EMC Offers Online File Sharing With On-Premise Storage Product

EMC is building on its acquisition of the Syncplicity file-sharing and collaboration service by combining it with its Isilon scale-out NAS to provide the enterprise what the storage giant claims provides the convenience of a cloud-based file-sharing service with the administrative and governance capabilities of an on-premise solution.

Tue, January 15, 2013

CIO — There's no shortage of vendors or service providers claiming to be the Dropbox of the enterprise. Box, IntraLinks, Proofpoint, SkyDox, WatchDox and many others are vying for a piece of the pie. Even VMware is getting into the game. Now EMC is throwing its hat in the ring with a twist: an end-to-end, on-premise storage solution for online file sharing.

Built on technology from EMC's acquisition of Syncplicity last May and its EMC Isilon scale-out NAS, the idea is to provide a secure, easy-to-use solution for file sync and sharing across devices, but on highly scalable, on-premise infrastructure that gives IT control over where managed files reside.

"Consumer-grade applications have been great for the user, but have created a nightmare for IT from a risk and liability standpoint," says Jeetu Patel, vice president and general manager of the Syncplicity business unit of EMC's Information Intelligence Group.

"Integrating Syncplicity with EMC Isilon on-premise storage extends our guiding principle of delighting the user with an easy-to-use cloud solution for file sync, sharing and collaboration while empowering IT with tools and control to protect the business," he adds.

Users Love Dropbox, But It's a Nightmare for IT

Users love file-sharing services like Dropbox. In the enterprise, Dropbox has become one of the most common forms of rogue IT because users desire to access their files where and how they want and on whichever device they want—including tablets and smartphones. EMC notes that enterprise users typically store 20 to 30 GBs of file data on their computers and devices. And users aren't just turning to these devices because they want to work from their iPads: often they need a solution to share files larger than email can handle or to work with clients and contractors that sit outside the corporate firewall and can't easily be added to a SharePoint group.

If IT does not provide the tools necessary to allow them to do their work (or even if IT provides clunky, difficult-to-use tools) many users are prepared to go around them with services like Dropbox.

For IT and the organizations it represents, this trend presents a host of difficulties--some of them obvious, like security, data loss prevention and compliance issues--and some of them perhaps less so, like version control. With more than 10,000 laws in the U.S. alone that specify retention of different kinds of records, an inability to track documents, access them, put holds on them and expire them could present an enormous risk to the enterprise.

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