Introduction to the CTERA Edge Filer
  • 18 Apr 2022
  • 3 Minutes to read
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Introduction to the CTERA Edge Filer

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  • PDF

Article Summary

CTERA Edge Filers seamlessly combine collaboration capabilities, local storage, cloud storage, and data protection functionality in a single, cost-effective package. CTERA Edge Filers are available as physical or virtual appliances.

  • H Series CTERA Edge Filers run under a VMware ESXI hypervisor on a range of physical appliances.
  • V Series CTERA Edge Filers are software-based gateways running on a hypervisor, such as ESXi or KVM, or in a cloud, such as AWS.
  • X Series CTERA Edge Filers run on hyperconverged physical appliances providing high availability and efficient disaster protection.

CTERA Edge Filers replace file servers and other traditional file storage solutions with a single, cloud-integrated and cost-effective solution. CTERA Edge Filers:

  • Incorporate Intelligent caching technology.
  • Deliver unlimited file access to office users, with visibility to all organizational files centralized in the cloud, either private or public.
  • Provide users with collaboration across offices and endpoints with no local storage restraints.
  • Dynamically cache files from a secure CTERA Portal to the CTERA Edge Filer.

The CTERA Edge Filer is managed using a web-based interface or centrally through the CTERA Portal. The CTERA Portal also allows users to sync content between the CTERA Portal and the CTERA Edge Filer, as well as between CTERA Edge Filers located in different branch offices.
The CTERA Edge Filer connects to a CTERA Portal to provide the following:
CACHING (Caching Gateway) – Provides users with LAN speed access to all their home folders and shared folders on the CTERA Portal. Local user accounts are mapped to the equivalent user accounts in the cloud, so that each user sees only his or her personal view of the cloud files. Users can access locally stored, synced copies of the folders they are allowed to access on the CTERA Portal.
The main storage is on the CTERA Portal in the cloud with stubs saved on the CTERA Edge Filer. A stub is a file with a tiny footprint that contains the metadata about the file, such as the file name, size, and modification date. Only the folder and file metadata and not the actual file content is saved locally. This results in the cost of storage being significantly lower. Also, systems with many file changes, where only some of the files are required locally, don’t over use bandwidth between the cloud and CTERA Edge Filer. Only the required files are passed across the wire.
When a user accesses a file stub, the file is opened without delay, where possible by streaming the file content from the cloud. After the download has completed, the file is unstubbed. Any changes to the file are synced back to the CTERA Portal. Folders that are always required can be pinned, in which case the files in the folders, and not the stubs, are stored on the CTERA Edge Filer.

CLOUD BACKUP – Provides secure periodic point-in-time backups of local folders and files on the CTERA Edge Filer that are not cached with a CTERA Portal. Automated differential backup and restore functions include block-level deduplication, compression, and encryption technologies, ensuring secure and efficient synchronization between the CTERA Edge Filer and the CTERA Portal. Backups are encrypted using high-grade AES encryption and encoded to maximize bandwidth utilization. Users can recover backed up files. CLOUD BACKUP mode requires a backup license.
Note: Cloud backup requires a backup license from CTERA.

Disaster Recovery Using a Second, Passive, CTERA Edge Filer

Fast disaster recovery from a failure of the CTERA Edge Filer is available by setting up a second CTERA Edge Filer connected to the CTERA Portal that is only used to replicate the content on the active CTERA Edge Filer by syncing content down from the portal.

If the active CTERA Edge Filer fails, switching to the secondary CTERA Edge Filer is almost seamless.

If the secondary CTERA Edge Filer was not running at the time of the failure, the metadata from the CTERA Portal is downloaded quickly so the stub files are almost immediately available on the second CTERA Edge Filer. Both metadata and data are populated to the secondary CTERA Edge Filer based on priority: When a path is entered to access content, that content receives download priority.

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