Technical White Paper

Using Amazon S3 as a File Server

Use Amazon S3 as a cloud file server with secure access and file sharing. It is a solution with web browser access, mapped drive access, file locking, version control, and sharing files online as web links.

Do More with Amazon S3

Are you looking for a simpler way to access your data in Amazon S3? Perhaps you're looking for something more like a windows file server with mapped drive, file locking, Active Directory integration and NTFS permission integration? So what does CentreStack offer that makes it interesting? CentreStack layers Windows file server like features such as drive mapping, file locking directly on top of Amazon S3 to turn it in to a cloud based file server. It allows you to seamlessly access files from mapped drives, mobile devices and web browsers. And you can easily share files and folders as web links from outlook or web browsers.

Challenges of Amazon S3

Amazon S3, for the most part, is designed for independent software vendors (ISVs) to build business solutions, and not for direct use. It is kind of like a hard drive, which is not designed to be used directly but as a building block behind a tool like Windows Explorer or a file sharing platform such as a Windows file server.

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CentreStack Solution

CentreStack, with its AWS API integration, adds secure remote access and file sharing, disaster prevention and recovery, to local file servers on-premises with easy cloud migration to Amazon Web Services. For files and folders that you have already migrated into Amazon S3 via other means, CentreStack puts a file server interface above the raw Amazon S3 storage service and turn it into a secure remote access and mobile file sharing solution.

Remote Access

CentreStack bridges file servers and Amazon s3 storage for secure remote access without the need of using a VPN.

Disaster Recovery

CentreStack leverages Amazon S3 storage as a central cloud file repository with version control, file change history and audit tracing to provide business continuity.

Mobile Sharing

CentreStack leverage Amazon S3 storage for secure mobile file sharing from a web browser or from a mobile application.

Cloud Migration

CentreStack sets up a hybrid deployment between local file servers and Amazon S3 storage that can be seamlessly converted to AWS only.

"CentreStack is the best file server replacement solution on the market. They aren’t just leading the market, but they basically created a new market - none of the other products can do the things that I can do with CentreStack."


CEO, Noverus Innovations

Amazon S3 Local File Server Highlights

CentreStack provides a mapped drive letter for end users to access Amazon S3 in an easy and seamless way. It is not only for a single user but also for a team of employees to collaborate on a set of shared folders and shared files.


Remotely access file shares from a drive letter, without the need for a VPN. Mobile applications included!


Minimize storage and bandwidth consumption by automatically syncing and caching only the files you need.


Local cache encryption and remote wipe features protect files and folders on the remote devices.


Continue to edit files in offline mode detached from the Internet. Re-connect and re-sync once the device is back online.


Define different permissions for folders at different levels of the directory structure or inherit from NTFS permissions directly.


Local file server and Amazon S3 storage synchronize with each other for business continuity and easy cloud migration.


From internal Active Directory users to external clients and partners, you can define user rights for folder sharing.


Shared folders are put under version control and notifications are available for users subscribed to the folders.

Problems Solved with the Following Two Deployment Options

CentreStack installs agent software on your file server for file server integration and cloud enablement, or directly mounts your file server's network share into CentreStack when direct access is available. It intelligently manages local and cloud storage together to provide a range of cloud enablement options.

Most importantly, the active directory security and NTFS permission model is maintained as if it was never changed. And drive mapping functionality is continued so end users get a familiar mapped drive letter to access files from remote locations and from Amazon S3. File locking is also preserved for multiple users collaborating on the same file at the same time.

File server network shares are synchronized to Amazon S3 to provide a secure access solution for Windows mapped drives, Mac Finder mounted volumes, iOS and Android applications.

01. Hybrid Local File Servers with Amazon S3

Local file server and Amazon S3 synchronize with each other for business continuity and easy cloud migration.

Install CentreStack File Server Agent on the file server that will migrate to S3 over time. Supports Windows 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019 (32-bit/64-bit).


02. S3 Local File Servers with Direct Cloud Access

Access Amazon S3 or local file server network share directly with CentreStack fronting the storage services with HTTPS

If you've already migrated local file server data into the AWS data center, CentreStack provides a direct file access solution from remote devices and mobile devices.




Amazon S3 is the most supported cloud storage service with many technology partners providing S3-integrated solutions for primary storage, backup and restore, archive, and disaster recovery. With industry-leading performance, scalability, availability, and durability, it is widely used for businesses.

CentreStack provides a very unique cloud file server solution that integrates Active Directory, NTFS permissions, remote mapped drive and file locking features into Amazon S3 cloud storage services. The end result is a single solution that inherits both security features from existing IT infrastructure and also inherits mobility and durability from the cloud (Amazon S3).

Simplify remote access to local file servers from mobile devices, PCs, Macs and browsers with a mapped drive and without a VPN
Reduce server replacement costs. Eliminate management costs of servers and VPNs. Create business continuity solution with S3
Avoid the headaches of data sets split between local file servers and cloud solutions like Dropbox or Box.
Avoid the cost of manual files and folders replication or recreation of NTFS permissions. Inherits Active Directory and permissions.
Avoid the management headaches of cross site replication and simplify collaboration with remote offices. Unify multi-office data with S3.
Eliminate threats from de-centralized security and personal Dropbox and other 3rd party accounts. Consolidate file structures into S3.


Ready to boost mobile productivity with Amazon S3 and enable remote workforce today?