Enterprise file sync and share service provider Egnyte this week said it is providing enterprise document collaboration and sharing for Google Drive via a solution that provides a single view of applications residing on-premises, in the cloud, or on Google Drive.
The new solution also allows Google Drive and Microsoft Office applications, including apps created by Microsoft Office 365, to be stored securely on premises, making it possible to access these files from any client or mobile device, said Vineet Jain, CEO of the Mountain View, Calif.-based storage vendor.
With the new solution, Egnyte, a company that counts Google as an investor, will provide a file serving platform for SMBs and enterprises that take advantage of Google Drive, Jain said.
"Google can be used to create content, but it's really a single-user solution," he said. "We allow businesses to add provisioning, real-time auditing and control for their users' Google documents. We're bringing the Google Drive to the enterprise SAN or NAS, where it can be used like a traditional application."
The release of the new Egnyte solution for Google Drive is good timing now that Microsoft has said it will retire its Windows Small Business Server Edition, said Anthony Chiappetta, president of AMC Solutions, a San Dimas, Calif.-based solution provider and partner to Egnyte, Microsoft and Google.
Chiappetta said he has been looking for a solution outside of the Microsoft stack that plays nicely with Google Docs.
"Egnyte will make Google Docs more attractive," he said. "Customers will be able to save their Google documents as if they were traditional files, and not just to the cloud. And they won't have to move their files around to share them."
For solution providers, the real benefit of the new Egnyte solution with Google Docs vs. another file sync and share service like Dropbox is having a local server and storage component, Chiappetta said.
Training a traditional user who has been used to dealing with hard drives to save files to start using the cloud is not easy, he said.
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"Egnyte lets Google documents be saved so they can be accessed from mapped drives," he said. "Dropbox, which does not have a local server capability, lets documents be synchronized to a cloud. But if a document has a terabyte of data, it's hard to sync. With Egnyte, customers can sync between a local server and the cloud, making the files easier to access."
Chiappetta said this makes Egnyte a viable alternative to Microsoft Small Business Server. For instance, he said, for disaster recovery with Small Business Server, customers need to add email security, a backup server, disaster recovery technology and something to move the data off-site. Recovering that data requires a VPN, but most small businesses have slow Internet connections, he said.
"But because the Google documents in the cloud are synched with local files using Egnyte, they can be hit faster when needed," he said. "This takes care of disaster recovery because the files are always backed up to the cloud."
Egnyte is helping customers navigate all the hype around the cloud, Jain said.
"The cloud is not a panacea," he said. "Hybrid physical and cloud infrastructures are the future. We let customers treat Google documents in the cloud as if they were Microsoft Office files."
PUBLISHED JULY 19, 2013