EMC is adding a third version of its Syncplicity cloud-based file sharing solution that blends consumer usability with enterprise security and control. Enterprise Edition (EE) joins the consumer and business versions of the online file sharing (OFS) technology the storage giant has been selling since it acquired Syncplicity last May.
BYOD (bring your own device) is wreaking havoc on unprepared companies, but while OFS vendors like Dropbox have been succeeding in the consumer/personal space, EMC believed Syncplicity’s focus on the enterprise segment made a better choice. “That’s what Syncplicity EE is all about – simplifying end user deployment and administration at enterprise scale, and empowering IT with complete control over security, policy and storage,” said Jeetu Patel, Vice President and General Manager of the Syncplicity Business Unit, Information Intelligence Group at EMC in a blog about the product launch. He calls it adult supervision for the BYOD party.
A beta version, which consisted of Syncplicity with the option to use either EMC’s Isilon scale-out NAS or Atmos object-based storage, was rolled out at the end of last year. Patel said they knew this is a mass-market product which should be supplied to every knowledge worker worldwide. “EMC acts as the single provider, not just for the application but the data, so you have a single throat to choke.”
OFS solutions have become popular, said Enterprise Strategy Group Senior Analyst Terri McClure, but IT teams need to rein in data sprawl and maintain file security while empowering those users. Almost half (40%) of organizations have policies saying you can’t use a personal account to store data, but and almost 40% of those with such a policy know people have personal accounts, she said. “We suspect that the actual numbers are up to 80%.”
Patel said the beefed up EE adds on-premise availability of storage in addition to the beta’s support for Atmos and Isilon in the backend. Unlike other services, Syncplicity moves files directly from storage to devices — files are never cached nor passed through our cloud service, he said. Data can also be replicated geographically so users worldwide are accessing files from the closest data center.
From a security perspective, it supports single sign on (SSO) with Active Directory or any SAML-based authentication service, and two-factor authentication. IT can also enforce levels of authentication based on location or IP address.
Syncplicity Connector for EMC Documentum enables content to be synced and distributed to large groups of users, across all devices, inside and outside the firewall. There’s also a tiered pricing model, which offers significant savings of up to 50% for large deployments, said Patel.
While he wouldn’t preannounce or even commit to supporting other storage vendors’ platforms, he at least acknowledged that there will be more NFS (Network File System) certifications going forward. “Our whole mantra here is choice for storage.”