For me, waiting for a CloudShare ProPlus release, is like the night before my birthday. Actually, no, it’s like the night before Santa comes! I assume it’s the same for you, right?! Well, get ready, because I have six cool things to tell you about in today’s release. They are Secure FTP in Cloud Folders, walling of trial users, new notifications, new web access proxy splash page, “my home page” rename, and finally, a new link to our support forum.
Today’s release brought several costmetic changes and a few security related updates. First, the security updates:
Walling of Trial Users
CloudShare ProPlus is popular, really popular. Finally, I get to be one of the cool kids. But, it’s popular not only to you great legitimate users, there are some users who wish to use the power of ProPlus for evil. While I usually combat evil by picturing my favorite video game and acting out the moves, this time I combated evil in a different way – by separating our paying customers from our trial customers. Not that we don’t love you trial users, we just want to ensure quality of service for our paying customers. If you are in trial, don’t worry, this only impacts you in that you wont be able to do things like streaming and network inspection. The good news is when you sign up, you are automatically moved. For you infrastructure nerds, the specific change was to put trial users in their own network with separate security, and to block UDP, ICMP network activity.
The second security change is the addition of secure protocols for CloudFolders. If you are not yet familiar with CloudFolders, let me introduce you. CloudFolders is a way for you to upload content that is shared across all your virtual machines and environments. It’s a great way to on-board projects to your ProPlus environments and bring down solutions you have built into your production environment. What we did in this release is added the option to use the CloudFolders dynamically generated FTP location with secure FTP protocols, simply by connecting over secure ports. For a deeper description on how to do so visit this forum post.
Speaking of Forum…
New Support Tab
The next two updates are about the navigation bar at the top of your ProPlus account. The first, might I say, very exciting change, is the new support tab! You finally have quick access to our new support system. Our newly designed support system has a more robust forum, better ticket submission and tracking, and is loaded with fun ProPlus facts.
“My Homepage” is now “My Environments”: This was purly a cosmetic / logical change in the way we refer to the ProPlus landing page. Don’t worry, you are not lost, and if you still want to call it “home”, please do. With some upcoming changes to our site, this will be a important distinction. Functionally, everything is the same, but when you are staring at a list of environments, it just makes more sense to call it, “My Environments.”
Keeping with the cosmetic theme, we have also done a lot of work on our notification systems. Both textual and visual notifications have been changed substantially to give you more context of where you are, what you are doing, and if something needs your attention. Yay User Experience!
New Web Access Splash Page
Ok, now it’s just becoming favoritism. The last four releases we have done something new with the ever so popular feature, Web Access. And we’re still making changes, but this time, it’s cosmetic. To ensure quality of service to the recipients of your web access URL, we have a magic layer in-between your web server and the web access URL. We call this magic layer the Web Access Splash Page. This page checks to make sure that your Web Server is awake, and if not, it resumes it. Not just awake, awake and serving up something interesting. It prevents your users from getting a nasty 404 or similar. We have re-designed this page to make it more user friendly. A nice gate to the Cloud that gives your users, who may not even know who CloudShare is, a better understanding of why they are there and where they are going. Below is the new page.
** Previous Releases **
– Added port range 8000-8010 to Web Access
– Enabled support for more external agents over Web Access
– Compressed content over web access – improved performance
– Reboot option on view environment page
– Increased consistency of environment resume time
– More context for the purchase subscription workflow
– Fixed issue with alternate access mapping of shared copies
– More granularity during environment resume
– Port 8080 open for Web Access
– SharePoint alternate access maps configured automatically
– Faster access to full template list when creating environment
– Quicker access to RDP sessions
– Copy environment button
– Performance improvements