Follow-me-data, a quick glance

The last couple of months there where a lot of announcements made involving follow-me-data, all the vendors have seen the potential in building an ‘Enterprise Dropbox’ but there are still a lot of questions around there products, Dan Brinkmann recently wrote a blog on which functionality he would like to see in these Dropbox-replacements and as I answered to his question on twitter on functionality I agree with most of them:

  • Clients for Mac,Windows, Windows phone, Android, IOS, Blackberry (yes still a lot of these devices on the market)
  • Local Sync/caching solution with clients above
  • Client integration to folder structures, mapped drives (most do this today, I want to use it like a folder structure on my devices)
  • Selective synchronization of files and folders on a per device level (I do this with SugarSync today across my multiple devices)
  • Sharing of whole folders and individual files without requiring signup
  • Versioning of files
  • Simultaneous editing and collaboration on files with markup
  • Expiration of links and shared files
  • Enterprise kill pill/remote wipe for shared folders and files
  • Integrated DRM capability
  • Task / light project management capabilities
  • Active Directory integration
  • Encryption options depending on device, folder, client directed…etc
  • Online workspaces for projects or groups (straight from the Box feature list)
  • Onsite deployment of solution – no synchronization to cloud storage solutions
  • Hosted deployment of solution – cloud storage solution providing all storage
  • Backup solution replacement – I don’t want to have to backup this data, I want to replace file servers with this solution and not have to worry about backup anymore, therefore it also needs user directed restore options and auditing
  • Content awareness of photos, music, video, etc and integration to client platform
  • Email client integration
  • Persona management / UEM  (if supported by client platform), imagine storing preferences, passwords, “persona” as part of this solution across platforms

Looking at the current products in the market the three most obvious products are:

I wanted to involve VMware Octopus but there’s not enough information going round to complete this blogpost so I will update this blogpost as soon as there’s more information available.

First thing I did was to search for the characteristics of these solutions and came up with the following table, this information is from the websites from the vendors:

 

ShareFile HyperDrive DataNow
Easy to Use Powerful tools to easily integrate ShareFile into your workflow Secured data accessible through Windows Explorer, Mac Finder or a web browser on personal or corporate hardware. A frictionless anywhere data experience for users.
Upload individual files up to 10 GB in size (competitors limit to 2 GB) Online dashboard provides easy access to data and devices, and the flexibility to share data with approved external contacts DataNow is making users instantly productive anywhere without compromising IT governance, efficiency, and economics
Dedicated account manager to help you with set up and support Integration with Outlook provides attachment options for large files, reducing impact on messaging infrastructure.
Professional Create online folders – clients only see the folders they can access Create folders and only see what you can access A robust set of data orchestration and policy controls that address both corporate and personal devices.
Tracking and alerts to confirm that clients have received files Tracking and alerts Simple integration with existing enterprise desktop management and storage infrastructure.
Cloud connectors that allow enterprise IT teams to tap the benefits of public cloud storage on theirterms, when they’re ready.
Secure & Compliant Unmatched password protection On premises architecture assures enterprise-class security and that users’ data is thoroughly protected across all of their devices. DataNow includes a simple – yet flexible – policy creation interface to govern access to corporate data.
Granular folder-level permissions Optional Active Directory integration. Active Directory Integration
Files are transmitted with SSL encryption Local data encryption. IT teams can create foundational policies through an intuitive drag-and-drop interface or build their own customized policies through a highly extensible scripting interface
Remote theft protection. fully automated policies can dynamically adapt data access based on contextual factors, as well as initiate security response activities such as remote data wipe in the case of a lost or stolen device.
Integrated backup to ensure that users’ data is thoroughly protected across all of their devices.
Mobile Clients iPhone/iPad Full cross-platform support for Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad), Windows and Blackberry phones Windows, Mac, smartphone, and tablet devices.
Android Phone/Tablet
BlackBerry Phone
Windows Phone

As we’ve got some basic information from the websites, I configured HyperDrive and requested a trial account for ShareFile. I tried to request a trial for DataNow but I got an email that I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could try it. Therefore I did my best to find the information from the website and other resources. Here’s what I found so far:

followmedata1

Marco Drost wrote a blogpost on this subject for the Peppercrew blog at:http://www.peppercrew.nl/index.php/2012/06/on-premises-dropbox/

He will go more in depth on the different features where I just took Dan’s wishlist as a reference.

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Kees Baggerman

Kees Baggerman is a Staff Solutions Architect for End User Computing at Nutanix. Kees has driven numerous Microsoft and Citrix, and RES infrastructures functional/technical designs, migrations, implementations engagements over the years.

2 comments

  1. Bram Wolfs says:

    Nice overview Kees.
    Like @robbeekmans was also stating on twitter today, one thing i hope to see is integration with existing data structures (existing file shares for example).
    HyperDrive is awesome but you need to redesign your data structure, if you are not going to do this, the risk is that there will be duplicate data stored by the end-users (on Hyperdrive and on internal data structure).
    I contacted RES about this and they told me that this is due to there security and encryption options, this sounds logical of course.
    But i hope they will provide some way to integrate with existing data structures, because this will provide the following advances :

    – Data stored in one place, no duplicate data and versions
    – Same Security rules applies
    – Integrates with existing backup solutions
    – Same browse experience for the users
    – Users not using follow-me-data can also access the data through network share

    Of course this problem can be solved by migrating all existing data structures to a follow-me-data concept but i don’t think this will happen any time soon.
    Webdav can be used as an alternative, but this is not as feature rich of course.

  2. […] your data to the follow-me-data solution you’re implementing. I already wrote a blogpost on Follow me data and so did Marco Drost with his ‘On Premises dropbox‘ but with the introduction […]

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