One of the great things about cloud storage is its collaborative capabilities. With some relatively simple software, enterprises can make data available to a wide range of users via multiple devices across large geographic areas.
The problem is, not all data is appropriate for the public cloud, which is why many organizations are working to implement the same collaborative tools across their on-premises storage infrastructure. Ideally, this works best in a private cloud setting, although it can also function within a traditional storage array, but perhaps not with the same degree of scale and flexibility.
Much of this development is coming from firms that are already steeped in public cloud collaboration. Egnyte, which builds both cloud and on-premises file management systems, recently teamed up with collaboration firm Jive to enable greater collaboration across the entire enterprise data environment. The idea is to give users greater choice over where and how they store, access and share data, with Egnyte bringing secure, application-based file access and orchestration to the Jive platform and Jive helping Egnyte tie into multiple productivity offerings from Microsoft, Google and others.
Cisco is also taking a hard look at on-premises collaboration with the recent acquisition of Acano, a UK firm that specializes in on-line collaboration and conferencing systems. Cisco’s aim is to link the various systems that populate conference rooms and other collaborative centers under a unified environment so voice, video and data can be shared across multiple endpoints. Acano’s platform addresses key elements of this strategy, namely scalability and interoperability, using a mix of dedicated hardware appliances and advanced software that unites local and distributed infrastructure under a common framework. The company claims it can link tens of thousands of users without compromising service quality.
Enterprises are also challenged by the need to incorporate mobile devices into on-premises collaboration platforms. Linoma Software says it can do just that with its GoAnywhere solution, which was recently supplemented by mobile apps that provide Enterprise File Sync and Sharing (EFSS) capabilities. The platform now enables direct file access on Windows and Mac devices, with automated file and folder updates within the onsite GoDrive appliance. The platform also provides AES-256 encryption and advanced clustering capabilities featuring active-active node networking for improved access to replicated, mission-critical data.
In the private cloud, of course, EFSS usually takes a back seat to a host of other operational and integration issues. Thus, it usually arrives later in the form of a third-party solution like PROMISE Technology’s FileCruiser system. The latest version of the software (2.0) is available either as an integrated hardware-software platform or in software-only form, providing EFSS, military-grade security and sync across iOS and Android devices. The system also supports team collaboration and large-file video streaming using MPEG, AVI, MOV and other protocols.
Collaboration is just one of the many ways in which local infrastructure is starting to mirror public cloud services, but it can arguably be the most crucial in that it answers directly to the increased productivity and workflow efficiency requirements that drive much of the investment into virtual and cloud architectures.
For enterprises that are anxious to keep some data safely within the firewall, the good news is this no longer comes with the penalty of diminished collaboration.
Arthur Cole writes about infrastructure for IT Business Edge. Cole has been covering the high-tech media and computing industries for more than 20 years, having served as editor of TV Technology, Video Technology News, Internet News and Multimedia Weekly. His contributions have appeared in Communications Today and Enterprise Networking Planet and as web content for numerous high-tech clients like TwinStrata and Carpathia. Follow Art on Twitter @acole602.