What are some user-friendly ways to use Second Tier Storage via S3?

Before getting started, you will need to fetch your s3 credentials. The s3 credentials act like a username and password for graphical interfaces to s3.msi.umn.edu. 

There are several graphical clients that support S3 and that make transferring files as easy as dragging and dropping. These clients include Cyberduck (for MS Windows and Mac OS X), Dragon Disk (cross-platform Java app), and Transmit (for Mac OS X). The screenshot below illustrates how to fill in the server name (s3.msi.umn.edu), access key, and secret key in Transmit:

The following screenshot illustrates Cyberduck, where you should input your Access Key as the username, and your Secret Key as the password:

 

If made publicly accessible (see client documentation), files stored in an S3 bucket can be accessed and downloaded via a web addresss (URL).  For example:

https://s3.msi.umn.edu/bucketname/filename

or

https://bucketname.s3.msi.umn.edu/filename

 

A bucket is a container for all the files (AKA objects) that you store on the Second-tier storage systems. In a graphical interface like the two shown above, a bucket is represented like a file folder.  Follow the instructions in the documentation for the graphical client you have chosen to learn how to make a folder (AKA, bucket) or file (AKA, object) public.