears to censhare as an additional file system. censhare's domain concept allows control of which files are stored in Amazon S3 and which in a local file system. The domain concept divides a company into various areas or domains for the purpose of rights administration, for example by location or by products. These may then be assigned to an Amazon S3 area. It is transparent for users whether the files are located on Amazon's S3 or another file system.

A module in censhare enables a company to migrate asset files very easily to Amazon's S3. Conversely, the files can also very easily be transferred back onto a local file system if the Cloud storage is not to be used any more.

To protect the data, transfer to Amazon's S3 takes place over SSL. Further protection is offered by the optional encryption of the data stored on Amazon's S3 with Amazon's Server Side Encryption. Within censhare, a sophisticated rights concept with domains, roles and rights groups protects access to assets and files with fine granularity.

Transparent usage of Amazon's S3

In order to interface with Amazon's S3, three new file system types are defined in censhare. The first two use Amazon's S3. In one of them, censhare stores the files (master data) for the assets. censhare clients write into the second, when they, for example, import a local file on the client into censhare. censhare transfers them from there into the actual asset file system. In this way they are protected from direct access by the client.

The third file system resides locally on the censhare server and serves as a cache. If, for example, a file is imported again after processing, the censhare server stores an additional copy in the cache. If, for instance, a preview PDF needs to be newly created after a change, the censhare server accesses the cache and not Amazon's S3.

There are two functions in the Admin Client, under Modules in the Asset Files area, for the transfer of existing files in local file systems into Amazon's S3. These are "Change file system for current version" and "change file system for all versions". These also exist as Asset Automation.

Users configure access to Amazon's S3 by means of a module within the Admin Client. Three parameters are needed for this: the S3 Access Key, the S3 Secret Key as well as the name of the bucket for storing the data in Amazon's S3. A bucket is a special region of storage within an Amazon S3 account. For each bucket, an entry in the key data as well as in the services will be created in the Admin Client, one per file system type.

If the administrator has selected server-side encryption, then all files subsequently stored in Amazon's S3 will be encrypted using 256 bit AES.

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