Using Mapped NAS drive Letter In Aspera Connect Server

IN THIS ARTICLE:

Description

It is possible to map network shares to drives so they are accessible to Windows services permanently. This allows drive letters instead of UNC paths to be used in your Aspera transfer server.

Set up overview

The instructions below will use the following set up:

  • Aspera Connect Server (version 3+) on Windows Server 2008 R2 joined to an Active Directory Domain 
  • One or more CIFS Shares that are reachable from the Windows host where AD users have access

Instructions

Map network shares to drives

1. Log into your Windows system as the NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM account.

2. Download the Sysinternals Suite from Microsoft, and unzip to a directory of your choice.

3. Launch a Command Prompt as Administrator (right click and select Run as Administrator). Navigate to the directory with the Sysinternals executables. All of the following commands should be run from here:

cd path\to\sysinternals

4. Run the following command, which will launch a new Command Prompt window from which you will run the commands in the next step:

psexec -i -s cmd.exe

5. You map your network share to a drive with the following command. Provide the drive letter, the shared folder host, shared folder and credentials of the user that has access to the shared folder:

net use letter: \\servername_OR_IP\shared_folder password /USER:username  /PERSISTENT:yes

Below are some examples:

net use Y: \\nas.sup.asp.eu\share aspera /USER:svcaspera@sup.asp.eu /PERSISTENT:YES
net use K: \\nas2.sup.asp.eu\share1 aspera /USER:SUP\svcaspera /PERSISTENT:YES

In this example svcAspera is the same user configured to have access to the Aspera services like asperacentral and/or sshd.

12-03-2013_14-57-48.png

 

 

6. If you want to mount your drive automatically at boot time, you will need to create a script that runs at startup. The script should contain the command(s) for mapping network shares to drives from step 4. For more details on startup scripts, see this Microsoft article.

Configure your transfer server

At this point, let's setup two different users in the Aspera Enterprise Server: asp1 and asp2. The first one will not have a docroot while the second one will be associated to a docroot.

 Setting for AD user asp1

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Setting for the AD user asp2

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Examples of drive usage

Using a web browser to access a Connect Server site, we can log in as SUP\asp2 and see the docroot on the mapped drive:

12-03-2013_16-27-51.png

 

The following also shows the docroot of the user SUP\asp2 using a Desktop Client (with a current transfer):

12-03-2013_16-37-01.png

 

User asp1 is set without a docroot. While this could be a potential security problem, as the user can use any disk on the system, it could lead to some handy features like the ability to browse different shares using letter names.

For example, here is what asp1 might see while on an Aspera Console interface:

12-03-2013_16-44-03.png

 

The user SUP\asp1 can also transfer via Console using the drive letters:

12-03-2013_17-01-12.png

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