[nSLUG] Auto-replication of files to web server

Miles Thompson miles at allnovascotia.com
Thu Oct 19 20:55:34 ADT 2006

I'm not the strongest networking guy in the world, but this fellow was 
talking with me last night about Microsoft's SharePoint(SPt). I looked up 
the initial marketing blather on it, and got the impression that Windows 
programs, like Office, can be SPt-enabled, to facilitate co-operation. 
Apparently there is a mechanism to transfer these files to a web server for 
off-site collaboration, putting them beyond the firewall.

That's what this fellow wants to do, but thus far he has to FTP everything 
to the web server (local in his office) and these are very large drawing files.

So that got me thinking, although this could open a gaping security breach ...

Why not have two Linux boxes, one running SAMBA, the other the web server. 
For convenience, there is only one set of directories on the SAMBA box 
which hold the current work, and there is a NFS connection between the 
Samba box and the web server box.

Every 10 minutes a script on the Samba box reads this directory and 
compares it to an existing array of directories - is an entry does not exit 
or has a more recent time stamp, then that is copied to the web server box. 
(First time through everything is copied.)

I suspect this opens a gaping hole in the firewall, and you're all shaking 
your heads and say "I'm glad this fellow's not in charge of our security."

Nevertheless, if Microsoft is offering something like this in SharePoint, 
the *nix world must have either

a) figured it out a long time ago
b) concluded that this just is not done, and FTP from Samba box to 
webserver box is the only safe way.

(or c: - Yeah, the shell script to do this has been around for ages .... 
Google for "the correct term"

Thoughts or opinions?

Regards - Miles Thompson

PS It's been awfully quite lately. /mt 

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