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Is there such a service that allows Linux servers to access remote cloud storage as if it were a file on a local network? I'm running a very small server, 512 MB RAM and 20 GB hard drive space, but do not have the means to increase the storage capacity locally. Thank you!

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You may be interested in S3FS, a FUSE user-space filesystem that allows mounting Amazon S3 storage in the local filesystem tree. There are also similar systems for Google Drive, Azure, and others - the search keyword to use is fuse.

S3FS stores individual files as blobs on S3. That means that some operations are more expensive than you might expect, including appending to a file and single-byte changes, and some things just aren't supported well or at all, like advanced permissions. For files that are mostly write-once, infrequently updated, or only replaced entirely, it works well.

There is also s3backer, which provides block storage, essentially like a physical disk device, on top of S3. You can then put any filesystem you like on top of that device. You get the full functionality of whatever filesystem you use at that point, including snapshotting, encryption, sparse files, and so on. Which approach will be better for you depends on your particular use case. This block-based approach means more requests and more blobs created, but less data transfer.

The S3-based systems generally also work with other providers that support the same API.

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Yes, many. The details will depend on how you access the remote drive but if it is served via NFS, you can mount it just like any other drive. Just add this to your /etc/fstab:

123.456.7.8:/path/to/drive /media/cloud nfs users,defaults 0 0 

That will mount the directory /path/to/drive from the remote server at 123.456.7.8 to your local /media/cloud directory.

Alternatively, you can use sshfs and mount it that way:

sshfs -o idmap=user $USER@123.456.7.8:/path/to/drive /media/cloud

Or, you can mount it via SMB:

mount –t smbfs 123.456.7.8:/path/to/drive /media/cloud –o username=user,workgroup=workgroup

It all depends on how you are accessing the remote drive, what your cloud service provider provides, but yes, it most certainly is possible.

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