Getting Started Guide - Aspera

Getting Started Guide for Aspera

 

Introduction

Aspera provides applications designed to facilitate rapid file transfers. There are several interfaces available for accessing a collections through Aspera:

  • Aspera Shares: a web-based interface (requires a browser plugin)
  • Aspera Drive: a client application interface (integrates with explorer/finder and is only available on Windows and Mac)

This document assumes that you have access to a QRISdata allocation provisioned for standard access methods and that you are a registered QRIScloud user with a QRIScloud Service Access Credential (QSAC).

To obtain your QRIScloud Service Access Credential (QSAC):

  • Login to https://services.qriscloud.org.au
  • Click on the "MY CREDENTIAL" link shown in the top right of the menu bar
  • Click on the "Create Credential" or "Reset Password" button
  • Note you username and automatically generated password.

 

 

Aspera Shares

To access your collection using Aspera Shares, you need to open your browser (e.g. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari) and enter one of the following URLs:

        https://shares.qriscloud.org.au

        https://shares.jcu.qriscloud.org.au (if your collection is stored at JCU)

 

 

You will be presented with the following screen:

Aspera1

 

The values to use for the two fields are:

  • Username: Enter your QSAC Username
  • Password: Enter your QSAC Password

 

On clicking the Log In button, you are presented with the Aspera Shares interface as shown below, with your available Collections shown under "SHARES":

 

Aspera2

 

If this is the first time you are connecting to a Collection using Aspera Shares, you will be prompted to install the Aspera Connect browser plugin. This is needed to be able to use Aspera Shares. You will need to download the plugin and install it. The installation process will close your browser, which you will need to re-launch.

 

Navigating around your Collection

Under the “SHARES” section in the left-hand panel is a listing of the Collections provisioned for you.

When you click on a Collection, you are presented with the root directory for the Collection and can then navigate sub-folders or access files.

 

Aspera9

 

Available actions for a Collection

If you have read-write permissions for the Collection you are able to:

  • Upload and download files
  • Upload and download folders
  • Create new folders
  • Delete files or folders
  • Rename files or folders
  • Bookmark a folder to create a short-cut in the left-hand panel to ease navigation
  • Search for files, with some advanced options available
  • Sort the detailed list view of folder contents

 

Each of these options is available through a row of buttons, such as:

Aspera3

You can also right-click on an item to be able to download, rename, or delete it.

 

If you have read-only access, you are able to:

  • Download files
  • Bookmark a folder to create a short-cut in the left-hand panel to ease navigation
  • Search for files
  • Sort the detailed list view of folder contents

 

Each of these options is available through a row of buttons, such as:

Aspera4

You can also right-click on an item to be able to download it.

 

Ingesting files to your Collection

To ingest files to your Collection:

  1. Navigate to the location that you would like to place the new files.
  2. Use either “Upload File” or “Upload Folder” to be presented with a dialog box to choose the content to upload from your local machine or other mounted storage, such as USB drives, Dropbox folder, CloudStor+ folder.
  3. Choose the file (or folder) to upload
  4. Once you have chosen the file/folder click Open
  5. You may be presented with a confirmation dialogue to either Allow or Deny an attempt to connect to the QRIScloud Aspera server. To proceed with the transfer, click “Accept”.
  6. Once accepted, a transfer dialog appears which provides a status of the requested transfer.

 

Aspera5 

 

A simple re-fresh of the browser screen or navigation in and out of the folder will show the newly ingested content.

 

On the transfer dialog (shown in the image directly above), there is a settings/preferences icon in the bottom left corner. Clicking on this button allows you to configure settings and preferences for your Aspera transfers, including:

Aspera10

  • General
  • Transfers
    • Options for where to store downloaded files, retries, and logging levels
  • Network
  • Bandwidth
    • You can set upload and download bandwidth limits
  • Security
    • Content Protection allows you to encrypt your content (using a user determined passphrase and 128-bit encryption) such that your content is protected at rest on QRIScloud. 

 

 

Aspera Drive

To access your collection using Aspera Drive, you need to download and install the client application (for Windows or Mac). A convenient link has been provided through the QRIScloud portal and can be found under the "Data Access" section on the information page for Collections that you have access to. 

Click on the link, then select the operating system required and download the client application.

 

Aspera6

 

This Aspera download page includes links to both HTML and PDF versions of the User Guide for Aspera Drive.

Once downloaded, install the application.

NOTE: Aspera drive does have some differences when running on Windows or Mac.

 

In either instance, you will need to connect the client to the QRIScloud Aspera server. To do this you will be presented with a screen such as:

 

Aspera7

 

Values to use for the fields are:

 

Synchronising with your Collection

When you set up the connection, you are able to establish one-way or two-way synchronisation between the content stored on QRIScloud and a local folder on your computer. One-way synchronisation can be from your local folder to QRIScloud or vice-versa. Two-way synchronisation will keep your QRIScloud folder synchronised with your local folder. In the dialog box shown above, this is set up in the “Services” view.

 

The client interface

When installed on Windows, your collections are shown as a folder within the left-hand panel of Windows Explorer. You can navigate as any other folder with drag-and-drop into and out of the folder to trigger uploads and downloads.

When installed on Mac OS, you can launch the Aspera Drive client which presents a finder like interface for the Collection(s) with the ability to drag-and-drop.

 

Aspera8

About QRIScloud

QRIScloud is a large-scale cloud computing and data storage service.  It is aimed at stimulating and accelerating research use of computing across all disciplines. 

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Contact us through the QRIScloud support desk, or email support@qriscloud.org.au

 

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