Access SoftLayer Object Storage using common SFTP clients

In my previous post, Getting Started with SoftLayer Object Storage, I outlined how one can use either Cyberduck or Gladinet to access a SoftLayer Object Storage container from a Windows desktop. In this post, I discuss the use of common SFTP clients such as FileZilla or WinSCP to access a SoftLayer Object Storage container.

Using the FileZilla Client

As mentioned in previous posts, my Thinkpad runs Ubuntu – given the FileZilla Client’s readily available on Linux, I installed the Linux client from Sourceforge. With the FileZilla Client installed, establishing a connection to SoftLayer Object Storage was straight forward.

To establish a connection with FileZilla;

  1. Launch the FileZilla Client
  2. Enter a Host value eg. sftp//dal05.objectstorage.softlayer.net/auth/v1.0/
  3. Enter your User name & Password ie. API Key
Figure 1.1 FileZilla Client

Figure 1.1 FileZilla Client

With a connection established, you can work with file transfer in FileZilla as normal. Done !

Using WinSCP

I installed WinSCP into a Windows KVM image running on Ubuntu. Establishing a connection to my SoftLayer Object Storage container was straight forward.

To establish a connection with WinSCP;

  1. Lauch WinSCP
  2. Set the File protocol to SFTP
  3. Enter a Host name eg. dal05.objectstorage.softlayer.net (Note: include no protocol or trailing /auth/v1.0)
  4. Enter your User name & Password ie. API Key

winscp

As with FileZilla, once you’ve a connection established to a SoftLayer Object Storage container via WinSCP, you can work as normal to transfer files to/from your local machine.

Using a standard SFTP client with SoftLayer Object Storage is very straight forward ! Feel free to leave comments below or contact me direct on Twitter @daltonology

Getting started with Object Storage on SoftLayer

SoftLayer’s KnowledgeLayer recommends either Gladinet Cloud or Cyberduck as third party software that can be used with SoftLayer’s Object Storage offering. See here. To better understand how these solutions work, I took a moment to install and configure each application to integrate with my SoftLayer Object Storage account. My use case – simple access from a Windows machine, transfer of files from a Windows PC to SoftLayer. I’m a full time Linux user, currently on Ubuntu 14.04, but installed both Cyberduck and Gladinet into a Windows KVM image 🙂

To get the ball rolling, I setup a ‘pay as you go’ Object Storage account with SoftLayer. After the order was processed, I used my newly assigned SoftLayer User ID to access the SoftLayer customer web portal. I used to the customer web portal to a) get access details/credentials for my SoftLayer Object Storage account and b) setup a new Object Storage container on SoftLayer.

To view access details/credentials for your SoftLayer Object Storage account;

  1. Navigate to control.softlayer.com via your browser
  2. Select Storage -> Object Storage
  3. Select a data centre, in this instance I selected Dallas 05
  4. Select View Credentials
  5. Make a note of the values, in particular the Public Authentication Endpoint, Username and API Key (Password). See Figure 1.1 below;
account_credentials

Figure 1.1 Account Credentials

To create a new Object Storage container;

  1. Click on the Add a container link
  2. Specify the name of the new container & you’re done !

Following the steps above, you now have a SoftLayer Object Storage account, details of how to access this account via a remote client and an Object Storage container. In the sections that follow, we’ll see how to access this Object Storage container via Cyberduck and Gladinet.

Using Cyberduck with SoftLayer

Working with Cyberduck was terribly easy. Cyberduck’s an open source OpenStack Swift client (amongst other things) – SoftLayer Object Storage offering is built on OpenStack Swift.

To install & configure Cyberduck to work with SoftLayer Object Storage on Windows;

  1. Download the Cyberduck install application (I installed version 4.6.1) from https://cyberduck.io/
  2. Run the install application accepting defaults
  3. Download, then open with Cyberduck, the appropriate profile for your SoftLayer data centre from here
  4. Enter the Username for your SoftLayer Object Storage account (see Figure 1.1)
  5. Enter the API Key, then click on Login

That’s it ! You should see your container created earlier in the Cyberduck browser. You can use the Cyberduck browser to transfer files from your local Windows machine to SoftLayer Object Storage. For details on how to use the Cyberduck application, see here.

Using Gladinet with SoftLayer

Gladinet’s a commercial offering with a variety of solutions that provide access to online storage. To address the use case outlined in this article, I installed the Gladinet Cloud Desktop Client for Windows.

To install, I followed the instructions on the Gladinet website here – IBM SoftLayer OpenStack Swift – Windows Desktop Drive Access. After signing up for a Gladinet trial account (14 day trial using my own cloud storage account ie. SoftLayer) then downloading and installing the Gladinet Windows Client, access to my SoftLayer Object Storage account was available via a new logical network drive in Windows Explorer. See Figure 1.2 below;

gladinet_cloud

Figure 1.2 Gladinet Cloud Drive

With this new drive, if I drop a file into this location on my local machine, Gladinet will synchronise with my SoftLayer account and the files stored in my Object Storage container. It’s that easy 🙂 I am using a trial account however and I expect Gladinet access will expire after the 14 day trial expires :/

In my next post, I plan to explore SoftLayer Object Storage from common SFTP clients. For any questions / comments on the detail above, feel free to get in contact via @daltonology on Twitter.

IBM Certified Solution Advisor – Cloud Computing Architecture V4

I found this Thoughts on Cloud blog post particularly useful when preparing for the IBM Certified Solution Advisor – Cloud Computing Architecture V4 exam. The aforementioned blog focuses on V3 of the exam however, V3 expires on 31 December, 2014 – the post below covers V4.

In November 2014, I began to transition out of my role in Cúram as leader of the FVT organisation and into my new role as Cloud Leader for IBM’s Sales & Distribution business in Ireland. I’ve always had a passion for technology and cloud’s an area that I’m well versed in given my previous role as the Development Manager for SmartCloud Connections (now the IBM Connections Cloud) in Dublin. In my new role as an IBM Cloud Leader, I wanted a challenge that would demonstrate my breadth of knowledge on cloud concepts and design principles. On 5 December 2014, I sat and passed the IBM Certified Solution Advisor for Cloud Architecture exam and am writing this blog to share with others how I went about it 🙂

The exam content itself is broken into 4 different areas;

  • Cloud Concepts & Benefits
  • Cloud Design Principles
  • Cloud Architecture
  • Cloud Solutions

The Cloud Concepts & Benefits section is straight forward and should be familiar to anyone that has practical experience of working on cloud technologies. Cloud Design Principles focuses on, as you might expect, the principles behind designing a cloud solution. This section is more technical than the previous and covers a broad array of design considerations but doesn’t go particularly deep into any. The Cloud Architecture section focuses on the IBM Cloud Computing Reference Architecture (CCRA) V4, it’s associated Adoption Patterns and drills into the Cloud Computing Management Platform (CCMP). This section is certainly the most technical and detailed. It also covers the largest body of content. Finally, the Cloud Solutions section outlines, again as you might expect, IBM’s cloud solutions as they align with Adoption Patterns.

My study for the exam was largely focused on the study guide provided – I printed a copy, read through, understood then learnt-off the content in a way that I could recall to pass a multiple choice exam. When reading the study guide, in particular around the Cloud Solutions section, I found myself using IBM Marketplace to go into more detail on offerings eg. Cast Iron or IBM Cloud Orchestrator.

The exam itself comprises of 57 multiple choice questions and requires a passing score of 70% in order to be successful. The test is delivered via Pearson Vue, you’ll need to create  a Peason Vue ID and sit the exam in a Pearson Vue test centre. See the Pearson Vue site for all relevant details.

On passing the exam, you’re entitled to use the ‘IBM Certified’ mark and receive a certificate like the one below 🙂 Certification aside however, I did find material covered both relevant & useful, in particular the Cloud Architecture section and the coverage of the CCRA and the CCMP.

Cloud Computing Certificate

2014 has been an important year for IBM and its cloudy ambitions. The Cloud Computing Architecture V4 syllabus provides a good grounding for Cloud Computing professionals. Hopefully you’ll find the material above useful. Please feel free to comment below or get in touch via Twitter @daltonology if you’ve any questions !