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Amazon S3 Help Guide for InsideSales.com

What is Amazon S3?

To help customers better manage costs, we've included the ability to move stored call recordings off InsideSales.com's servers, and on to a client-controlled location. This utility currently allows clients to use their own FTP / SFTP server, or connect to an Amazon S3 account.

We've provided this page to help our users who are considering using Amazon S3 for their off-site backup storage needs.

The simplest way to explain Amazon S3 ("S3" stands for "Simple Storage Service") is that it is a big "vault" to store data so that it can be used by Web applications. It's not primarily designed to work as a "Web site host," in terms of managing domain names and hosting active Web pages (though you can use it this way). Instead it's meant to interact with Web applications that transfer data between systems---images, databases, audio files, videos, text logs, and so on.

Amazon describes it this way:

"Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, secure, fast, inexpensive infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers."

An example of how S3 could be used might involve a Web application that needed to run a nightly backup service to store certain pieces of data. Rather than having to set up and maintain a server cluster to do this, a company might instead use the Amazon S3 cloud as part of their standard operations, and incorporate the cost of the Amazon S3 services into their business model.

What Amazon S3 is Not

Some mistakenly believe that Amazon S3 is merely another type of "dropbox" tool to store files. Don't think of S3 as an application, but more of an ecosystem, or platform, which applications can utilize. For example, Amazon has its own "Amazon Cloud Streaming" application for purchasing and listening to music. The application has a front-end, with playback and volume controls, options to download music, and so forth. The interface is one part of the application, the back-end is actually using the Amazon S3 cloud structure, which is separate from the front-end interface.

Using the S3 platform, a developer / company could conceivably build a video streaming application, a data backup application, a digital printing application, an online image editor (you get the picture). Any Web application that transfers data between two locations could use the Amazon S3 platform as part of its data storage tool set.

How InsideSales.com Uses S3

InsideSales.com uses S3 in a simple, straightforward way---to move call recordings off of InsideSales.com's server clusters, and on to the S3 platform, saving clients money and giving them more robust access to their data.

When cloud recording storage is enabled and configured, the InsideSales.com Web application interacts with the S3 cloud to perform the needed file transfers.

At night, call recordings generated in your InsideSales.com system would automatically upload to your S3 storage account.

Setting Up Your Amazon S3 Account

Create an Account

To take advantage of the cloud recording storage tool using Amazon S3, you'll first need to create an account if you don't have one. Head over to:

http://aws.amazon.com/s3/

and click the link to Sign Up Now.

At that point, you can choose to link your Amazon S3 account to your current Amazon account if you have one, or create a new Amazon account specifically for S3.

After signing up, you'll be required to enter your credit card information for billing, and taken to an activation page.

After you receive an an email confirming your account activation, you're ready to move to the set up phase.

Setting up a "Bucket"

The easiest way to get started is to follow Amazon's provided "Get Started" guide. You can access it directly through your browser, or as a PDF.

HTML version:

http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AmazonS3/latest/gsg/GetStartedWithS3.html

PDF:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/awsdocs/S3/latest/s3-gsg.pdf

Since your account is already created, you can start on Step 2, "Create a Bucket." Log in to the Amazon S3 console, https://console.aws.amazon.com/s3, and create a new bucket in the interface.

Pay attention to the naming conventions Amazon describes for setting up your bucket (see Step 3 in Amazon's setup directions). You will want the bucket name to be unique, and follow appropriate conventions. BE SURE THE BUCKET NAME IS WHAT YOU WANT, because once you create it, you cannot change its name (though you can, of course, create a new bucket if you don't like the one you created). In addition to Amazon’s naming restrictions do not use any underscores or capitalization.

Bucket Region

Amazon provides as number of regions for its "buckets," based on location. Depending on the region you choose, the costs and fees associated with transferring data to those buckets may change, so be sure you select the best one for your organization.

Review the pricing and other information at:

http://aws.amazon.com/s3/

to get a better idea for how your region selection may affect your costs and usage of the system.

Bucket Console

After creating your bucket, you will be taken to the bucket view screen in the console.

If you choose, you can upload files directly to the bucket root directory, or you can create a sub-folder within the bucket. Either way will work just fine for the InsideSales.com call recording storage tool, you'll just need to specify the folder when you set it up in your LMP.

Get Your Credentials

Before moving over to the LMP, you'll want to get the access credentials for your new account. Click on your name in the top right corner of the screen, then click the Security Credentials link.

From there, you'll re-verify your account login, then be taken to the security credentials page. Look for the section heading for "Access Credentials." You'll see three tabs, one for access keys, one for X.509 certificates, one for key pairs. The items you'll need for your LMP are the two access keys--the access key ID, and the hidden key.

Write down, or copy / paste both of these somewhere where you can remember them.

Setup in the LMP

Go to the Admin tab in your InsideSales.com LMP. Look for the link for Off-site Recording Storage under the Manage Call Recordings heading in InsideSales.com.

Once there, you'll see a dialogue page to set up your off-site call recording settings. Select Amazon S3 in the top dropdown.

Input your access key and secret key into the provided text fields.

Bucket Directory

Here you'll need to input the full Amazon bucket name into the field. If you have any sub-folders in the bucket that you want the files to arrive in, they'll need to be appended to the bucket name, with a trailing forward slash.

For example, if your bucket name was

insidesales-call-recording-storage

and you had a folder in that bucket called "recordings," you would input the following into the bucket directory field:

insidesales-call-recording-storage/recordings

You MUST input the correct bucket name, and any folders into the bucket directory field, or the tool will not work properly.

Default File Name

This setting determines how the files will be named when pushed to your Amazon S3 bucket. There are three entry fields, with five options available for each field:

  1. Date Created
  2. Employee Name
  3. Contact Name
  4. Contact ID (or lead ID, or account ID)
  5. Number Called

Choose the three naming options that will best help you manage the recordings down the line.

Final Steps

Test Connection

Before saving your settings in the LMP, click the Test Connection button to ensure that you have input the correct access key and secret key. If the keys are valid, you will receive a notification showing that they were recognized.

If the keys were entered incorrectly, you will likewise receive a warning notice.

After you have tested your connection, go ahead and save your settings.

Bucket Policies and Other Permissions in Amazon

In some cases, your organization may want to establish particular policies related to accessing and transferring data to your S3 account. This can be done by establishing additional user access permissions, as well as creating "bucket policies" that control specific file access, read / write permissions, and other settings related to data stored in that bucket.

These are advanced settings that should typically be managed by your organization's IT department, as they relate to specific settings initiated through the Amazon Web Services API.

Bulk Managing Files in the S3 Bucket

Once files arrive in your Amazon bucket, you will no longer be able to mass download or mass delete the files from within your InsideSales dialer system. Someone in your organization will need to be tasked with managing the S3 bucket. You can do this manually through the AWS console, or if your company felt so inclined, you could create a custom Web application that interacts with the AWS service to manage files.

Restrictions

The following IP ranges must be open (whitelisted) on the SFTP/Amazon account. 64.90.204.224/28
67.214.247.0/27

Release Notes

Find our most recent release notes.

Forum

Our InsideSales.com community forum is coming soon.

Advanced Training Guides

Advanced training for the Lead Management Platform.

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