Egnyte, the hybrid cloud file server solution provider, today announced support for traditional protocols like FTP as well as new age applications like Google Docs. Unlike other cloud storage providers, Egnyte takes a hybrid approach and tries to offer support for wide range of technologies satisfying the needs of customers in SME and beyond. In this post, I will briefly talk about Egnyte solutions and today’s announcement.
Egnyte, Yet Another Cloud Storage Provider?
Yes and no. Yes, they are in a crowded marketplace. But they launched in 2008 when cloud was still at its infancy and, after few iterations, they are right now focussed on the Hybrid Cloud market. Their approach and target market helps them to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Let me briefly explain their hybrid cloud storage solution targeted towards SMEs.
With Egnyte Hybrid Cloud File Server, organizations can take care of their online storage needs, file sharing needs and backup needs in one single solution. Egnyte cloud has two components
- Local Cloud: Local cloud can be set up as a part of a commodity computer, NAS devices, etc.. Users private files and organizations shared folders are stored in this local cloud and synced with Egnyte cloud file server seamlessly in the background. These local copies of files provide LAN speed access to users and also off-line access
- Egnyte Cloud File Server: This is their public cloud storage and it synchronizes online copies with local copies and also offers secure access to files. With the Egnyte cloud, users can easily share their data with partners and others outside of the organization
Egnyte offers two different levels of access to the data
- Power Users who gets both desktop and web based access. Power users can be any user in your organization who wants to mount the cloud to their desktops but also want to enjoy web based access when they are away from the desktop
- Standard users who gets only web based access. Standard users can be partners, clients or any temporary worker and they get to access the data only through the web
Some of the benefits of Egnyte’s solutions are
- Extensive access control
- Support for large file transfers (a feature that is lagging in many of the cloud storage providers)
- SAS 70 Type 2, HIPAA and Safe Harbor compliant (on the Egnyte side)
- Centralized administration, user management and Reporting
- Multi platform support; support for Windows, Mac, Linux and Smartphones
They have solutions tailor made for both SMEs and big enterprises. During the recent VMworld, they launched the Enterprise Local Cloud on VMware platform that is designed to fulfill the needs of big enterprise customers. In order to meet the demands of enterprises, they also support LDAP and AD
Support for Traditional protocols and Modern applications
Today Egnyte announced the support for FTP file transfer and access to files stored in Egnyte cloud using Google Docs. In spite of all the security issues associated with FTP, many organizations (especially the smaller ones) still use DTP extensively for their data access needs. Part of it is due to the speed with which they could access their files using FTP and part is due to extensive support it enjoys on all major platforms. In this globalized world with distributed teams and clients, support for FTP access goes a long way in ensuring a smooth and seamless collaboration. Even for power users, FTP serves as a good backup when there are issues associated with other forms of access. Offering FTP support in a multi-tenant environment is a difficult problem and Egnyte is solving this problem by setting up a FTP proxy so that users environment is not compromised for any reason.
Slowly, but steadily, Google Apps are gaining adoption in the SME sector. With Google’s plans to offer storage at a very low cost in the near future, there is a tremendous pressure on the traditional cloud storage providers to add more value to their storage solution. Google is definitely a threat to providers like Egnyte, Box.Net, etc.. By integrating with Google Apps for accessing the files stored on Egnyte cloud, they can fend off some amount of threat from Google. It will be interesting to see how the market shapes up once Google starts offering additional storage for Google Apps users.
Cloud storage market is getting big real fast. Companies like Egnyte, Box.Net, Sugarsync, Dropbox, etc. are targeting users from consumers to enterprises by adding features satisfying the needs of these customers. Egnyte, as an established player in the SME space, is trying to establish themselves as a dominant player. It will be interesting to see who comes out winning in this crowded space.
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