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Egnyte Brings Simple File Sharing To Local CloudsBy Frank OhlhorstNetwork ComputingJune 24, 2011As companies strive toward local/private clouds for their collaboration needs, defining storage remains one of the major obstacles to overcome. Simply put, storage remains complex to deploy, manage and secure in the world of the local cloud. Ironically, local (or private) cloud solutions are supposed to make storage easier to manage and use.Cloud services vendor Egnyte is attempting to take the mystery out of cloud storage in all of its forms (local, private, hybrid and hosted) by making storage easier to provision, manage and secure. Case in point is Egnyte's Personal Local Cloud 6.0, a storage service that falls outside of normal definitions.Personal Local Cloud 6.0 falls under Egnyte's Local Cloud Branding, which includes the Personal Local Cloud, Office Local Cloud and Enterprise Local Cloud. All of those offerings are very similar, but are different in scalability, user counts and capacity. Nevertheless, all three share one thing in common: They are based upon a hybrid storage infrastructure, where files are stored locally and replicated in the cloud.At first blush, that seems to bring some confusion to where files are stored and how they are managed, and that confusion tends to make it difficult for end users to grasp the concept of how to access and share files. That, in turn, can lead to more tech support calls and drive help desk costs up. Egnyte tries to avoid the confusion by simplifying how files are accessed and shared, using familiar folder and drive letter paradigms. Nevertheless, smaller offices tend to desire simpler solutions, and that is where Egnyte's latest enhancement to Personal Local Cloud 6.0 comes into play. That enhancement is a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook.Michael Semmen, partner, ZUM LLC, an Egnyte customer, lauds the additional capability: "Egnyte allows our global team to share and access 3-D multimedia files 24-by-7, which maximizes efficiency of our production process. I am excited to see Egnyte continue to enhance features. The Outlook plug-in fits in with the way our users want to work."The latest version of Egnyte's Personal Local Cloud provides several unique features to enhance file sharing among business users, including:

  • Visual sync indicator on each file and folder, enabling users to affirm that each file is up to date.
  • Ability to share files by generating links directly from the desktop.
  • Seamless enforcement of all business policies set by the company administrator, such as access rights and link expiration rules.

The Egnyte Outlook email plug-in enhances Microsoft Outlook and allows users to have seamless access to their files in the Egnyte Cloud File Server. Users can navigate folders and files from directly within Outlook and generate sharable links to files, as well as attach files with a single click. All security policies are enforced, further protecting the files from accidental transmission or sharing.

Rajesh Ram, Egnyte's VP of Products, says, "The Egnyte Cloud File Server provides safe file sharing for over half a million business users today. In this latest release, we build upon our initial success by literally bringing the cloud to the desktop or email platform--in essence, integrating cloud access into users' regular workflow."

Egnyte's Personal Local Cloud 6.0 and the Outlook plug-in are available immediately from the company. Pricing varies based upon capacity and user count, with small office solutions starting at $24.99 per month for five users and 150 GBytes of storage.

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