A Complete Guide to Enterprise File Sharing and Sync – Part 6: On-premise Cloud Vendors


An on-premise deployment is the route to take for any enterprise that wants to realize the value of cloud services without moving into a public cloud. On-premise deployments are designed to offer similar benefits and features to pure-cloud deployments, but eliminates multiple shortcomings of the cloud computing model since it is implemented within cooperate firewalls under the full control of the IT department. The private cloud provides organizations with the perfect compromise – the ability to offload a large workload, while retaining the ability to add extra security, along with compliance and delivery options.

On-premise cloud deployments are highly virtualized and focus on the consolidation of distributed services within an organizations data center. Providers in the on-premise cloud space dedicate specific services to a single organization and no other clients. When selecting a private cloud partner, the main areas of consideration are cost, management and administration, procedures, security, and infrastructure. Other factors such as the cloud technology and infrastructure specifications should also be considered; but the decision boils down to finding a vendor who can work with and adapt to the current needs, policies and direction of your organization.

ownCloud Enterprise Edition

The enterprise edition of ownCloud is built upon its community edition but adds a plethora of features to facilitate a seamless integration into enterprise environments. It was designed to be fully deployed on premises, hosted in your data center, on your servers, using your storage. Some of ownCloud’s noteworthy features include:

  • An advanced file access rules engine that enhances control and governs access to files.
  • A GUI based Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) wizard that easily connects user directories to ownCloud.
  • Encryption 2.0 that provides flexibility and modularity; allowing users to customize their encryption architecture to meet their unique business processes and regulatory requirements.

ownCloud has clients for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. It is available as an easy to install and configure virtual appliance for KVM, Xen, HyperV and VMware. Clients can install the ownCloud software on any web server, including Microsoft’s IIS and Apache. It can support both Linux and Windows servers. ownCloud can also be used with public cloud storage services like Amazon S3 and OpenStack SWIFT.

ownCloud does not support windows as server platform (as of Apr 2015). With many advance features, FileCloud is a better ownCloud alternative, especially on Windows. Compare ownCloud vs FileCloud.

Novell Filr

Filr was designed with the enterprise in mind. It is deployed as an on-premise solution and uses an organization’s existing infrastructure and security controls to provide end users with an online file-sharing service. The main attraction point for Filr is its cross-platform integration with existing directory services; either Microsoft Active Directory and NetIQ directory or a combination of both. No directory reconfiguring or scheme extension is required. There are clients and apps for Microsoft, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

Novel Filr is typically deployed as three virtual machines, comprising of the Novell Search Index Appliance, a MySQL Database Appliance and the Novell Filr Appliance. The virtual machines are deployed as a VMware appliance (Other hypervisors are available though not yet accredited) but can serve up network shares and files stored on Novell Open Enterprise Server or Windows Server 2003 / 2008 R2.

For a more detailed comparison, click here.

Accellion Kiteworks

Kiteworks provides a mobile-first user experience and multi-tier private cloud architecture designed to allow users to work securely and seamlessly across smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and even wearable devices. Its mobile-first approach creates a consistent user interface that is maintained across the board, whether you’re using a mobile application or a browser interface. Its key features include:

  • An integrated set of productivity tools for creating and editing Microsoft Office documents on mobile devices.
  • A file-centric collaboration that includes the management and collaboration of file-based tasks.
  • A modular multi-tiered architecture that facilitates extreme deployment flexibility by allowing the storage, application and web tiers to be separated and placed in the network.

Aside from browser access, Kiteworks has native clients for both Mac and Windows, and is available on all the major mobile platforms. Accellion supports rapid on-premise cloud deployment by providing an easy-to-install and manage on-premise solution for Hyper-V and VMware virtualized environments.

For a more detailed comparison, click here.

Varonis DatAnywhere

DatAnywhere provides an on-premise file sharing and synching platform that mimics a cloud sharing service. It is deployed as a trio of components on a single or multiple servers and taps into network attached storage (NAS) and traditional file servers to sync files to remote devices, while maintaining all the current organizational restrictions. DatAnywhere is currently available for Mac, Windows, Android and iOS clients, and is inclusive of file synchronization with existing common Internet File System (CIFS) shares over Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), adherence with existing Directory Services, mobile device access, multiple device profiles, synchronization lists, distributed scalability, and extranet capability.

By effectively making use of an organization’s existing file shares, DatAnywhere essentially transforms terabytes of file share data into a private cloud system without modifying it or moving it in any way. It typically deploys in roughly an hour.


FileCloud equips enterprises with file sharing and syncing capabilities that reside on a server within their premises. It basically creates a virtual environment for storing and managing hosted files are resources. FileCloud mainly caters to three types of users – Admins who configure and manage the system, regular users who can access the system via web browser of mobile apps, and guest users with whom regular users can share a folder or link in the system. Admins can place access privileges on regular users. FileCloud also brings NTFS and Active directory support allowing businesses to use their existing enterprise network file shares and permissions.

FileCloud is completely cross-platform, with compatibility across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile. It can be easily installed on Windows server 2003, 2008 and 2012, and deployed on virtual machines such as VMware and VirtualBox. Install packages are available for Ubuntu, Linux, Fedora and RedHat. FileCloud has a per user, per year pricing model that leads to a significant cost reduction per user compared to other enterprise file share and sync options.

Note: If you intend to host a private cloud on-premise, data center capabilities must be assessed beforehand. The data center should have sufficient redundancy in the network, adequate cooling and power, and solid physical security. Private clouds can alternatively be hosted by an external provider.

Learn more about FileCloud, a leading enterprise file sharing and file sync software.

Author: Gabriel Lando