Storage/File Sharing Options That are Cloud-, Enterprise-Friendly
Free storage and file sharing tools abound in the cloud, but not very many are enterprise-friendly. Cubby Enterprise and ownCloud are two that IT can get behind.
There's no denying the popularity of file sharing and storage services. Free ones, like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft's OneDrive are being used in enterprises absent of any official IT endorsement. Two new cloud-based storage service offerings hope to change that.
LogMeIn is one provider, who this week launched Cubby Enterprise. It's described as a business version of its file synchronization and sharing service. The service gives administrators control over data with key security capabilities including the ability to remotely wipe data off devices, set and enforce policies (such as how data is shared) and allows IT to require four-digit PIN codes to access data.
It also supports Active Directory Federation Services integration for single sign-on, domain-based administration to manage user accounts and the ability to remotely deploy on user systems. Cubby Enterprise also lets IT monitor in real time what data is shared and with whom. Annual subscriptions cost $39.99 per month for five users when prepaid.
Meanwhile, ownCloud this week also launched its ownCloud 6 Enterprise Edition. The new release gives administrators more control over enterprise data thanks to a rules engine that can provide refined policies for how employees access data. The service is based on the ownCloud Community Edition, an open-source file sync and share project, which the company claims has more than 1.3 million users.
The company indicated back in December it was readying a new commercial edition of its offering, which offers a Dropbox-like experience. However customers who deploy it locally on an Apache Web server or Microsoft's IIS and can integrate it with Active Directory and has an LDAP wizard for other directories. It uses SAML authentication and the company offers an API to tie it to other applications. It also comes with a plugin for the enterprise social media tool Jive -- a rival to Microsoft's Yammer service. (As an aside, Jive is exploring a potential sale, according to a report by Re/code, which says possible buyers include Oracle, SAP and Workday.)
Organizations with ownCloud 6 Enterprise Edition can store data on their own servers and/or in public clouds such as Amazon Web Services S3 or any OpenStack-SWIFT- based cloud. It doesn't currently support Windows Azure, though CEO Marcus Rex told me back in December he's eying that service as well. Customers can create hybrid storage services using local servers for some data and busting to the public cloud for other content. Administrators can tie ownCloud 6 Enterprise Edition 6 with existing systems management suites and backup and recovery tools. Annual subscriptions start at $9,000 for 50 users.
Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.