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.
1, Does not store data in a proprietary fashion: This is a must. Check that your vendor is not storing the data in a way that provides “lock in” to their solution. Simply upload a file through one of their Apps and check to see whether the file name is as expected on the native OpenStack Storage.
2. Support Standard protocols: Many enterprise apps and hardware already support standard protocols and any OpenStack Sync and Share product should be an enabler for use with standard protocols such as WebDav, FTP, and SFTP as it will be a way to embrace a wider set of use cases.
3. Support the Amazon S3 protocol: Amazon S3 is now a de facto standard protocol for many enterprises and many of scripts and Apps use it. Make sure your EFSS OpenStack vendor provides support for it as an enabler for enterprise agility.
4. Integrates the Cloud into a users desktop: OpenStack companies that want to use Enterprise File Share and Sync are often migrating from an existing file server. To that end they want to replicate their existing users environment as much as possible and that includes drive letter access to corporate shares on their desktop for on demand access to corporate files, exactly the same as the old network drive except on the Cloud.
5. Desktop Sync: There will be times that users want to work offline so desktop sync is a necessity.
6. Company defined encryption: Don’t let the enterprise sync and share vendor control the encryption keys to files. The EFSS solution should provide company defined encryption keys for additional security.
7. Supports Windows, Mac and Linux: Enterprise environment are mostly heterogeneous with regards to desktop support so ensure you your OpenStack Syn and Share vendor supports all the major desktop operating systems.
8. Support all mobile devicess: If your company is embracing BYOD you will want your Swift EFSS vendor to support as wide a range of mobile devices as possible such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.
9. Supports Audit and Governance: File and Data compliance and legislation are no longer an option for the enterprise.. Ensure your chosen vendor supports Audit logging, Audit Watches, and provides the ability to set corporate wide Sync and Share policies inclusive of password protection policies and timed file expiry.
10. Works with what you have: Why settle for an Enterprise Sync and Share vendor that only support OpenStack Swift ? Ensure it works with the storage points that exist both behind the firewall and/or on the public cloud. It will make migration and archive easier.