A Complete Guide to Enterprise File Sharing and Sync – Part 7: Hybrid Cloud Vendors
At its most basic level, hybrid cloud computing is a representation of both public and private cloud resources with the aim of exploiting the benefits of both architectures while reducing the disadvantages. For enterprise IT, a properly executed hybrid cloud strategy can lead to improved communication and collaboration between employees. Some vendors market themselves as a hybrid SaaS or hybrid IaaS offerings; however, cloud offerings are quickly starting to blur the line with additional automation and management features.
Enterprise IT has to determine the manner in which they wish to utilize the cloud before-hand. This is the best way to find hybrid cloud vendors that provide the right migration tools for seamless relocation of existing services between dedicated public and private infrastructures. As the number of managed cloud service vendors offering hybrid cloud solutions continues to grow from basic application, platform and basic infrastructure services to vertical enterprise architecture; we take a look at five enterprise hybrid-cloud offerings.
EMC’s strong foundation inside the enterprise coupled with Syncplicity’s hybrid position between on-premises document management tools and cloud based storage means Syncplicity covers the best of storage, security, flexibility and support by successfully bridging the gap between public and private cloud.
Syncplicity is designed to be completely aware of the information scattered across multiple enterprise document and content management tools. This seamless integration with content repositories eliminates the need to migrate storage to new platforms or systems. It compliments enterprise content management (ECM) platforms like Microsoft Share Point, while accessing and leveraging shared drives. Syncplicity was also built to be secure; all client and web access interactions are secured using an AES-256 SSL encryption. It utilizes SAML-based authentication to create a single sign-on for users. Administrators can set policy sets that govern folder-level controls and access, remote-wipe content, and control desktop and mobile clients.
Syncplicity can be used as a subscription-based model, or clients can alternatively deploy it with Atmos or Isilon storage platforms.
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ShareFile offers a well-developed and robust hybrid cloud strategy that balances on premises and cloud storage. Citrix clients have the option to choose between three models: on-premises storage within the organization’s data center(s), ShareFile-managed secure public cloud or a balanced hybrid of the two. To ensure quick and seamless deployment within the enterprise, Citrix has connectors that can accept content from existing enterprise content management (ECM) tools such as Documentum, Filenet, Alfresco and Microsoft SharePoint. ShareFile also includes storage connectors for Dropbox, Box, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive.
Like any other serious enterprise file sharing and Sync EFSS contender, ShareFile offers multiple security features geared towards the enterprise. Citrix has comprehensive data privacy controls. Some of the control features include: domain blacklisting, password enforcement, data retention, remote wipe, session inactivity timeout, auditing and network IP restrictions among others. Unlike other EFSS offerings, Citrix allows organizations to maintain ownership of their own encryption keys.
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Egnyte has a rich feature set that has been tailored for business, which includes robust security measures, comprehensive file support, and versatile file sharing. In order to provide a hybrid cloud solution, it integrates a company’s network attached storage (NAS) device with Egnyte’s own cloud based file server. This gives the company a file server that synchronizes the local copies with online copies. Data is secured during transmission and rest using an AES 256-bit encryption. Files are only accessible after an authentication process and IT can place additional authentication levels with multi-step login verification. Egnyte supports integration with existing SSO/LDAP/AD systems, allowing IT to centrally manage permissions and users with ease.
In order to fully leverage mobility and ubiquitous accessibility to files and document on the go, Egnyte has applications for all the major mobile devices, including Android, iOS, and Windows. Egnyte’s Enterprise Local Cloud (ELC) solution includes a Linux-based VM that operates on a VMware virtualization host. Its local cloud appliance can be installed on any server running VMware ESXi or ESX and supports integration with other applications like Salesforce, Outlook and Google Docs.
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Rackspace Hybrid Cloud
Rackspace’s service offering is a combination of hosting on dedicated infrastructure and multi-tenant systems of virtualized hardware in a way that meets the vast requirements of enterprise users. Some of the infrastructure resources offered by Rackspace include: VMware-based virtual servers with SAN storage capabilities for expansive enterprise operations, Cisco ASA Firewall protected connections to servers and cloud servers configured with scalability and load balancing in mind.
Rackspace data centers provide comprehensive customer security management services like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation services, compliance services, and vulnerability assessments. Rackspace also provides a vast variety of migration tools that customers can utilize to move workloads from on-premises VMware environments to cloud dedicated servers or a Rackspace-hosted VMware environment. The Rackspace hybrid cloud is powered by the OpenStack, open-source cloud computing software that liberates cloud users from the limits and risks of proprietary software provided by other cloud vendors.
FileCloud enables enterprises to create their own file sharing and sync platform; being a pure play software solution, organizations can opt to deploy it on premise or on a public cloud IaaS solution depending on their specific needs. FileCloud is completely cross platform and is compatible across Mac, Windows, Linux, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile. It offers solid integration with productivity apps such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Apple Keynote among others. Its comprehensive API also facilitates seamless integration with DRM, Enterprise e-discovery and Analytics platforms. It provides data leak prevention (DLP), endpoint backup and HIPAA complaint auditing.
FileCloud is available in the Azure marketplace and fully takes advantage of Azure’s resiliency and scalability. FileCloud can also be hosted on AWS (S3, EC2 and EBS). Setting up a new instance of FileCloud on AWS is simple and it can take less than ten minutes to get it up and running. FileCloud can be easily customized to reflect the organizations brand and can be run their own Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) solution on any domain and with FileCloud, you can create your own cloud storage which comes with free storage space.
Click here to compare FileCloud vs. Gartner magic quadrant EFSS players and learn why FileCloud is the fastest growing EFSS!
VMware Hybrid Cloud
The VMware hybrid cloud solution is built to offer a pool of virtualized storage, network and compute infrastructure that can be utilized by enterprises as a platform for running cloud-based services and applications connected to on-premise systems. It utilizes the vCloud software for both external and internal cloud frameworks. Since both private and public clouds are linked up via VMware’s VCloud Air Advanced Networking Services, clients can easily create and manage multiple virtual networks that carry over existing on-premise security policies to the VMware public cloud across a single WAN connection. This also allows system admins to maintain transparency for the administration of resources.
VMware has the technology and experience to power large virtualized deployments. It also several years of experience in software defined networking (SDN) under its belt and bring that experience to the hybrid cloud in its NSX product. The VMware hybrid cloud supports several resources, but it resides closer to the infrastructure layer while other hybrid cloud providers place more focus on the application layer. Containers can be used to bridge the gap, but it cannot completely close it.
Note: A hybrid cloud model largely capitalizes on the advantages of both private and public clouds; however, it’s not without its own risks. Deploying a hybrid cloud is a complex endeavor and enterprises are likely to face problems with migration, integration and other hassles. There hybrid cloud approach may also introduce confusing or unfair service-level agreements.