Migrate Windows 2008 Server to Private cloud / hosted server recommendations needed

I am in need of some recommendations for a recent client request I received:

Client Request Info:

We are considering cloud storage for the client data on the server.   Basically I want to have a local folder that points to the data in the cloud. I do not want a system that syncs data between my laptop and the cloud like dropbox wants to do.

Client Request Info Also:

We are thinking about ways to use cloud storage like dropbox and we had some questions about it.
 
1)    I don’t necessarily like the fact that dropbox saves all the data to the cloud and mirrors it to each client computer.. seems like that would eat up a lot of rescources and we have had one hard drive fail because of that… is there a way just to access the data directly from the cloud without having a mirror image synched to the clients?

2)    If we are able to do what I describe above… can we make all of our resident programs like wordperfect, PracticeMaster, Word, etc. look to the cloud directly to pull the data from and save to just as we are able to save to the server on lan with no problem?


I am not too familiar with the various options available for migrating to a private cloud and would appreciate any recommendation or companies I should look at to assist with this request.  Also, I am correct to assume that a private cloud is the correct route to take vs a hosted server solution?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
resinateAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
it's mapped to www.box.com/<share name>

it uses Web Dav I believe, and there is an option, for mapping a drive to internet in Windows.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Would you like to map a drive to cloud storage ?
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resinateAuthor Commented:
They are looking to move the client files to cloud from server and access primarily from cloud..
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resinateAuthor Commented:
Like dropbox but without the syncing to local machine.

They have a few remote users and offices in three states so trying to make access to client files easier.  They primarily use word, word perfect, excel, ppt for file creation.  They also have a database application for legal industry called practicemaster that they were wondering if that could also be moved to cloud as well.

Basically move entire windows 2008 r2 server offsite to cloud...
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
How would the files be access then from the client ?

via what mechansim ?

Map a drive from Windows OS ?

We are working with a client, to MOVE ALL FILES from Local Servers to the CLOUD, and these will be access as File Shares.

No Syncing from Cloud to Desktop.

Using Corporate BOX Accounts. Please note this is not Dropbox.

https://www.box.com/en_GB/home/
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resinateAuthor Commented:
Yes, they would access files via a mapped drive similar to what they are doing now on local lan.
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
What version of PracticeMaster are you using? Are you using SQL and/or Platinum?  Do you also have the accounting modules (i.e., TABS, AP, GLS)?  How many users, about how large is your data?  PracticeMaster has its own application for cloud access (maybe for the Platinum version only, I'm not 100% sure), so your users in various offices could share data that way.  

However, in general I wouldn't recommend moving all your PracticeMaster data to the cloud. I think processing would be very slow, given the way PracticeMaster stores data. The data is basically stored in a bunch of flat files, so you're transferring a lot of data around while processing, especially if you're not using the Platinum version. If you're using PracticeMaster document management, you could still use it with documents in the cloud, I would think, if you're using a mapped drive to access the cloud-base files.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
eat up a lot of resources and we have had one hard drive fail because of that That was simply a coincidence, the drive was failing anyway.

Any of the cloud providers can give you that.. i.e. s3/azure/rackspace/godaddy.. you simply setup a server in the cloud with work folders enabled. Each user can use onedrive for their personal files and either onedrive for business or the work folders for business objects. you simply vpn into the server
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
drepbox also has selective sync https://www.dropbox.com/en/help/175
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would consider BOX, our current project is for 25,000 users, using unlimited storage on BOX.
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resinateAuthor Commented:
My client wants to move files from local lan server on their local network to the cloud.  They would like to then be able to have a mapped network shared to files on their computer and access files via the shared.

They do not want to sync the files like dropbox, etc does.  Working on files that are stored on private cloud drive.

Trying to be able to access the server files on cloud without use of vpn, or sync sotfware running on local computer.
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resinateAuthor Commented:
My client is currently using dropbox to sync some files with remote users but wanting to get away from that because the local sync takes up hard drive space and the total size of content they are looking to move to cloud is approx 266GB of data files.

That would eat out an enoumous amount of room syncing to a local computer from the cloud.
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resinateAuthor Commented:
Andrew Hancock

How is the Box online files mapped as a shared drive?
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Another item to consider is Office 365 Sharepoint and onedrive for business
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resinateAuthor Commented:
how did you bypass file authentication pop up every time file opened in box via network share?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Active Directory Federation Services, so you can use single sign-on, across cloud based applications.
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resinateAuthor Commented:
Any other options? Client does not use active directory at their office.  Also, they are planning on having available to remote users offsite.

Is Active Directory Federation Services available from box.com?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You would need to discuss, with Box Corporate.
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drmoon86Commented:
I know I am late to this discussion. I am certified in PracticeMaster. PracticeMaster will not run from a cloud storage solution such as dropbox, office 365 sharepoint or any other such storage. Many of those systems will block EXE files from running. And those that do not will find the program too slow and prone to data corruption because of the read/write to the database files.

However, we offer a cloud desktop solution that will work with PracticeMaster. Please visit www.compasspointlegal.com for more information or call me at 770-514-0400 x212.

David Moon
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