EMC Revs Up Cloud-Based Syncplicity File Sharing

EMC Tuesday unveiled an enterprise-class file-sharing solution that combines its Syncplicity file-sharing technology with its Isilon scale-out storage or its Atmos scalable object storage arrays.

The new solution leverages Syncplicity's cloud-based technology to allow customers to build their own private file-sharing cloud utilizing their on-premise Isilon or Atmos storage, said Jeetu Patel, vice president and general manager of the Syncplicity business unit in EMC's Information Intelligence Group.

"We're providing scale-out capability so customers get the same benefits of SaaS without the cloud by using Isilon or Atmos," Patel said.

[Related: EMC Buys Syncplicity, Adds Mobile Sync, Share Over Cloud To ECM ]

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EMC in May acquired Syncplicity, a provider of software for synchronizing, sharing and accessing files over the cloud, as part of a move to make content managed by its enterprise content management technology available to mobile users.

Syncplicity developed a cloud-based solution for secure file synchronization, mobility and collaboration that provides individuals, teams and businesses of all sizes seamless access to files regardless of what computer, mobile device or application they are using.

Patel said that the Syncplicity solution remains at first a SaaS play with cloud-based storage on the back end. What is new is that Isilon or Atmos storage capacity also can now be used on the back end, he said.

In the initial phase, customers will have to choose whether the data resides on a cloud or on the local Isilon or Atmos storage, he said. "In phase two, we will provide policies to let customers decide from where files can be accessed," he said. "This will be available in 2013."

The Syncplicity technology is a major advance over current file-sharing technology, Patel said.

First-generation SaaS solutions for online file sharing provide a great user experience for consumers but are not secure, he said. "There are no policies or administrator consoles," he said. "Those solutions also impose change on how customers manage their files, requiring them to manually put a file in a folder or on a cloud."

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With Syncplicity, there are no extra steps. "We don't force customers to change the way the organize their information," Patel said. "If customers have a certain way of organizing things, it doesn't need to change."

The end result of that technology is a solution that provides Dropbox-like file sharing and synchronization capabilities with full control of enterprise-level data security, said Jamie Shepard, regional vice president for the Northeast and principal at Lumenate, a Dallas-based solution provider and EMC partner.

Indeed, customers who adopt Syncplicity will also no longer need EMC's Mozy cloud backup solution for their business, Shepard said.

"Syncplicity has the same functions of Dropbox and Mozy," he said. "I can send my folders to Syncplicity and give access to certain people or to no one at all. Other users can download my files and change them, and the changes get synchronized with the cloud.

"With Syncplicity, I as an administrator can control who does what with what data," Shepard said. "Dropbox has no console to manage the control. Mozy does, but doesn't provide near the control of Syncplicity."

EMC developed the new solution to give CIOs the ability to directly control how data is made available to multiple users, said Sam Grocott, vice president of product management and marketing for EMC Isilon.

"The CIO's ability to take control of data leaking to third-party providers is a major concern, especially data from traditional data shares on corporate infrastructures," Grocott said. "Isilon provides access to files while making sure their data is secure."

Grocott said file sharing is a rapidly changing emerging market, one ideal for solution providers.

"There is an opportunity for channel partners to take the lead on this," he said. "And there's an opportunity to add other products and services and to sell a larger solution stack. Most important, this gets channel partners ahead of the game in file-sharing services."