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Analysis

A major driver for looking into solutions such as Box or Dropbox, and the myriad of other file sharing, and file syncing solutions out there is mobility. However, too often, key considerations such as security and the proprietary nature of the data being “shared” takes a backseat to the accessibility offered by these solutions.

Many organizations, particularly small and medium businesses (SMB) have resign themselves to on-line or in-cloud file sharing services simply because they do not realize there is an alternative.

Neuralytix recently analyzed FileCloud. FileCloud is the enterprise offering from CodeLathe, LLC, the developers of Tonido. In short, both FileCloud and Tonido offer individuals and enterprises the ability to create their own private clouds. In other words, the file syncing and sharing capabilities are hosted on the servers of the individual (in the case of Tonido), or the enterprise (in the case of FileCloud).

Discussing only FileCloud, the benefits of bringing on-premise, the file sync and share capabilities are numerous, and in many cases, obvious:

  • Consistency with existing security methodology;
  • No data “leakage”, since the data essentially never leaves the organization; and
  • Lower cost.

FileCloud claims a 4x to 9x cost reduction per user compared to other offerings.

Neuraspective

There are many different sync and share offerings on the market. The most prominent are Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive (previously SkyDrive). All these offerings require data to be pushed into the cloud, and the use of (or at least the integration of) the provider’s security paradigm to provide the file sync and share capabilities.¬†Enterprises can essentially lose control of this data.

Solutions such as EMC’s Syncplicity provide a hybrid approach, where users can use a combination of existing and external security paradigms, and move data between on-premise storage and in-cloud storage. This solution is suited to larger enterprises with tens of thousands of users.

FileCloud is designed for the SMB. Many of FileCloud’s existing user base have between 100 to 500 users per installation. FileCloud has a per user, per¬†year pricing model that is attractive. SMBs should consider FileCloud if they have sensitive data, regulated data, or if they have concerns about “sneaker-nets” or shadow-IT being created as a result of third-party sync and share products.

That said, FileCloud is participating in a hyper-competitive market. Distinguishing itself among the plethora of competitive offerings will not be easy. FileCloud leverages system integration and reseller partners as a primary go-to-market strategy.

Neuralytix believes that FileCloud needs to establish marketing partnerships with leading SMB network-attached storage (NAS) vendors such as Buffalo, Overland (SnapServer), Lenovo-EMC Iomega, and even the large OEMs.

Furthermore, Neuralytix believes that FileCloud needs to leverage the extensive auditing feature currently built into FileCloud to provide meaningful reports regarding data usage.

Lastly, FileCloud should establish a user-community who can share success stories and various use cases, and expose an API to FileCloud to extend it capabilities. Unlike larger enterprises, SMBs generally do not have the same skepticism about sharing their successes, and see it as an honor to help other (non-competitive) SMBs.