NTP OFS Approach: Capture, Secure And Use Vs Sync & Share
NTP Software, which has been building file data management solutions since 1994 and claims more than 20 million users work with its technology daily, is expanding its reach to the growing bring your own device (BYOD) and online file sharing (OFS) segments. The company’s Universal File Access integrates with the most common storage hosts, cloud and object stores to make an organization’s file data available to end users on any device consistent with its Active Directory security and other policies.
We are now in a BYOD universe, said CEO NTP Bruce Backa, and organizations need to secure, protect and catalog file data while making it readily available to employees whether they are working at a desk in the office or on an iPad at the beach. With Universal File Access, IT is always in control ensuring that existing corporate policies and security are extended and enforced regardless of where data is created, accessed or resides.
Backa believes UFA will be a gamechanger. There are a lot of people out there with DropBox, and EMC/Synclicity that do a really good job of ‘sync and share’, but that is the consumer need. “Business however, you look at it from exactly the opposite perspective. The last thing you want is for this to be shared on the Internet. Our approach is capture, secure and use, as distinct from sync and share.”
“Unlike consumer-oriented ‘sync and share’, which promiscuously copies file data anywhere and everywhere, making security and risk management even more difficult, if not impossible, UFA is an enterprise application that allows end users to interact safely and securely with an organization’s file data using any device, anywhere.” However, what makes UFA really different is security. “We manage both metadata and file access differently. You’re able to keep all the metadata inside the firewall.”
According to Enterprise Strategy Group, which has been following the enterprise OFS market closely, the number of corporate OSF accounts is expected to grow to over 50%. The OFS market is red-hot because businesses are trying to support mobile workforces addicted to alternative endpoint devices, said ESG Senior Analyst Terri McClure.
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%.”
NTP is joining a long – and growing – list of companies competiting for a slice of this market. When ESG started covering this market in 2011, there were just 8 companies going after the corporate side, and by the end of last year, there were 40 vendors, including Accellion, Box, Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox, Egnyte, EMC Syncplicity, GroupLogic, Huddle, Nomadesk, Soonr, SOS, SugarSync, and YouSendIt. In the first few months of 2013 we’ve seen their ranks swelled with new – or enhanced – offerings – from SAP, EMC, and CA, which is OEMing SAP’s Afaria.
NTP’s core products are: QFS integrated policy engine, what Backa called the Swiss Army knife of usage enforcement; File Reporter file analytics (for enterprise rollups) is its alter ego, helping users discover trends, pinpoint areas of risk, uncover patterns, and understand and control costs; and File Auditor audit and compliance. File Auditor is built on this same technology, so for highly secure environments like certain unnamed three-letter agencies, “you can monitor and find things that break or create patterns that you might want to take a look. We’re not glamorous like Google and Facebook more like death and taxes.”
NTP said it is the only vendor that has extensions in the OS and file systems of Windows, NetApp, EMC and HDS. UFA transports any data created remotely to these primary storage hosts within an organization’s data center using the cloud as a transport and caching mechanism but not as a data store, unless specified.
As significant as Backa expects UFA to be, he said all of these technologies, whether sync and share, or what NTP is doing, are very much point technology. “The vision I have is that many customers are multi-site… what the industry needs is an object routing architecture just like we have a packet routing architecture. So if you have datacenters on multiple continents, you don’t need point-to-point routing.”
Key UFA components include:
-Cloud Connector – one or more services that maintain a connection between internal storage hosts and the BYOD Manager; it integrates with Windows Active Directory and provides control over limits on size, quantity and type of file data;
-BYOD Manager – one or more services that offers connections to end-user devices; it provides flexible caching options, proxies Active Directory security and aggregates communications; and,
-BYOD Suite – client software appropriate for all common devices and operating systems; it provides end users with the ability to immediately upload and delete file data, and allows for lost or stolen devices to be shut down and wiped of business-critical information