IT considerations when using Signiant Flight
Signiant Flight allows businesses to efficiently transfer large files to and from cloud object storage. The SaaS nature of Flight greatly simplifies deployment, and in a matter of minutes the cloud upload or download capability can be operating at scale.
It is, however, an enterprise-class utility that requires the involvement of IT professionals to connect it to existing infrastructure and ensure overall system security. Assuming that the cloud storage tenancy in AWS and/or Microsoft Azure is in place, a Flight deployment involves only four steps.
Four steps to deploy Flight:
- Download and install the client-side software on an on-premises server
- Connect the client to existing infrastructure using the CLI, either alone or in combination with the Manager+Agents component
- Configure the network to allow necessary inbound and outbound connectivity
- Enable the system via the management console
Integrating Flight with existing IT infrastructure
The client software can be downloaded from Signiant’s website and is designed to run on any commodity server or VM. Linux, OS X, and Windows are all supported. Using simple CLI commands, Flight can be integrated as desired with existing IT infrastructure.
As with all UDP acceleration offerings, outbound UDP ports must be opened to accommodate data transfer. Outbound access to the IP address range of the cloud provider and to the Signiant SaaS are also required for operation.
For more complex situations, Signiant offers relay agent support for DMZ navigation in the presence of advanced network configurations and security policies, and web proxy support to provide cloud access when the client is behind a web proxy. As with all products, Signiant’s knowledgeable technical deployment team can assist customers with network configuration.
Once connectivity is established, the next step is initializing a Flight management console account. Signiant provides a web link containing a one-time-use key to initialize account creation through a simple web form.
Once the Flight account is created, the customer’s cloud storage can be linked to the Flight account via the console. In the case of AWS S3 storage, the linkage is performed via standard AWS account cross trust mechanisms using a Role ARN. In the case of Azure Blob storage, the linkage is performed by entering standard account access credentials. AWS or Azure access credentials are never exposed to end users performing transfers.
Once storage is configured, unique access keys can be independently generated (and revoked) for individual users to transfer data to or from the linked storage.
Benefits of a multi-tenant SaaS solution
After this simple deployment is complete, IT staff receive ongoing benefits from a multi-tenant SaaS solution that is fully maintained and supported by Signiant and automatically upgraded with no downtime. There is no customer cost or effort associated with managing cloud-hosted virtual machine resources, since Signiant handles all that.
Similarly, there is no need to install, configure, or upgrade the software in the cloud — Signiant does that too. As a true cloud-native platform, Flight provides all of the scalability, elasticity and high availability that cloud technology enables.
Use Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure with no switching costs
Another major benefit of Flight is that a single subscription automatically allows for data movement in and out of Amazon AWS S3 storage, or Microsoft Azure Blob storage, or both. With ever-changing business and technology dynamics, this flexibility provides complete ‘storage independence’ and avoids the potential risks of cloud vendor lock-in.
Customers can switch between object storage providers, or pick more than one, without needing to change the file movement solution, provision additional infrastructure or incur additional cost. As more cloud providers are added to the Flight roster, these will automatically be added as options for all Flight subscribers.