Google Drive as File Server: Thoughts and Curated Resources


This is an accumulation of research and resources I’ve made researching Google Drive and its implementation, FWIW.

Features of Google Drive

  • In the Business, Enterprise, and Team Editions it includes unlimited storage.
  • The system can be centrally administered.
  • It supports granular permissions.
  • Provides Vault for retaining important data thus ensuring one can meet data compliance requirements.
  • Powerful searching capabilities, including in non-textual files (e.g. images) using Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
  • Team Drives provide shared storage owned by a team rather than an individual.
  • Drive File Stream allows one to access the files as if they were on your local network.
  • 24/7 support.

Software Clients

  • Google Backup and Sync
  • Google File Stream
  • ExpanDrive

Third Party Integrations for Google Drive

There are numerous third party integrations for Google Drive. I’ve listed a few.

  • Smartsheet
  • Drawing / Diagramming / Mock Ups / Design
    • Lucidchart
    • Moqups
    • Kami
    • Cacoo
    • Concept inbox
  • Notifications
    • Notifications for Drive Folders
    • Folder Team Notifications
    • ezNotifications for Sheets
  • Project Management
    • Wrike
    • Asana
    • MindMeister
    • Trello
  • Document Management
    • AODocs
    • Powertools for Document Management
    • Egnyte
    • General Audit Tool (GAT Core)
    • DocuSign
    • HelloSign
    • HelloFax
    • Metadrive
    • BetterCloud
    • GAT+
    • Backupify
    • Spanning Backup
    • gPanel
    • CloudPages
    • ezPanel
    • Drive Mechanic
    • Spinbackup
    • Master Console
    • JumpCloud
  • Programmability
    • Google Apps Script
    • Zoho Creator
    • Ultradox
    • AppSheet
    • Add Reminders
    • Zapier
    • Database Browser
    • Collavate
    • KiSSFLOW
    • Business Process Simulator
    • RunMyProcess
    • Joget Workflow
  • Clients
    • cloudHQ
  • Accounting
    • bkper
    • Zip Books
    • Expensify
    • ONE UP
    • ERPAG
    • Jivrus’ Integra for QUickBooks
  • Forms
    • Zoho Forms
    • FormApprovals
  • Spreadsheets
    • AwesomeTable
    • Super Metrics for Google Sheets
    • SheetGo
  • Migration
    • Carbo Migration Tool
    • MultCloud
    • cloudHQ

Google App Scripts for Google Drive

  • 19 Useful Google Apps Scripts to Automate Google Drive (Ashutosh KS, Hongkiat):
    • Convert to PDF and Email Google Sheets
    • Convert Images to Text Using OCR
    • Track File Editors in Google Drive
    • Save a Webpage to Google Drive
    • Send a Google Doc via Email
    • Convert a Google Doc to Markdown
    • Set Auto-Expiry for Shared Data
    • Save Gmail Attachments in Drive
    • List Directory in Google Drive
    • Convert Google Docs to HTML
    • Combine Data from Multiple Sheets
    • Export Google Sheets to CSV Files
    • Convert PDF Attachments to Plain Text
  • The Most Popular and Useful Google Scripts (Amit Agarwal, Labnol):
    • File Permissions Explorer
    • Google Form File Uploads
    • Send to Google Drive
    • Send Google Spreadsheets as PDF
    • Download Tweets Permanently
    • Schedule Gmail Emails
    • Save Google Voicemails as MP3
    • Gravity Forms to Google Sheets
    • Google Web Scraping
    • Save Gmail Images
    • Email Form Data
    • Schedule Google Froms
    • WordPress Authentication with Google Scripts
    • Extract Email Addresses
    • GDocs2MD
    • Auto-Expire Shared Folders

Official Google Resources

On Programmability/API/Google Apps Script

Google Drive Articles To Accomplish Specific Tasks

Concerns About Google Drive as File Server

Storage Area Networks (SANs)

General Concepts

  • iSCSI is an IP protocol that works over the TCP/IP network.
  • The clients reading from the iSCSI SAN are called initiators.
  • The chunks of storage presented by an iSCSI SAN to clients are called targets. One SAN can have multiple targets.
  • iSCSI is usually seen as a competitor to Fibre Channel (FC) which uses dedicated connections and switching which are pricey. In comparison, iSCSI operates over regular networks (e.g. switches and ethernet cabling).
  • One can have a software or hardware iSCSI initiator. In either case one is using the network, the difference is whether the regular network adapter is used for this purpose or a dedicated host bus adapter – which is essentially a network adapter with special capabilities that allow it to process iSCSI commands faster than a regular network card. It also reduces the load on the initiator’s CPU as it utilizes the HBA to perform necessary computations.
  • A LUN (logical unit number) is a portion of an iSCSI SAN which can be addressed specifically.
  • Ports Utilized: 860, 3260 (TCP)
  • The most common way to address a LUN is using its iSCSI Qualified Name (IQN), although Extended Unique Identifier (EUI) and T11 Network Address Authority (NAA) are sometimes used.
  • Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) is a sort of DNS iSCSI initiators can use to discover iSCSI targets.


  • Dell
    • Offers three series: SC, MD, and EqualLogic PS.
    • The SC Series is based on Dell’s acquisition of Compellent.


  • Brocade
  • Cisco
  • Emulex
  • QLogic


  • SC Connector
  • LC Connector


  • Single Mode
  • Multi Mode

Host Bus Adapter (HBA)


  • Openfiler
  • metaSAN
  • XSan
  • StorNext
  • Red Hat GFS
  • VMWare VMFS
  • QFS



  • Derrick Wlodarz. Windows Storage Spaces and ReFS: Is It Time to Ditch RAID for Good? BetaNews, 2014.

For Post-Production

Video Storage Companies/Product Lines

  • Apace Systems
    • Offers the vStor and eStor lines.
    • Pricing wasn’t available from B&H or CDW as of 5/20/16.
  • Avid
    • Offers NEXIS and ISIS lines of storage, with ISIS apparently being focused more on media storage.
    • B&H pricing as of 5/20/16:
      • Avid ISIS 1000 w/20TB (2x SSD) – $13,995.
  • dotHILL
    • This is a Seagate company, product line is AssuredSAN.
    • Pricing was unavailable for B&H as of 5/20/16.
    • Only one unit had pricing associated on CDW as of 5/20/16:
      • AssuredSAN (4000) Ultra56 J6G56 3/336 TB (56x HDD) – $119,523.
  • Dynamic Drive Pool
    • Pricing was unavailable from B&H or CDW as of 5/20/16.
    • Appears they have to be bought through a reseller, in U.S., CineSys-Oceana
  • EditShare
    • Offers XStream product line.
    • Appears units are only available directly from EditShare.
  • Facilis
    • Offers the Terrablock product line.
    • Appears units are only available directly through Facilis.
  • Grass Valley
    • K2
    • Appears the units must be bought through Grass Valley or one of their resellers/integrators/distributors.
  • Maxx Digital
    • ActiveRAID
  • Promax Platform
  • Promise
    • VTrak A-Class
  • Small Tree
    • GraniteSTOR
  • Studio Network Solutions
    • EVO is their shared storage workflow server which offers hybrid storage (SAN and NAS).
    • Includes ShareBrowser, a file/project/asset management interface designed for collaborative media teams.
    • B&H pricing as of 5/20/16:
      • EVO 16 Bay Base Media Server w/12TB (iSCSI) – $36,999.
      • EVO 8 Bay Shared Media Storage Server w/48 TB – $17,995.
    • CDW pricing as of 5/20/16:
      • EVO Prodigy w/4 TB – $8,185.
  • Tiger Technology
    • Product line is called Tigerbox.
    • No pricing is available on either CDW or B&H as of 5/20/16.
  • Other World Computers (OWC)
    • Offers several different product lines, the enterprise level is primarily the Jupiter line (Kore and Callisto).
    • B&H has pricing on some of OWC’s products, but OWC also offers the products prices right on their site.
    • They also have a more corporate site that focuses more on talking about products called OWC Digital.
    • Prices on MacSales (OWC) as of 5/20/16:
      • Callisto 8-Bay w/16 TB – $4,988.
      • Kore 8-Bay w/16 TB – $3,288.
      • Callisto 8-Bay w/24 TB – $6,288.
      • Callisto 8-Bay w/32 TB – $7,188.
      • Callisto 8-Bay w/48 TB – $11,988.
      • Callisto 8-Bay w/64 TB – $13,888.
      • Kore 8-Bay w/64 TB – $10,988.
      • Callisto 16-Bay w/32 TB – $8,588.
      • Kore 16-Bay w/32 TB – $5,428.
      • Callisto 16-Bay w/48 TB – $10,788.
      • Callisto 16-Bay w/64 TB – $11,988.
      • Callisto 16-Bay w/96 TB – $20,888.
      • Callisto 16-Bay w/128 TB – $25,588.
      • Kore 16-Bay w/128 TB – $20,388.


Media Storage