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Private Cloud File-Sync-and-Share for Enterprises

Innovation in the file-sync-and-share market segment of cloud storage is being driven by consumer adoption of public cloud storage technologies. Consumers require enhanced features such as versioning, commenting and one-click file sharing with partners, customers and coworkers.  Those features are often delivered without regard to enterprise security, storage and system requirements.

Technology and business leaders are looking for business software to solve file-sync-and-share opportunities for any device.  Deploying a business version of file-sync-and-share requires enterprises support bring-your-own-device.  Bring-your-own-device requirement starts with users adopting consumer grade file-sync-and-share.  The only way to control file-sync-and-share is for enterprises to support BYOD.

When using file-sync-and-share, users push files to a file-sync-and-share account in the cloud. Once in their cloud account, users can access and share files with partners, customers and co-workers from any mobile device. If enterprise leaders want to control file-sync-and-share for enterprise content, they must choose software that supports any device.

Accellion is an enterprise file-sync-and-share solution that meets the requirement of supporting bring-your-own-device. Accellion was founded in 1999 and is based in Palo Alto, CA. They survived through the dot-com bust and the Global Financial Crisis. In a recent conversation with Paula Skokowski, Chief Marketing Officer, she stated “Accellion has over 10 million enterprise end users at more than 1500 customers across the globe.

Accellion starts by offering access to mobile applications for file-sync-and-share via App Stores for enterprises and their cloud users.  Included in their lineup are applications for Apple, Android and BlackBerry devices:

apple ipadapple iphonerim blackberryother android

                   
*Apple iOS           *Apple iOS          *BlackBerry            *Android
                       v4.2 or ↑              v4.2 or ↑              v4.6 or ↑               v2.2 or ↑

After identifying a product that supports mobile applications for any device technology leaders face a tougher decision.  How do they support access to files anywhere-anytime?

Like consumer grade file-sync-and-share, enterprises must deliver on a vision of anytime-anywhere access to files. Technology leaders can choose from three deployments

  • Private Cloud
  • Public Cloud
  • Hybrid Cloud (mixture of private and public)


Private cloud.
The definition of this term seems to be that whatever applications are running and whatever resources that are using reside behind a company’s fire wall, but still offer end users access to the application on any device. The resources that applications utilize when running in a private cloud consist of servers, network, and storage.  These are aggregated together so the collective power of all of these resources can be harnessed.   All of these private cloud resources are under the control and management of the organization’s in-house or outsourced IT department.

Public cloud. The definition of this term is eerily similar to the one for private cloud except that now all computing resources (server, network and storage) reside outside of the corporate firewall and are not directly managed by the organization’s IT staff. Based upon the recent upheaval we have seen in the public cloud storage provider market, where these resources reside and how secure or available they are seems to be of no concern. Just so long as when you go to access whatever application you are running in the “cloud” and it turns on, life is good.

Only one choice meets enterprise security, storage, system requirements and results in a single enterprise cloud – private cloud. When enterprises choose to standardize on public cloud consumer grade file-sync-and-share solution, they are agreeing to the creation of at least two clouds.

The first cloud is easy to miss.  It is the private cloud of file shares, Microsoft SharePoint sites, etc in-use within an enterprise. Selecting a public cloud file sync-and-share solution artificially separates a burgeoning private cloud of enterprise content from the features available to file-sync-and-share users.

Private cloud, on-premises file-sync-and-share eliminates separated clouds and establishes a foundation to integrate across an enterprise. Accellion’s Skokowski, “Accellion is not just another3rd party cloud for organizations to place files in, we are giving enterprises the ability to create their own private cloud for file sharing – under their control.

Accellion offers public, private and hybrid cloud deployment options of their solution. The overwhelming majority of Accellion customers choose private cloud. Organizations chose a private cloud because they require enterprise control of their data. Organizations want to enable enterprise users to share controlled data externally, from desktop, tablets, smart phones, etc..

Deploying file-sync-and-share in a private cloud is more than addressing an immediate opportunity. Once file-sync-and-share applications are in place, they may be connected to other file shares and enterprise content management systems. In our next piece we’ll explore Accellion’s unique approach to exposing content management systems to file-sync-and-share, while meeting enterprise security, storage and system requirements.

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