From the “this is an interesting little ploy that makes a difference” files, Egnyte is today launching a new piece of functionality that allows customers to access and share files on the Egnyte platform, but actually phsically being sited across multiple clou dproviders – Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure and NetApp StorageGRID. This is a pretty interesting move as it speaks to one of the over arching themes I see developing in the cloud – that of far granularity of location.

First, for those of you who don’t know, Egnyte is kind of a Dropbox for local storage (or traditionally was seen that way at least). Egnyte is one way to bring “Dropbox-like” functionality to an organization in a way that doesn’t scare the living hell out of IT – they retain the centralized administration and business policy control that they need. Egnyte powers the daily sharing of 1 billion files so they’re a serious player in the space.

Anyway – today’s news is that EgnytePlus, which already facilitates secure access to local storage devices, now integrates with Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure and NetApp Storage GRID. Given the absolutely ruthless cost cutting between cloud storage vendors – this race to the bottom, coupled with vendors like Egnyte allowing customers to use different storage providers, can potentially deliver amazing economies for customers. The really interesting thing here is that it does so while still abstracting the underlying storage from the sharing and collaboration tools on top of that storage.

The way they do this is pretty interesting. From the release:

Egnyte’s file sharing infrastructure solution is optimized for heterogeneous environments and built on a three-tier platform. Each tier allows Egnyte to optimize how data is handled, whether it’s the Sharing tier, Replication tier or Archive tier. With the addition of third party cloud storage vendors, Egnyte’s sharing tier allows the file structure of data stored in third party clouds to become visible to Egnyte users without fully replicating the data. User permissions are respected, which allows them to enjoy the freedom of mobility while retaining access to all their necessary files. Egnyte’s Cloud is always aware of any transaction, creating a single global namespace for behind the firewall NAS devices and third party cloud storage providers.


What’s not to like? Choice is always a good thing right? This is a good move for Egnyte and none too soon as other vendors begin to build out more enterprise friendly features – both Box and Dropbox are moving strongly to not be seen as IT risks by wrapping a layer of “enterprise grade” on top of what they do. Add into the mix companies like OxygenCloud that allows organizations to leverage their existing storage in a cloud-like manner and the space starts to get interesting. This move from Egnyte absolutely ups the ante yet again and is sure to rustle a few feathers.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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