DCIG is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the 2021-22 DCIG TOP 5 Enterprise Multi-site File Collaboration Solutions report. This report provides guidance on TOP 5 solutions organizations should consider for SDS-based file storage solutions that enable effective file collaboration across multiple sites.
Background: File Collaboration Challenges in the Multi-site Enterprise
In many organizations, core business processes rely on effective file-based collaboration. This was fine when most employees worked at a headquarters facility with fast network links to the enterprise data center and its filers. However, with an organization’s users now spanning the globe, legacy systems fail to meet the collaboration needs of this distributed workforce. This frustrates end users, wastes time and money, and creates multiple risks to the organization.
The challenges around effective file collaboration include:
- Version Control. When a distributed organization lacks an effective file collaboration solution, troubles occur. An employee discovers they are working on the wrong version of a file. Or worse, they discover this after they have sent an incorrect version to a client. Team members lose time when they compare versions to understand differences between two possible documents. Then users must spend cycles to merge and resolve different versions into a correct one.
- Unmanageable File Data Growth. IT experiences an unending growth of unstructured data. End-users and IT are reluctant to remove files for concern of deleting something necessary. Employees copy files temporarily with the intention of reviewing later, only to never do so. Organizations watch their backup and archive storage grow along with their active file storage. These dynamics contribute to file clutter and increase storage volumes dramatically.
- Sharing Files and Folders. Sharing files and folders for collaborative work brings its own concerns. Sending files through email presents security risks, delivery failures, and out-of-date files floating around. If a team uses email to send documents, they must spend time with messaging, making changes, then emailing files back. Enterprises can create VPN’s or other shares for outside partners; however, this is frequently with manual activity and possible mistakes.
- Data Security and Control. Traditional file sharing approaches often lack security and compliance features. Employee negligence, poor security, or compromised storage media can result in data breaches. A notable reason is the lack of visibility and management over the file data by the IT department. A single breach or attack can devastate a business and its reputation.
- Handling Large Files. Whereas a local NAS infrastructure handles large file sets with ease, this becomes problematic when sharing large files across the wide area network (WAN). File-sharing can become slow or even impossible when distributed teams are involved.
- Latency. Cloud file storage opens possibilities for multi-site file collaboration but also obstacles. WAN transfer speeds, mobile access, and competition with other applications over the WAN link can result in latency problems that make collaborative work tedious. Cloud storage by itself does not resolve other issues noted above. For files hosted on-premises, a slow user experience is still typical for anyone except for those local to the hosted files.
- Frustrations, Costs, and Risks. Teams lose time and money because of these problems. Additionally, legacy approaches do not provide opportunities for enterprise-wide automation for efficiency benefits. These issues create frustration, lower productivity, increase costs, elevate risks to data security, revenue, and brand reputation.
SDS-based File Collaboration Benefits
Along with the change to a distributed workforce, enterprises are adopting Software-defined Storage (SDS) for its flexibility, agility, and increasing capabilities. Many SDS-based file-storage solutions offer features that enhance multi-site file collaboration and bring multiple benefits, including:
- Effective version control
- Modern file collaboration
- Reduced (need for) storage capacity
- Enhanced data protection, security, and control
- Fast file access
Thus, many SDS-based file storage solutions bring fast effective file collaboration, improved end-user experiences, new file management capabilities, improved security, and reduced storage needs for enterprise organizations.
The DCIG TOP 5 Enterprise Multi-site File Collaboration Solutions
In preparing this report, DCIG evaluated sixteen SDS solutions for a multi-site file collaboration use-case. The general feature categories evaluated include:
- Deployment capabilities
- Data protection
- Product and performance management
- Technical support
- Licensing and pricing
Based on its evaluation of these features, the following storage solutions earned DCIG TOP 5 award (in alphabetical order):
- CTERA Enterprise File Services Platform
- NetApp Global File Cache and NetApp Cloud Volumes
- Panzura CloudFS
- Qumulo File Data Platform
The full 2021-22 DCIG TOP 5 Enterprise Multi-site File Collaboration Solutions report is available for download immediately at the links below. The full report contains additional details such as:
- A listing of all sixteen solutions evaluated
- An overview of the challenges with multi-site file collaboration
- Features shared by all TOP 5 solutions
- A deeper explanation of the key similarities and differences between the TOP 5 solutions
- A profile of each solution that highlights notable features that earned it a DCIG TOP 5 award.
Confidentiality and Copyright
Other than excerpts published in this announcement, the contents of the 2021-22 DCIG TOP 5 Enterprise Multi-site File Collaboration Solutions report are copyrighted and may not be republished without permission. The following two providers have licensed the right to distribute this report. Individuals may access the full report at no cost by following the links below.
DCIG will release more TOP 5 reports in the weeks and months to come. Please sign up for the weekly DCIG Newsletter to receive notice of their availability.
Technology providers interested in licensing DCIG content or having DCIG produce custom reports, please contact DCIG for more information.