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12/8/2009
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Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Egnyte Extends Cloud-Based Hybrid Storage To NAS Devices

The company is announcing Egnyte Local Cloud on Network Attached Storage (NAS), which expands the hybrid concept from Direct Attached Storage (DAS). The combination is designed to let SMBs combine local and cloud-based storage to maximize security, backup, and performance.

The company is announcing Egnyte Local Cloud on Network Attached Storage (NAS), which expands the hybrid concept from Direct Attached Storage (DAS). The combination is designed to let SMBs combine local and cloud-based storage to maximize security, backup, and performance.According to Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain, cloud storage offers many advantages compared to local, physical file serveres, including better remote access, file sharing, and backup -- not to mention the abiltiy to add capacity on demand. But he acknowledges that many SMBs want a local copy of their data, and that latency issues can make cloud storage "quite cumbersome" when dealing with large files, such as 200 MB video files. And some apps, he admits, simply can't run from the cloud.

Ideally, Jain says, users want a local copy of their data and applications when they're in the office, but also to retain remote access when they're out of the office. "When they're in the local office, they're served from there. When out of the the office, they use the cloud -- no VPN needed."

Egnyte Local Cloud on Network Attached Storage is intended to deliver the best of both worlds to companies with 10 to 1,000 users, by integrating cloud storage with relatively inexpensive NAS devices. Jain says Egnyte spent months trying to creae it's own NAS appliances with Taiwanese manufacturers, but, but eventually realized "We're not hardware experts."

Instead, the service works with existing hardware. In April, Engyte announced the capability to work with Direct Attached Storage for single users and small teams. Tomorrow's announcement enables its use by larger groups by working with Netgear ReadyNAS devices servers powered by Redhat/Suse Linux kernels. The company plans to add support for additional NAS boxes soon.

Jain says the software can be deployed in minutes by end users, and doesn't require special technology expertise to configure. You simply specify what part of the cloud server you want to make local -- on a file and folder level -- and map it to the local user's desktop where it appears as a local drive.

egnyte1 Egnyte is designed to let SMBs share documents.

Once installed, its integrated file infrastructure can be accessed by multiple users, both locally and remote. And automatic synchronization of the local and cloud file servers lets both local and remote users share documents without the hassles of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Unlike most "passive" cloud storage systems, Jain says, Egnyte uses a pro-active approach that makes it a peer with the local NAS, not subservient to it. That means whenever a document is edited, it's synched to both the NAS and cloud storage.

The system provides the same enterprise-level security for files stored locally or in the cloud, and specified folders can be kept behind a corporate firewall.

According to Jain, pricing for 1TB of storage for 10-users starts at $150 per moth ($15 per seat) or $1,800 per year. Adding Egnyte Local Cloud on Network Attached Storage adds $20 - $30 per month, for an unlimited number of NAS devices and local clouds. The capability is free with the Enterprise version of Egnyte.

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