Cloud Storage predictions for 2014

Cloud Storage Predictions for 2014

THE YEAR IN REVIEW

It has been some year in the world of Cloud and Cloud Storage in particular. We witnessed the demise of Nirvanix, as well as the revelations of Edward Snowdon outlining the surveillance of the PRISM surveillance program and the alleged collusion with major US Service providers

Amidst all of this the behemouth that is Amazon continued to move forwards apace and continuing to add new services and reduce pricing.

There has been space in the market for new vendors such as Dump Truck, which launched almost exactly 1 year ago, and Copy, both of which predominantly offer services aimed at the consumer market. Many new Enterprise cloud storage services were launched in 2013 such as Verizon, EMC, Colt Telecom, Lenovo showing that vendors anticipate a huge enterprise demand for cloud related services from their incumbent customers.

The OpenStack open source cloud platform continued to go from strength to strength with vendors, such as RedHat offering new OpenStack related products and aiming for OpenStack dominance.

Meanwhile Amazon S3 continued to be the de facto storage API for developers and storage product compatibility, something we predicted over 3 years ago when we added the S3 API to the SME platform.

Another interesting recent development in 2013 was SugarSync announcing plans to stop offering free accounts and close all existing ones. A pretty big step that upset a lot of (free) customers.

CLOUD STORAGE PREDICTIONS FOR 2014

1. Following on the from the round-up of 2013 above and the latter entry on SugarSync, it is likely we will see other services shutting down their free storage offerings. The key lesson here is that free is not free for ever it seems.

2. Expect to see a DropBox and Box IPO in 2014.

3. Due to the PRISM and NSA debacle we expect to see more non US companies wanting to stop their data from being hosted in the US.

4. Security has become the number one concern for companies when dealing with data. Expect more file sharing vendors to follow SME’s lead and try and retrofit logging / auditing / enhanced security in their product offerings.

5. Expect more companies to want remote data to be encrypted with keys they control. This will become part of a companies security playbook for 2014. (see our prior blog post for how SME does this).

6. 2014 will see companies want more from their Storage solutions – how do they solve their businesses problems, how do they fit in with corporate governance and help implement common policies ?

7. Big Data will continue to dominate hype cycles for storage vendors and expect to see a slew of new products.

In the meantime all that is left to wish you all a Happy New Year !

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Everything is a Storage Cloud now – the commoditization of Storage into Apps

20131031-210708.jpgOne of the more interesting trends of the recent developments in Cloud Computing is how we define “What is a storage cloud” . This used to be easy – it was an FTP or a WebDav Server. Even 3 or 4 years ago this was still relatively easy, it was DropBox, or SugarSync or Box etc. Now however, the lines are becoming a little blurry. We are seeing many application services offering the ability to store documents.

For example BaseCamp, the project management service lets you store files as do other project collaboration services, however I doubt any of these services would like to be categorized as “storage”.

SalesForce is another good example. It’s a CRM service right ? Well, yes but it can also be used to store files and in fact it is promoting this ability as a “first class feature” from what was called Chatter but which has now been rebranded to SalesForce Files.

The list of examples are endless Jive, Yammer, Evernote, a plethora of services that offer file storage specific to the use case they satisfy within a company.

Dedicated Applications of this nature provide file storage as a bi-product of their service and for many companies, large and small, policing this sprawl of data is challenging enough without employes doing their own thing with Bring Your Own Cloud.

We believe that this trend will continue to accelerate apace and it is why we at Storage Made Easy have been concentrating on “joining up” these different data stores and providing unification, management and control across what are effectively many independent silos of Applications and Data. The more cloud services that offer ways to Interact with and store files the worse the sprawl gets.

Storage Made Easy Cloud Control

In fact this “joining up” of data sprawl and the reason it is important to get right, and the results of ignoring it, will be a feature of our very next blog post.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Storage Made Easy Provides Universal Secure Access for Cloudian Storage Clients

London – October 1, 2013 – Storage Made Easy today announced that it now making it easy than ever for customers of Cloudian, the market-leading cloud storage company, to access their cloud files no matter their device or location.

Cloudian is an Amazon S3-compliant cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable cloud storage solutions. With this new integration, Cloudian’s clients can use Storage Made Easy’s technology to synchronize all their storage locations – cloud, NAS/SAN, network, and local, with any device, ensuring easy search and access.

“Cloudian delivers the scale, efficiency and power of the cloud to companies around the world,” said Giorgio Propersi, General Manager, Americas and EMEA. “Now, file access is even easier as Storage Made Easy unites cloud-stored information with other business-critical content, no matter where else it is stored. This is a great advantage for any company to have.”

Storage Made Easy unites public, private and SaaS data into a single, secure environment, guaranteeing file access and cross-service search; it is pre-integrated into existing identity management systems such as Active Directory and LDAP. Storage Made Easy provides a comprehensive unified Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) solution built on top of the SME Cloud Control Gateway. Offered either a SaaS or as a hybrid on-premise solution, it delivers the highest levels of management, security, compliance, audit, and access services for corporate data.

“Storage Made Easy delivers added value to Cloudian’s clients by providing complete connectivity via a virtualized, unified view of all of their files,” says Doug Rich, Storage Made Easy’s General Manager, Americas. “A Cloudian-based public or private cloud maintains its secure access with Storage Made Easy while delivering the information users need, when they need it. We are pleased to make the Cloudian solution even more accessible to users worldwide.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

New Storage Made Easy Google Chrome Cloud Unifier File Manager Extension

We’ve added a new Storage Made Easy Chrome extension to the Chrome Web Store. The sole function of this extension is to enable auto-login and launch of the SME Web File Manager for quick access.

The SME Web File Manager is a hierarchical file manager which makes it ideal to deal with large data set and also data from different on-premise or public cloud storage, which are unified in the file tree. A Storage Made Easy Account is needed but a free account can be signed up directly from the extension.

The reason for this extension was to make it a lot easier for users to be able to gain access to the Web Cloud File Manager for one of our business customers who had equipped their salesforce with Chromebook Pixel’s.

The Web File Manager enabled them to have a workflow which included editing and commenting of documents directly from the Chromebook on various clouds that they used which includes BaseCamp and Amazon S3.

The extension can also be used for securely sharing files which include setting passwords on files and/or time expiry.

The web file manager, from a single user perspective provides a very nice way to work with data between cloud providers and even collaborate with other people using Business Group WorkSpaces. For business users it provides a complete collaboration environment between user which includes files editing, file commenting, file versioning and file locking.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Cloud Computing Use Case: Automatic notifications of new or changed iWork Numbers documents stored on Google Drive

We had an interesting Use Case recently in which the requirements were as follows:

The Company in question had a Google Apps Account and therefore used Google Drive for their Storage. They had a number of iWork Numbers documents that were modified by their team members whilst on the move using iWork and iPad’s. Currently their process was editing the files, and then trying to send the resultant file via email to other team members. Due to file size some files were not received and in general the email server was quickly eating up storage. What they cam to SME for was to figure out how they could refine this process.

With Storage Made Easy the process became much simpler. Firstly the company subscribed to a Cloud File Server SaaS Account. The SME Cloud Admin then added the companies Google Drive account to be accessible via SME and invited other team members to be part of the Cloud File Server. On the Folder(s) in question the Cloud Admin simply set permissions so that relevant team members had access and added a notification rule specific to keynote file to ensure that all subscribers to the shared folder received an email notification on new files or updates to existing files. As per our prior article on Twitter and SMS Gateways on these changes to file events SME can easily generate instant SMS notifications.

As Storage Made Easy enables WebDav above any Cloud added to it then Google Drive becomes instantly accessible via WebDav. For the Company this means that they can simply open and create new keynote files directly in Keynote from their shared Google Drive folder and then on completion simply save them back. The very act of doing this generates a file event on completion which send an email and/or SMS to users subscribed to the shared folder vastly simplifying the process.




Another added benefit to the company is the complete end-to-end joined up audit tracking they get on all Google Drive documents:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

How to use Twitter as an SMS event notification system for File sharing and priority email notifications

One of the benefits of Twitter it it’s ability to generate events on messages and even more it’s ability to tie this to push, email and especially SMS notifications. In many ways you can craft solutions to use it as an SMS Gateway, and indeed there are a few innovative solutions that do just this.

We have implemented such a solution for event notifications with the SME Open Cloud File Server which unifies files from over 35 different public Storage Clouds and private on-premise files, whilst also providing security and audit services. In this post I’m going to step you through how the SME Twitter integration works.

All accounts, including the free accounts have the ability to use Twitter as an event notification for file share or file event notifications. The first step to using Twitter as an event notification system is to sign up for a Twitter Account and then integrate it with your SME Account. To integrate with SMEStorage take the following steps:

1. After login go to App integrations from the right sidebar.

2. Choose to sign in with Twitter using OAuth in which you enable interaction with your Twitter account without exposing your password:

3. Enter your Twitter username and password when Twitter pops the authenticate and allow access page.

4. Once this is done you will be returned to the SME site and you can choose how you wish to use Twitter with Storage Made Easy:

You can choose to use Twitter to share files and also for notifications.

Now before we show you how to use Twitter with Storage Made Easy, if you want to receive Twitter push notifications to your phone or messages as SMS, you need to map your cell phone to Twitter. To do this you need to login to you Twitter account and then click on the link that enables you to setup Twitter with our mobile phone:

This will take you to a page where you can enter your cell number and setup Twitter to work with your cell / mobile.

Once this is done you are all set, now we can explore how you can take advantage of the Twitter integration with Storage Made Easy:

The first way is that you can share file links directly on you Twitter account (be sure not to share copyrighted files as complaints can lead to account closure). You can do this from the website or client / mobile tools:

Now that Twitter is setup you will also receive notifications if a user shares a file with you from a business workspace or from a shared business folder. This gets sent as a Twitter direct message and therefore generates an SMS to your mobile device.

The other cool Twitter integration that Storage Made Easy provides is the ability to configure an email address which can be used to accept emails from nominated addresses. (to get access to this feature you have to add Twitter Notifications for emails from Cloud Apps after login to the SME website).

When those emails are received to the email configured from the nominated senders a Twitter Direct Message email is sent to the Twitter Account you integrated with SME. This DM contains who the email was from, and the subject line, and of course if you have Twitter setup with your cellphone as described above you will also get a realtime SMS alert when this is triggered.

What is this good for ? Well for file sharing, you get instantaneous notifications delivered over SMS. Also, if you have inbound emails that you want absolutely instant SMS notifications from then this works a treat as almost instantaneously as the email comes in you will get an SMS notification letting you know, so it is great for systems or Apps that generate real-time email alerts but have no SMS capability. Alternatively perhaps you configured the email to be a CC on some urgent email you want to receive. The possibilities for use are endless.

Storage Made Easy can also offer business customers of our Cloud File Server integrations with other SMS Gateways such as Twilio, Clikatell and BulkSMS.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather