We made an announcement on June 23rd about our Technology collaboration with Red Hat. That same week, Red Hat unveiled Red Hat Ceph Storage 2 with enhanced object storage capabilities and improved ease of use.
How is cloud collaboration done today ? Perhaps this scenario may sound familiar. There is a need to share a file with someone so it is attached to an email and the recipient takes a copy of the file, edits it, and then send it back attached to a fresh email !
Why is this process so common ? It is because collaborating on files stored in different places outside of a local network is just hard.
Storage Made Easy has grown by 100% in 2015. This represents seven straight quarters of 100% year-on-year growth for the company, partly fuelled by a ramp of sales to companies who utilized the SME solution with object storage, particularly companies embracing OpenStack Swift. Read more information about SME’s revenue.
OpenStack Swift is more than an enabler to store large amounts of unstructured data. The massive scalability, geographic dispersion, and REST API Access are a way to achieve some compelling use cases, of which the most popular is undoubtedly file sharing.
In the past Enterprise File Share and Sync has been more traditionally associated with file-based storage platforms but as such storage platforms struggle to scale and don’t naturally lend themselves to be web accessible pairing Enterprise File Share and Sync with object storage solutions such as OpenStack Swift has become much more compelling for enterprises. Not only from an ease of use perspective but also from an ROI perspective.
This post looks at the “must have” features that should be demanded from an OpenStack Swift Enterprise Sync and Share vendor.
For those who use the Enterprise File Share and Sync service from Storage Made Easy they will know that as part of the Windows and Mac desktop tools that are provided that there is a n email toolbar integration into Mac Mail and Microsoft Outlook that enables users to securely share file links rather than file attachments.
This support for secure email link sharing has now been extended for Chrome users using Gmail using the Storage Made Easy Gmail Plugin available from the Chrome web store.
Once added this provides a new toolbar entry when composing Gmail’s on Chrome:
Once selected this prompts the user to log into their SME Account, if SaaS, or the user can set their custom endpoint if using the SME On-Site Enterprise File Share and Sync solution:
Once logged in the user is presented with their mapped clouds:
From here files can be shared as links can be shared from any of the mapped cloud directories:
If a cloud governance file policy has been set by the Cloud Administrator for the team account then the details here will be pre-populated otherwise options can be chosen prior to link generation. After this when share is clicked, the link is added to the email:
When the link is shared, if Auditing is turned on within the SME Account, then the link generation will be recorded in the Audit log and once the remote user opens the link the remote IP address will also be recorded.
**Note: only team and on-premise accounts provide the Audit features
As more and more companies use the Cloud to replace their existing file server the need for similar functionality to that which existed on-premise becomes important. Once such features is file locking.
File locking simply allows a user to lock a file whilst updating to prevent another user editing the same file. If locking does not exist then at worse conflicts occur, at best file updates get overwritten and perhaps even lost. It is a key piece of a collaboration experience.
Storage Made Easy private enterprise file share and sync solution fully supports file locking through all of its web, desktop and mobile clients. When a file is locked, other users only have read only access to it.
In addition to locking, file versioning goes hand in hand as a key feature. Versioned files are files that have been superseded by newer files but which can be kept for audit or archived purposes and which can later be promoted to replace newer version of a file if needed. Storage Made Easy EFSS solution provides full support for both of these features using its unique visual versioning feature.
The problem with current file sync and share solutions is they miss many of the features needed to really use them as a file server replacement. This do not just include locking and versioning, but also CIFS access from the desktop, file event audit, access over common protocols such as WebDav or FTP, ability to be deployed private and to work with other storage clouds or data points, solve the shadow IT problem etc. The solution from most solution providers is the “my cloud is better than their cloud” approach i.e.. “move to my solution as we have that feature”. This promotes more silos and exacerbates sprawl.
The Storage Made Easy is storage independent and promote interoperability and integration, working with any combination of storage points, be they public or private, so if you have existing solutions that require global locking, versioning, event Audit, Cloud Governance, amongst other things, SME can help.
In summary For companies that have data stored in the cloud, in one or more storage providers, global file locking and versioning should be considered a mandatory feature for enterprise file share and sync.