If your head is in the Cloud, this guest writer article from the team at the CloudberryLab, is for you.
CloudBerry Explorer is a freeware Windows Client for Amazon S3 and CloudFront services. CloudBerry Explorer makes managing files in Amazon S3 storage EASY. By providing an FTP client like user interface to Amazon S3 accounts, files, and buckets, CloudBerry lets you manage your files on cloud just as you would on your own local computer. And best of all it is absolutely free!
Amazon S3 is a web service that allows reliable and secure storage of your data in the multiple data centers with unlimited capacity and scalability. It allows you to easily scale up your data storage to meet growing needs of your business. What’s more you pay only for what you actually use and you don’t have to provision servers to match anticipate growth far in advance of this growth start hitting you. You don’t have to invest in the hardware infrastructure and you don’t have to pay for ongoing operations of those servers. You just pay low fee for data stored on Amazon servers.
However Amazon S3 is primarily designed for software engineers who would integrate the S3 with their web platform using so called S3 API which is based on REST and SOAP. This makes it difficult for less sophisticated users to employ Amazon S3 who would otherwise benefit from the scalable web storage as well. But at the same time it opens an opportunity to 3rd party vendors such CloudBerry lab and many others to unleash the power of Amazon S3 for consumers.
With CloudBerry Explorer you can
- Allow end users to accomplish simple tasks without special technical knowledge
- Automate time-consuming tasks to improve productivity
- With CloudBerry Explorer, Amazon S3 becomes an extension to your local storage. You are no longer limited to the classic data storage on your local drive(s). With CloudBerry Explorer, you can move files to Amazon S3 just as easily as managing them on your local drive(s).
- CloudBerry Explorer allows you to move large files such as photos, videos, and music to Amazon S3 and free up your local storage.
- The files on your Amazon S3 can be shared with anyone who has access to the internet. For security purposes, the S3 accounts can be password protected and access can be restricted
Now let’s look at some of the CloudBerry Explorer functional capabilities
Browse S3 Buckets
CloudBerry Explorer allows you to browse contents of your S3 bucket and create new buckets and folders and rename files. It works just like Windows Explorer or any other file system browser.
Copy Files in background
CloudBerry Explorer allows you to copy files in the background, you can turn to other tasks while copy process is running. You can also pause/ resume copy process and review copy queue for errors. You can also hide CloudBerry Explorer to system tray to free up some space on your task bar while copy process is running. It will tell you when the process is over.
Register Multiple S3 Accounts
CloudBerry Explorer allows you to register as many Amazon S3 accounts as you like
Setup access control lists (ACL)
CloudBerry Explorer allows you to setup access control lists (ACL) with ACL editor, you can grant access rights to other Amazon S3 users or to any internet users. ACL editor reminds you the one that you use to manage file permissions on Windows.
Besides, you can propagate bucket ACL to all files in that bucket- something that Amazon S3 doesn’t provide out of the box.
Efficiently copy files between S3 accounts
CloudBerry explorer provides for fast and efficient way to copy objects between two Amazon S3 accounts, it leverages Amazon S3 capabilities to run this process on Amazon servers without the need to download files to your local computer.
Generate Web URL
CloudBerry Explorer allows you to generate URL for single or multiple objects. You can also generate time limited URLs that will expire at a predefined time. You can also specify CNAMEs to make your URLs look nicer and use http://chilp.it/ URL shortening service and BiTorrent URLs.
Configure CloudFront Distribution
CloudFront is another Amazon service that works in conjunction with S3 and allows for efficient content distribution. The content is published to data centers in multiple geographical zones and the user download content from the server that requires fewer network hops. All this happens transparently to the end user and the publisher pay a small per usage base fee.
CloudBerry Explorer allows you to configure Amazon CloudFront service in a matter of minutes. Just select a bucket and click a button on the toolbar.
PowerShell Command Line Interface
Finally, CloudBerry Explorer ships with a set of PowerShell cmdlets which you can use to script bulk or frequent operations. Most of the features available thru the user interface are also available though a PowerShell command line interface. You can combine CloudBerry Explorer commands with regular PowerShell commands. PowerShell is designed to operate with other objects, so you’re not limited to command syntax. You can write complex scripts with loops and conditions and schedule routing tasks such as data backup or cleanup.
CloudBerry Explorer PRO version
CloudBerry Lab is currently working on a profession edition of CloudBerry Explorer. This product will feature compression, encryption, multi threaded files transfer, customer HTTP headers and FTP source support. It would require writing a separate article just to make an overview of these features and we simply don’t have enough space here. Professional edition will have a small licensing fee associated with it.
One final note is that CloudBerry Lab tries to stay on top of what works best for Amazon S3 users and delivers new version almost every month. It has been 5(!) commercial releases since CloudBerry Explorer was first released in November, 2008.
Overall CloudBerry Explorer is a solid Amazon S3 client that can help developers, web designers and other users who want to exploit Amazon S3 and CloudFront services.
If you work with Amazon S3 on Windows or considering using Amazon S3 it is a good reason to start now and download CloudBerry Explorer from CloudBerry Lab website at http://cloudberrylab.com/