Adding and sharing files with the shared drive

In many cases, virtual machines require access to common files. In Skytap, these common files can be placed on a shared drive created for your customer account. The shared drive is a fixed capacity, network-attached storage drive that is accessible to every VM owned by your organization in a specific region. Your account has one shared drive per region.

The shared drive can be organized in typical hierarchical folder or directory structure. Any user can upload files to or download files from the shared drive.

The contents of the shared drive are visible to all of the VMs in the region and all of the Skytap users in your account. Do not place sensitive files on it.

Contents

Accessing the shared drive from a Skytap VM

There are several options for connecting to the shared drive within a VM:

Access method

Instructions

Access or mount the shared drive from its location on the private Skytap network

Within a VM, use the built-in operating system tools to connect to the shared drive from its network location at //gw/shared (Linux) or \\gw\shared (Windows).

gw is an alias for the network gateway IP address. If this does not work, see Troubleshooting below.

Shared drive connection on an Ubuntu VM

Example connection to the shared drive on an Ubuntu Desktop VM.

The specific instructions vary by operating system. For more information, see the expanding sections below.

  1. From the Start menu, type run.
  2. In the window that appears, type \\gw\shared.

Updated versions of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 disable SMB v1. If you can’t connect to the shared drive, use FTP to access the shared drive.

You can connect to the shared drive from the terminal by using the smb client (for command-line access) or launching a GUI-based file browser such as Nautilus.

smbclient
smbclient -N //gw/shared
Nautilus
nautilus smb://gw/shared

To automatically mount the shared drive at boot in Linux, add the mount to /etc/fstab.

Note that the network scripts must complete for the mount to be successful, and the VM must have cifs-utils installed. Install cifs-utils from the appropriate repository for your Linux distribution, and then reboot the machine.

Sample fstab entry:

//gw/shared /mnt/shared_drive cifs user,guest,sec=none,rsize=61440,wsize=61440,noperm 0 0

Some Linux VMs created from a public template already contain an fstab entry with the network gateway IP address (rather than the //gw/shared alias).

//10.0.0.254/shared /mnt/shared_drive cifs user,guest,sec=none,rsize=61440,wsize=61440,noperm 0 0

If the network gateway IP address changes, this entry needs to be updated with the new network gateway IP address.

The shared drive is not automatically mounted to the AIX file system.

To manually mount the shared drive from the shell, use the following commands:

mkdir  /mnt/shared_drive
mount -v cifs -n gw/guest /shared /mnt/shared_drive

Use the shared drive shortcut provided by Skytap

VMs added from Skytap public templates may have an icon on the desktop labeled Skytap Shared Drive. This folder contains all the contents stored on the shared drive. Additional content can be added by dragging or downloading it into this folder.

Access the shared drive with an FTP client (like FileZilla)

To connect with an FTP client
  1. Download an FTP client like WinSCP or FileZilla. We recommend an FTP client that supports automatic resume for broken connections.
  2. In the FTP client, enter the host (FTP address) and the credentials for your Skytap FTP account. This information is available on the My Account page in Skytap (see Find your FTP credentials for the shared drive).

Notes

  • Active FTPS connection from a VM is not supported. Use SFTP instead.
  • If an FTP file transfer times out without an error message, the shared drive may be full. Check the current usage of the shared drive from the FTP client. For instructions, see Determining usage of the shared drive.

Accessing the shared drive from your local machine

To access the shared drive from your local machine
  1. Download an FTP client like WinSCP or FileZilla. We recommend an FTP client that supports automatic resume for broken connections.
  2. In the FTP client, enter the host (FTP address) and the credentials for your Skytap FTP account. This information is available on the My Account page in Skytap (see Find your FTP credentials for the shared drive).

Notes

  • Active FTPS connection from a VM is not supported. Use SFTP instead.
  • If an FTP file transfer times out without an error message, the shared drive may be full. Check the current usage of the shared drive from the FTP client. For instructions, see Determining usage of the shared drive.

Troubleshooting

If the VM cannot connect to the shared drive at \\gw\shared, enter the network gateway IP address instead of gw. For example, if the network gateway IP address is 10.0.1.254, use \\10.0.1.254\shared. To locate the network gateway IP address, see Finding the network gateway IP address.

For additional help and troubleshooting tips, see Troubleshooting issues with connecting to or using the shared drive.