Migrating a File Share into the Cloud using SoftNAS AMI on AWS – an example

Moving File Servers into the Cloud is not that simple.  There are NAS’ available on Cloud Platforms running on server instances, which allow the migration of files from on-premise into a Cloud file storage.  A simple example is given below.  Another post will deal with the complexities of moving large (or many), on-premise NFS/DFS/CIFS to a Cloud platform.

In this example, we are migrating a CIFS to SoftNAS on AWS.  SoftNAS information; www.softnas.com

1.       Objective

Set up POC to move CIFS to the Cloud using SoftNAS residing on AWS.

Note: The configuration has been created with help of “GettingStartedSoftNASAWSv102-1.pdf” document. The document will be referred to throughout these notes.

2.       AWS configuration
a)      Access


Username: xxxxxx

Note: Please be careful in order to make sure that account stays within free AWS tier

b)      EC2 Linux instance

The EC2 Linux instance was created by following pages 4 through 16 of   “GettingStartedSoftNASAWSv102-1.pdf”.

Configuration details:

Fig. – EC2 Linux instance

  •  Instance created using “SoftNAS Cloud Standard HVM version” AMI (from AWS marketplace)
  • medium created

Note: Initially, T2.micro instance, eligible for a free tier, was created. T2.micro with  1GB of RAM  was not meeting minimum requirements of SoftNAS CIFS share, therefore was upgraded to T2.medium (not eligible for free tier)

  • Elastic IP created and assigned to the instance
  • New AWS security group created. Same security group assigned to both instance utilized in this POC.

The security group allows:

  • SSH access from all sources
  • HTTPS access for all sources
  • RDP access for all sources (required to establish RDP connection with Windows EC2)
  • Custom TCP rule allowing access on port 445 from Windows EC2 (required for CIFS)

Note: Samba ports ( TCP 445,139 and UDP 137 and 138 ) need to be open in order to set up SoftNAS. For this POC, opening port 445 was sufficient.

Fig. – Security group inbound rules


c)       EC2 Windows instance (jump host)

Samba ports ( TCP 445,139 and UDP 137 and 138 ) need to be open in order to access SoftNAS services. These ports are closed by default on most home networks and also frown  upon by many ISPs as it poses a security risk to end users.

In order to overcome these issues in this POC, we set up a jump host, EC2 Windows  instance, in the same VPC SoftNAS resides in and tested accessing SoftNAS shares using the jump host.

        Configuration details:


Fig. – EC2 Windows instance

  • AMI ID: Windows_Server-2016-English-Full-Base-2018.01.12 (ami-44b73220)
  • micro Windows based
  • Elastic IP created and assigned to the instance
  • Same security group as for Linux instance assigned to the Windows instance


3.       SoftNAS configuration
a)      Access
  • Username: softnas
  • Password: i-0d83054465faf10fc

Fig. – SoftNAS Dashboard


b)      EBS Disk

Created Amazon EBS Disk by following pages 23 through 26 in   “GettingStartedSoftNASAWSv102-1.pdf”

Note: You can get to “Available Devices” page by navigation to “Disk Devices” item under  “Storage”.

c)       Storage Pool

Created Storage Pool by following pages 26 through 29 in “GettingStartedSoftNASAWSv102-1.pdf”

d)      CIFS Volume

Created a CIFS volume by following pages 29 through 32 in “GettingStartedSoftNASAWSv102-1.pdf”

Fig. – SoftNAS CIFS Volume

4.       Accessing SoftNAS volume from Windows jump host

As stated earlier, we will be accessing SoftNAS volume from Windows jump host, which is Windows EC2 residing on the same VPC SoftNAS resides in.

We access jump host via RDP protocol using Windows RDP client.

a)      Access Windows jump host

Note: It is assume that Remote Desktop client is available on your Windows machine.

  • Double click on “ec2-35-182-142-178.ca-central-1.compute.amazonaws.com.rdp” file

Note: The Remote Desktop File (.rdp) was generated byusing the steps from https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/WindowsGuide/connecting_to_windows_instance.html

  • Enter credentials:
    • User name: Administrator
    • Password: DOUO63B3R7&WAnVTZD8PZr&9a47V3txS
b)      Access SoftNAS volume via Windows jump host (CIFS share)

From Remote Desktop Connection:

  • Open Windows Explorer

Fig. – Windows EC2 – access via RDP

  • Type ” \\″ into Windows Explorer address bar

Note: Since jump host and SoftNAS reside in the same VPC, SoftNAS CIFS share  c an be accessed using SoftNAS’s private IP address.

Fig. – Windows EC2 – accessing SoftNAS CIFS share

Current CIFS connection can be viewed from SoftNAS portal

Fig. – SoftNAS – Connections of CIFS Share



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