How to Use SharePoint Online as a File Server? | FileCloud
SharePoint Online and FileCloud have one thing in common; they enable efficient seamless communication and collaboration in your organization. They empower organizations to enable seamless work across teams, even if spread all over the globe, and ensure greater productivity. They also come along with a suite of products or services that accentuate the base objective of content, knowledge and application sharing.
They are Cloud-based services, as is the norm these days for most enterprises. These enterprises are looking to scale their services and ensure better customer experiences leading to higher revenues. Incidentally, SharePoint Online d can be subscribed in a bundle or in standalone capacities, to improve essential productivity.
It is a hosted Cloud service empowering enterprises with storage, sharing, and management of documented data/information across devices with anywhere access. Typically, organizations find it essential to integrate their individual, essential applications like content and workflow management, social networking, Internet and Intranet, business intelligence, web content, and Cloud. Though it was launched in 2013 for Office 365’s distribution, it soon gained traction as a Cloud Solution that enterprises could use individually as well.
Across the world, more than 200, 000 organizations and 190 million people are using SharePoint for Intranets, team sites, and content management. Certain industry reports indicate that more than 85% of the Fortune 500 companies are using some variant of SharePoint.
These EFSS (Enterprise File Sync and Sharing) products help organizations to not just store and access, but also, co-author and update files on the go, from anywhere. Employees can easily share files inside and outside the organization using OneDrive, which provides secure, seamless integration with Office. It can be accessed on Windows, Mac or even on mobile devices. SharePoint helps manage these files and folders Team sites or Intranet sites, and across the organization. A team site is a virtual place on the Intranet for a project, team, department, or division, that enables all the team members to work cohesively. And the SharePoint mobile apps make it even more attractive, as you are constantly in sync with what is happening.
Using SharePoint, organizations can easily create a connected workplace, using intelligent Intranets and Team Sites. It enables message broadcasts, share applications, and streamline processes, along with Yammer. Yammer allows for open, dynamic communication; and meetings, town halls, and training can be easily created and managed. It allows people to engage in discussions, even with video and makes for a better social experience in the organization.
Business Process transformation is also easy using SharePoint lists and libraries, Microsoft Flow, and PowerApps. Perhaps, one of the biggest draws of SharePoint happens to be the fact it can be customized. It allows components to be edited to suit your organizational needs. The Centralized Administration Console is another notable feature that is popular among SharePoint users. The Office Suite of tools is another big advantage that helps it maintain the market lead.
The best part is that it comes up in various categories like:
- Collaboration software
- File sharing product
- Document management
- Enterprise content management
- Enterprise social networking
- Web content management
- Business intelligence
The SharePoint architecture starts with a SharePoint site. The site is the first in the hierarchy under which the rest of the architecture is built. Multiple subsites can be created under the top site, and this is purely dependent on the organization’s needs and the server infrastructure. Each of the subsites, may, in turn, have subsites and so on, creating one site collection. The site collection may represent a common set of administrative functions or a business unit. They would share resources, and have common templates, content, metadata, structure, branding, etc. and use a single content database.
Another important aspect of the SharePoint architecture is the Web application, which is configured using Microsoft IIS to run the SharePoint. The Web application is one step above the site collection and can run multiple site collections. When you have multiple Web applications, then it is called a farm. A SharePoint farm will also include servers like Web Front ends (WFE), Application Servers, and Database (SQL) Servers.
The WFEs handle the user requests and in the installations with more than one WFEs, a Network Load Balancer (NLB) is also included to manage the load distribution. The Application Server runs all the applications that are hosted by the farm. The Database Server is used to implement the SQL, and host all SharePoint databases like the configuration database, content databases, and service application databases.
A site would contain items like Document Library, Calendar, Task List, etc. and each site will have the page(s) that display content to the user. SharePoint has many functions, and workflow automation happens to be a key one. It is a set of pre-programmed mini-applications, used to streamline and automate the business processes.
FileCloud Online is a cloud storage and file-sharing solution that can be self-hosted on your on-premises servers, private data centers or even on public cloud IaaS providers like AWS, Azure or Google Cloud. The features include, free, unlimited client accounts, endpoint backups, custom branding, security compliances, and a comprehensive admin portal that helps with audit, device management, workflows, and report. The biggest advantage is that all these come at extremely competitive prices. It is no wonder that it has received the Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice Distinction for the second consecutive time in 2019.
FileCloud Online is hosted in secure, world-class data centers in the US, EU, Canada, Australia, and Asia. This provides you the flexibility of choosing which region you want your organization’s data to be hosted. One of the most important aspects of a Cloud solution is security, and with FileCloud you get the best-in-class, with features like Site-Specific Encryption Key, Site Sandbox and AWS GovCloud Option. Here is a partial list of a few other key features that are worth checking out.
- Site Replication
- Device Management
- Online File Share and Backup
- Ransomware Protection
- FileCloud Takeout Guarantee
- Total Control and Security
- GovCloud Hosting
- Customer Managed Encryption
- Governance and Compliance
- Document Preview
FileCloud offers the same features and benefits of public cloud SaaS services without many of their drawbacks that include:
- Issues related to control over critical enterprise and customer data
- Concerns about security and privacy of data
- Regulatory compliance issues for many industries
- Issues related to data residency, sovereignty and ownership of critical data
- Lack of customization: organization branding and custom TOS
FileCloud is installed on a Windows or a Linux Server and comes with an admin portal that helps you to configure and manage the system. The installation could be an On-Premises or a hosted one, which can be accessed via Web browsers, Mobile Apps, and Desktop sync clients to keep their desktop folders in sync. Organizations have the option of opting for a fully managed storage solution, using which they can access, sync and share files. There is also the possibility of using existing organizational folders via FileCloud.
For small deployments, FileCloud with Local Storage configuration can be used for efficient and seamless functioning. However, for larger deployments, redundant object storage systems like Openstack or Amazon S3 can be used. FileCloud servers can be configured for the HA environment to improve service reliability and reduce downtime in your IT environment. This deployment uses the classic 3-tier approach with Load balancer handling the client traffic, Application server nodes to serve requests and redundant database servers to store application data.