August 27, 2012
Two things most enterprise IT folks agree on are that Dropbox is a risky proposition for sensitive enterprise data and that employees are demanding solutions with a “Dropbox-like” functional spec. It’s a big area of opportunity and one that companies like Egnyte and Oxygen Cloud have spent time addressing – Dropbox’s seemingly never ending security hiccups do everything to help define a market opportunity for these companies. The latest company to join the fray is Maginatics who is using the VMware annual conference and PR blitz, VMworld, to launch MagFS – its hybrid storage offering.
The preposition is pretty simple really – bridging the gap between enterprise (read on-premise, heavy iron) storage and cloud storage, all with enterprise grade (whatever that might mean) security and control alongside the requisite requirement for mobile access.
In terms of execution – MagFS support Amazon S3, AT&T Synaptic, HP Cloud, Microsoft Azure at launch and is intending to roll out integrations with further cloud storage vendors over time. Their on-prem support covers EMC Atmos and OpenStack Swift.
MagFS includes the sort of stuff that enterprises need, and more consumer-focused offering don’t include including;
- Active Directory integration
- AES-256 Encryption (in flight and at rest)
- Encryption keys stored only on-premise
- File optimizations designed to reduce the impacts of network latency
I’ve long said that providing an enterprise equivalent of Dropbox is an absolute no-brainer. Doing so in a way that allows organizations to use both existing on-premise storage and public cloud infrastructure is especially important as organizations navigate their progression from traditional into a degree of hybrid infrastructure. That said, if the pressing driver for enterprise is the perception of security, then start-ups are a difficult way of delivering this and it is for this reason that I envisage a large amount of consolidation to occur in this space over the near term.
The opportunity is large and enough companies are prospective acquirers that a number of companies will prove successful in this area however – the key thing here is to partner far and wide, build strong integrations with traditional storage and public cloud vendors, and be seen as a strong provider of cross vendor, hybrid public/private and highly secure solutions.