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Self Hosted File Sharing Solutions

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What Is Hosted File Sharing Solution?

A hosted file sharing solution is a cloud-based, hierarchical storage system that allows multiple users in different locations to simultaneously access centrally stored information. A hosted file sharing solution enables public or private sharing of data in a network with separate levels of accessibility. It provides data ownership, privacy, and permission control to manage access to the shared file data. 

A hosted file sharing solution is used with traditional mapped drives and file locking. Deployed this way, it retains the security and privacy of the local, on-premises file server and adds cloud productivity features like mobile access, secure sharing, data protection, and cloud migration.

The traditional ways of sharing files are virtually obsolete. To be successful, organizations need to implement a hosted file sharing solution.

With hosted file sharing solution, users can create, delete, modify, read, and write files, as well as organize them logically in directory trees that make them intuitively accessible to all users. Depending on the types of files and compliance requirements, hosted file sharing solution can be used to set accessibility permissions that allow a select number of people to read, view, or edit the file. Access is granted on the level of authority the file sharer has approved. File sharing services typically allocate a certain amount of file storage per user per account.

A few of the many benefits that a hosted file sharing solution provides are:

  • Better organized and maintained files
  • Consistency made possible with centralized files  
  • Simplified administration

However, it is important to understand the risks a hosted file sharing solution brings in order to implement the right defenses to mitigate them. Among the risks that a hosted file sharing solution brings are:

  • Accidentally saving sensitive files in a public file hosting location
  • Downloading an illegal or copyrighted file
  • Engaging with a file that contains malware
  • Using a hosted file sharing solution that requests firewall services be shut off

5 Things to Consider while Evaluating an Enterprise File Sharing Solution

There are many considerations when evaluating a hosted file sharing solution. The top five are:

1. Easy for all users to transfer files
Ease of use is an absolute must-have for a hosted file sharing solution. Without it, users not only resist using it, but will turn to unsanctioned, often unknown, systems to meet their file transfer needs.

Anyone in the organization should be able to easily use the hosted file sharing solution without any additional training. Every user needs to be able to quickly and easily access and share files, without having to understand tedious operating procedures.

2. High-speed file transfer capabilities
One of the main reasons organizations implement a hosted file sharing solution is to gain more speed than they could get with traditional methods of file sharing. A hosted file sharing solution must be able to transfer files more quickly and efficiently or it would defeat the purpose of replacing the existing systems.

3. Security
When considering a hosted file sharing solution, it is imperative to dig into the security functionality and its level of sophistication. The files that are stored include highly-valuable assets that can cause irreparable damage and add unforeseen cost to an organization. A hosted file sharing solution should be carefully evaluated to understand how it handles known and unknown vulnerabilities and attack strategies.

4. Simple to deploy and manage
Deploying a hosted file sharing solution should not be complicated and a burden to IT teams. It should be easy to deploy. Once deployed a hosted file sharing solution management should also be simple and streamlined. This is a big reason why many organizations choose hosted file sharing solution solutions.

5. Storage independence
A hosted file sharing solution needs to support the widest variety of storage options. The ideal file transfer software meets a range of storage options. Organizations should be able to select either an internal deployment or external cloud-based deployment (cloud) storage. In addition, it should be easy to switch from one to the other as the requirements of the organization change over time.

While those are commonly cited as the top considerations when evaluating a hosted file sharing solution, the following are a few others to think about during the review process.

  • Ability to view content flow analysis in real-time 
  • Compatibility with existing applications  
  • Consistent throughput
  • Customer support with 24/7 availability 
  • Easy to customize
  • Fees based on capacity used with 
  • Fully managed 
  • Low latency  
  • No upfront provisioning costs or licensing fees
  • Performance SLAs 
  • Professional after-sales and support team
  • Redundancy across multiple sites  
  • Scalable storage space

File Sharing Solution

Following are several of the most common features found in an enterprise-grade hosted file sharing solution.

  • Access control, including granular access
  • Compliance support
  • Dashboards and reporting
  • Data management
  • Data privacy
  • Data recovery
  • Data storage 
  • File transmission
  • File version history 
  • Password protection 
  • Support
  • Third-party integrations 

Cons of a hosted file sharing solution Pros of a hosted file sharing solution 
Higher risk of sensitive information being shared publicly

Increased risk of malware infecting files  

Potential plagiarism issues

Requires minimum network and bandwidth speeds
Saves time

Eliminates multiple file versions

Reduces expenses

Prevents data loss

Limits access with file permissions 

Share Files and Collaborate with Business Partners

A hosted files sharing solution can help organizations with business partner collaboration in a number of ways. Organizations use a hosted file sharing solution to:

  • Give business partners the ability to access, view, and edit the same files in near, real-time, simultaneously, from virtually any location
  • Help teams work together and achieve shared goals, even with remote business partners
  • Make edits visible to users or groups as they are made
  • Receive notifications when files are edited or updated  
  • Schedule work flexibly by sharing tasks between partners in different time zones 
  • Share ideas or suggestions by leaving comments on shared files 
  • Sync and save changes so that users or groups can see the most recent version of the file

What Are the 3 Modes of Share Files?

Three of the most commonly used modes of file shares, including using hosted file sharing solutions are as follows. 

1. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Programs 

The most common file transfer system on the internet is the file transfer protocol or FTP. FTP is used to access or edit files among a defined group of users with access controlled with a password. Files are uploaded to the FTP server. Users gain access from there using an FTP client to communicate with the FTP server.  

In an FTP transaction, the end user's computer usually acts as the local host. The second system is a remote host. This is usually a server. FTP requires that both local and remote hosts be connected via a network and have proper configurations to transfer files via FTP. The remote hosts or servers need to be set up to run FTP services, and the local host needs FTP software installed to access these services.

2. Peer-to-Peer Networks 

Peer-to-peer networking involves file sharing without the need for a central server. In a P2P network, each computer acts as both a server and a client. Each computer can supply and receive files. The bandwidth and processing resources are shared among all members of the network. 

P2P networking comes with a number of benefits. Unlike with a traditional client-server network model, with P2P, if a single device goes down, the whole network does not fail. This is because others on the network remain up and running. P2P also ensures that network traffic does not get bottlenecked at one device, because traffic handling is distributed across many computers.

3. Online File Sharing Services 

Online hosted file sharing solutions include web services that allow users to store or share data using cloud storage. One user can upload data to an online hosted file sharing solution, which allows others to download these files using the same platform. Among the advantages of a hosted file sharing solution is that high download speeds are available. Additional benefits are the ability to share the same file with multiple people or to share a file with someone in the future from the same location without having to upload it again.

What Are the 4 Types of Cloud Storage?

#1 Public Cloud Storage 

Public storage is one of the most commonly used types of online storage. Users license public cloud storage capacity from third parties. Public cloud storage can be optimized based on business application use, such as software development, data analytics, or other workloads. Cloud storage providers handle the maintenance and management of public cloud storage environments.

It is charged on a pay-as-you-go basis. It is ideal for users who do not require large amounts of storage and those whose storage needs change and are not predictable, since it can shrink or expand based on current requirements.  

The advantages of public cloud storage include:

  • Cost-effective
  • Data backup
  • Data security
  • Easy to deploy
  • Expert monitoring
  • Highly automated management
  • No maintenance
  • Performance scaling
  • Reliable services
  • Scalability
  • Self-provisioned, dynamic capacity

The disadvantages of public cloud storage include:

  • Challenges adhering to specific regulatory requirements
  • Host is on a public cloud
  • Little knowledge or control over where data resides
  • Performance less reliable than private cloud storage or on-premises storage

#2 Private Cloud Storage 

Private cloud storage provides the functionality and capabilities of public cloud storage, but with systems resident within an organization’s own intranet or data center and managed using proprietary resources. With private cloud storage, the same benefits of public cloud storage are realized, including elasticity, scalability, and ease of service delivery.

The types of organizations that use private cloud storage most often do so because they handle large amounts of sensitive data that require high levels of security and strict control over data, such as confidential documents, intellectual property, personally identifiable information (PII), medical records, or financial information. Organizations’ motivation for choosing private cloud storage is also driven by regulatory compliance requirements.  

The advantages of private cloud storage include:

  • Control over hardware and software 
  • Deployed in a controlled environment
  • Ensured compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Greater visibility into security and access control
  • Higher levels of security
  • Less latency and other performance degradation
  • Managed by internal IT personnel
  • More effectively sized and tuned
  • Resource customization

The disadvantages of private cloud storage include:

  • Limited flexibility once deployed
  • Most expensive cloud storage option

#3 Hybrid Cloud Storage 

As the name suggests, hybrid cloud storage is a blend of public and private cloud storage options. With hybrid cloud storage, users get the benefits and functionality of each of these cloud storage options. 

Hybrid cloud storage offers the most versatile hosted file sharing solution Users have the protection of a private cloud and the customization of a public cloud. For example, data can be stored on the private cloud, and information processing work can be performed on the public cloud.

Another advantage of hybrid cloud storage is that it can easily handle a burst of data by saving it in public cloud storage rather than scrambling to deploy more in-house resources.  

The advantages of hybrid cloud storage include:

  • Adaptable and personalized services
  • Business continuity
  • Data backup at a high level
  • Increased data and app control at a lower cost
  • Less expensive than private cloud
  • Uninterrupted data access

The disadvantages of hybrid cloud storage include:

  • Less control over data security
  • Higher operational expense

#4 Community Cloud Storage 

Community cloud storage is created when organizations with similar needs gather collectively to invest in a cloud storage solution. With the community cloud storage approach, organizations share the expense of owning and operating a cloud storage deployment.

To manage the community’s security and compliance requirements, the community cloud storage deployment is architected and managed according to strict protocols that are often unique to a specific group.

An example of community cloud storage in government would be multiple organizations in the same county sharing a community cloud storage deployment to store sensitive information. Other organizations that often use community cloud storage are those in the healthcare, financial services, and legal sectors, which have strict compliance requirements.

The advantages of community cloud storage include:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Data usage flexibility
  • Enhanced data security
  • Excellent data protection
  • Flexibility
  • Scalable 

The disadvantages of community cloud storage include:

  • Data storage and bandwidth are shared among community members
  • Inconsistent maintenance costs
  • More expensive than public cloud storage
  • Remote access can be limited
  • Support managed by the community

Achieve Success Faster with a Hosted File Sharing Solution

Having a hosted file sharing solution is near-universally considered to be “de riguer” for most organizations. Nearly every organization has use cases where files must be securely shared. Because data is the lifeblood of an organization, it is imperative to have security at the fore.

When the right solutions are deployed correctly, organizations see benefits ranging from increases in productivity to better-organized files and documents, which makes them more accessible.

The traditional ways of sharing files are virtually obsolete. To be successful, organizations need to implement a hosted file sharing solution. With a hosted file sharing solution, the organization will be much better equipped to meet all of its objectives.

Egnyte has experts ready to answer your questions. For more than a decade, Egnyte has helped more than 16,000 customers with millions of customers worldwide.

Last Updated: 3rd April, 2023

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