File Sharing from AWS

Step-by-step tutorial of how to turn your Amazon S3 buckets and Amazon EC2 servers into file sharing services with secure file access, synchronization and file sharing.

Turn Your AWS Services into a OneDrive

Mobile workers are familiar with OneDrive-style file access or Dropbox-style file sharing, which includes web browser based access, desktop folder synchronization and mobile applications. For businesses that have compliance to meet and regulation to follow, AWS could be one of the first few cloud services that are authorized for use. Leveraging AWS EC2 and AWS S3 to setup a modern OneDrive-style cloud file server for mobile workers will boost their productivity when business can still meet compliance and regulation requirements.

What is Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. The following capabilities make it a perfect storage service to build a cloud file server solution on top.

S3 is Object Storage
Amazon S3 is object storage, meaning the file related operations are done on the file as an object, not on smaller blocks here and there inside the file.
S3 is Scalable
Unlike traditional hard drives that have limited capacities, Amazon S3 capacity inside a bucket can grow automatically based on files uploaded to it.
S3 is Redundant
Files inside an Amazon S3 bucket is replicated a few copies across different zones.

What is Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) provides scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. We can use Windows 2016 or Windows 2019 virtual machine images in Amazon EC2 to set up our file sharing solution.

EC2 is VM in the Cloud
EC2 are virtual machines in the AWS data center
EC2 & S3 Works Together
It is natural for EC2 Windows virtual machines and S3 to work together since there is no data transfer cost in between EC2 and S3 from the same data center.
EC2 inside VPC
By default EC2 virtual machines are inside a specific VPC (virtual private cloud) that can be connected back to on-premise IT infrastructure via site-to-site VPNs.

Usability is Superb!

Local large folders and files have traditionally been shared as email attachments that have to be saved on email servers and can get blocked if they're too big. Beside that, who knows where they will be copied and downloaded?

With CentreStack running inside AWS on EC2 and with S3, you can share folders online and share files over the Internet from your laptops and desktops as web links, with read and write permissions and expiration dates, or even in a secure data room with auditing features. So you get the convenience of one-click sharing combined with reliability and security from cloud file servers.

Steps

Steps to setup CentreStack inside AWS and turn it into a file sharing solution

01
Prepare Amazon EC2 Key-pair

Amazon Key pair is used to launch Amazon EC2 Windows server 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 CentreStack. If you already have an Amazon EC2 key-pair before, you can use that again without generating a new one.

02
Prepare the Security Group

Amazon Key pair is used to launch Amazon EC2 Windows server image. It will give you a private key that isSecurity 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.

03
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.

04
Launch the EC2 Instance

When we launch the EC2 instance, it will be based on Amazon EC2 AMI image of Windows Server 2016/2019 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 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 2016" or "Windows 2019" and by Amazon. We will select the latest one and will get it started.

05
Install CentreStack

Please follow the installation guide to install CentreStack on Windows server.

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