Cloud Drive for MacOS FAQ
last updated October 19, 2020
Storage Made Easy provides a suite of Applications for the Enterprise File Fabric each of which, from a desktop perspective, provide a cloud drive or remote file view on data.
The aim of this read me document is to highlight some caveats that needs to be understood / observed when working with the OSX implementation of the File Fabric Cloud Drive.
OSXFuse is required to be installed for the Drive to function. OSXFuse is a File System in UserSpace implementation for OSX that enables developers to extend OS X's native file handling capabilities via third-party file systems, such as the Enterprise File Fabric. As OSX provides operating system updated OSXFUSE and/or the File Fabric application may need to be updated to support these changes. Updating the OSXFuse application away from the File Fabric supported version may work but is not supported.
Though OSXFuse provides, in essence, the ability to have a 'cloud drive' with the file listings actually being 'stubs' until they are accessed, treating the Drive as an SMB replacement does have caveats, in particular it has latency constraints as files are not local, actions are not synchronous (to ensure reasonable performance), and there is a limit to what interactions, at an OS level can be controlled.
The Cloud Drive App should be excluded from Anti Virus / Malware scanning to avoid performance and functionality issues which could render the drive unstable or unusable. (When files are cached to disk they should still be scanned).
The Cloud Drive and Apps in general need access to ports 80 and ports 443 to work. Also note that some PC's installed firewalls sandbox Apps and you should ensure that the Drive and other File Fabric Apps are not sandboxed.
Whereas the Drive may work over VPN, latency can be an issue that affects the performance of the drive. Also note that connecting and disconnecting a VPN when the drive is active may result in the drive either to exit or hang due to the change in network interface.
The Cloud Drive has been optimized to disable previews for images and other file types that use this functionality. This is because the file needs to be downloaded to create the preview which of course would negate the whole purpose of using the drive.
If this preview functionality is changed or not implemented then it could result in a degraded performance as well as all files being downloaded locally.
Working with email
Attaching a file to Mac Mail from the virtual drive is not supported. The Mac Tools suite provide an email plugin for Mac Mail. This should be used for sharing links to files.
Working with files
In general you should be able to work with files as you would on a normal drive but please note that some applications may need certain “hooks” for the Drive to work with them (with regards to edit and save). This work has been done for many file types but if you come across a file type where edit and save is problematic you should email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Working with large files
Remember that the drive is a remote view of data. If users work with a very large file the whole file has to be downloaded and then, on save, the whole file has to be then uploaded.
Where a Company has a license for M-Stream and M-Stream certified providers are being used the Drive will take advantage of M-Stream fast file transfer.
The Sync element of the OSX Apps can be a much more optimal way of working with large files as Sync is out-of-band.
Uploading / Copying files
It is not recommended to copy a large amount of files with the Drive. If the file sizes are large please consider using the Web App. Dragging and Dropping files between the local file system and the cloud drive will work and will even try to resume on failure but the drive is not optimized for such large file transfers, and note that it uses a local cache to store the files (known as a loopback cache) before transfer.
Accessing Drive Settings
Drive Settings can be accessed from Menu bar and also from System Preferences- > SME.
Working with Office Docs
The drive should work perfectly well with office documents but be aware that a network blip, general office crashes, and latency sensitivity of office, can cause documents to be lost so always consider setting up the office auto-recovery office option when working with the drive.
In the event you do need to recover a document, Microsoft Word for OSX keeps these in a special folder in the following location:
Resetting the Cache
The cache can be cleared and reset from the Advanced tab from System Preferences→SME.
Protecting Your Work
Data loss is always a possibility when using any software, including the Cloud Drive which requires a stable network to function correctly. Instability can occur due to networking interruptions, program defects or hardware malfunctions. The following steps are recommended to minimize the likelihood of data loss due to any of these causes when using the Cloud Drive:
- Save your work frequently. You may be able to set your application to do this automatically. If not, save manually.
- If your application writes temporary files and allows you to set a location for them, set the location to a directory on your local disk, not the Cloud Drive.