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Downloading over a WAN Intranet

I work for a company which, like many others, has a lot of offices spread around the world.  Quite often, due to the time differences we realise that we need to get some big files from a server in another office when there's there.  So typically we'd just browse the windows shares at the remote office and copy it across.  But this isn't much fun when the office is so far away - however much bandwidth you have the ping time makes browsing remote (say 5000 miles or so) shares painfully slow.

So I was thinking... Is there some intranet solution out there that could improve things?  How about if you had a webserver running at each site which was running some code that allowed users to browse shares via interactive HTML.  When the user found what they wanted, it could automatically zip up the files/directories on the server and allow the user to download them.  Does anyone know of a solution like this that's out there already?  Ideally, the user would be able to enter the name of any server they would like to browse and any authentication details that are required.  I know that we could use terminal services or ssh or whatever, but it would be nice to have a fast easy to use GUI for the less technically inclined...

If there isn't anything like this out there then I might have a go at putting it together myself.

R1ch
Friday, November 07, 2003

like passthrough?  cool idea.  make it!


Friday, November 07, 2003

I think I might just do that - being able to have searches performed on the server side would be a handy feature too.

R1ch
Friday, November 07, 2003

a modern gopher eh?

please make this a web app, so you just deploy it on a webserver and it is easy to use.

A client-side app, whilst maybe more efficient and possible to make more useful, might force a homogeneous network architecture.

Hey, what happened to gopher?


Friday, November 07, 2003

Don't know if this will fit your bill or not.
It's a nice gui for SSH.

http://winscp.sourceforge.net/eng/


Friday, November 07, 2003

gopher became an endangered species and is now kept in special breeding stock locations such as CERN, MIT and UCSD.

Simon Lucy
Friday, November 07, 2003

Winscp is one option and I see it here.  However, as the process appears to be somewhat predictable, what if you just kept each other up to date?

Rsync now supports constricted bandwidth.  So it will allow you to say only "X bytes/second" of transmit.  Setting up  an interface to it, and putting a line in to zip the file first should pretty much do what you are asking. 

If you wish to do this right off the drive menu, it is a bit more complex (ok, quite a bit). However, if you build the interface through a web page it would be straight forward, and you could even send the person an email when the file was relocated.

Or.......you could just use rsync to sync everyone with everyone else as they go off-line for the night.  If the files are truely random and it does happen a lot, this would be the best option.  (fyi- unless you force it to, rsync only moves files that change so no wasted sending of duplicates)

MSHack
Friday, November 07, 2003

thought i'd already responded to this...

using a differnet protocol can help. webdav (which is an extension to http) is supported by windows (server==iis, client = Windows Explorer, or XP (or maybe Win2k) ship with a redirector so you can actually do net use * http://something. it may even try http first for \\ style notation, which is all wrong if you ask me but might just solve your exact problem: stick a web server with the same share names and permissions on the file server, and it should just work.
(note that if it doesn't try http first, you'll have to teach people to use http addresses and make sure to put them in the right place in the UI--not the address well, but a number of other places work fine)

mb
Monday, November 10, 2003

Thanks to all those that replied.  I think that the situation that we have is a lot more ad-hoc than most of the solutions would allow for - there are a lot of machines with a lot of shared areas on a lot of sites around the work - syncing them all up would take a huge amount of bandwidth.  It's stuff like build areas/debug symbols/installs/documents etc, and a lot of time it might be a file that someone shared for you a while ago and you need to get hold of again, but can't quite remember where it is... that kind of thing.  Winscp looks good, but it doesn't seem to have searching functionality - definitely better than what we have to do now though.  I had a look around online and the closest thing that I've been able to find would be this:- http://www.http-com.com/Default.asp?section=Features if it could connect to network shares (on an ad-hoc basis) as well as the webserver machine.  (The online demo seems pretty good anyway).

I'll have a go at knocking something together myself when (if) I have some spare time.

Thanks again everyone.

r1ch
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

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