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While on my flight to the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, a full cup of sparkling water ended up as a wave across my laptop keyboard.  My laptop shutdown almost immediately and leaked out sparking water for the remainder of the flight. A passenger across the aisle actually said that it was good that it was sparkling water instead of regular water. I still don’t understand that comment.

Luckily, all of my files were in my Egnyte folder so they were synced to my account on the Egnyte Cloud File Server. I thankfully had my iPad with me to access those same files while I was at the event. My computer did finally boot up the next morning after spending the night in a bag of rice but eventually degraded to a point where it needed to be repaired.

Although all my files were backed up and later synced back from the Cloud File Server, we don’t really consider Egnyte a back-up solution. Even when customers sync data from an on-premise storage device in one location to the Cloud File Server and then back down to different on-premise storage devices in other locations, back up is really a means to an end with the end being file sharing, collaboration, and access.

blog-file-sharingOur booth at Gartner was located near two companies that came out with a desktop back-up offering first and then later added in access and sharing capabilities to the files that were backed up to the cloud. So a file-sharing company provides back up of desktop files and a desktop back-up provider enables file sharing and access of the backed-up files. I guess you could think of this as a “chicken or the egg” quandary if you just focus on the files that are on your laptop. But there are so many more files that are scattered throughout a company that employees need when working in the office or on-the-go.

This is why Egnyte has separated the file-sharing application plane from the underlying storage plane. This unique architecture provides a solution for all of the use cases that a business will eventually encounter:

Similar to desktop back-up:

– Desktop file sharing

– Desktop file access

– Desktop back-up

Beyond desktop back-up:

– Back-up of data residing in an on-premise storage device

– Private access to on-premise storage

– Cross-office collaboration

– Business continuity in the event an Internet connection is not available

Egnyte essentially provides a global namespace into all files in the company that the user has permission to access. The single view of files and breadth of use cases is simply not possible when you implement a solution where the application and the underling storage are hopelessly locked together.

So while some companies can provide a desktop back-up solution that enables sharing and access of those files that are backed up, why wouldn’t a business implement a complete file-sharing platform where desktop back-up is just one of the many use cases that you can implement?

It’s not because I work for Egnyte, but on a personal level, the Egnyte platform really saved me a huge headache when my computer went “swimming” on the airplane. My files were backed up and synced so I didn’t lose data or slow down my productivity. I simply hopped on a different device to access my files at the event and only had to worry about IT being unhappy with my unusable computer, rather than frantically trying to get the data restored on my laptop.

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