Meet Couchdrop

Couchdrop – never leave your terminal again

Whether you’re doing routine SysOps tasks or wrestling with a major DevOps crisis, leaving your terminal window to go to your system’s GUI to get or send a file takes time. GUI’s are pretty, manual and slow: slow is not what you want.

Couchdrop abstracts the slow from reading or writing files from any box your network can reach – including cloud tools like Dropbox, Google Drive and AWS S3. It’s based on the SSH SCP file transfer protocol already part of Linux, Unix and OSX OS so there is nothing to install, nothing to configure other than your Couchdrop account. For Windows administrators, SCP is also available via PuTTYWinSCP and other open source tools.

If your role requires you to frequently retrieve files from appliances and servers behind customer firewalls on remote machines, Couchdrop can simplify and systemize those processes. No more asking clients to transfer files to some personal server somewhere with SSH and a web-server on it; just use Couchdrop to retrieve what you need.

Pushing files from your terminal window to any defined storage cloud

For example, Couchdrop makes sending a file, such as a coredump, to a specific user or distribution list via email as easy as:

bash$:scp coredump.tar

Need that file to go to a Dropbox account? That’s another one liner:

bash$:scp coredump.tar

Analysis with Couchdrop

Modern cloud-based systems are comprised of multiple servers, each with their own logging systems and sometimes less than comprehensive monitoring systems. There are a number of excellent logging systems, both open source and proprietary, but they all are only as good as the data they have to work with and the means of extraction.

Couchdrop makes it easy to be get your log data to analysis in a rapid manner. For example, you can directly integrate Couchdrop with CloudShark, a popular packet capture analysis tool, and send files to CloudShark with:

scp capture.pcap

Couchdrop it gets your files, where you need them, fast!

Examples of some use cases for Couchdrop

  • Getting files from legacy and terminal based systems to the cloud or off systems behind firewalls,
  • Secure cloud backups from legacy and modern systems,
  • Ability to be used in scripts without the need to have credentials stored in plaintext,
  • Emailing tech data from terminal based devices to vendor support teams for TAC cases and analysis,
  • Moving files from system to system fast (no need to use I/O storage etc),
  • Getting files easily to CloudShark

What about security?

SCP is part of the SSH protocol used pretty much universally by DevOps, SysOps, and developers to communicate with remote machines, code repositories, docker instances and the like. It provides a secure connection between two parties, authenticating each side to the other, and passing commands and output back and forth.

SSH and SCP supports passwordless file transfers using RSA keys. Public/Private key based authentication for SSH and SCP is a convenient and secure way of transferring files between servers and is invaluable for cronjobs and other automated transfers.

Like other cloud services – for example GitHub – uploading a public key to Couchdrop is part of the provisioning process, that and defining and authenticating your storage buckets and services is pretty much all you have to do before using Couchdrop.

Couchdrop’s Start

Couchdrop was launched by New Zealander Michael Lawson a year ago to solve the problem of needing to retrieve files from behind firewalls without compromising network security. “I needed a way that we could get files off boxes, without any security risk and get them to the desktop. It had to be easy enough that it would not get worked around and support by Linux without the installation of any software,” said Lawson.

Couchdrop has grown to handling about 10,000 files a day with a staff of three.

Solving a problem elegantly

Couchdrop provides reliably, affordably, consistently, and will allow you to manually or automatically transfer files to your cloud providers, remote servers and other SSH targets. And that’s a step in the right direction.

For any questions or feedback, head to Couchdrop or email support, we are always open to ideas and happy to hear your experience with Couchdrop.

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