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Cloud storage 2013: Nirvanix dies, others bloom

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EMC Syncplicity adds online file-sharing controls

EMC Syncplicity is the latest online file-sharing product to move to give IT more control over user collaboration.

EMC today announced added features to its Syncplicity online file-sharing product that gives IT more centralized control as it tries to strike a balance between securing company data without hindering sync and share usability.

The vendor has added capabilities to its EMC Syncplicity Secure Shared Links feature that include restricting user access to a shared file to a specific user; requiring a password to open the shared link; and allowing users to view who has downloaded shared files, how many times and when they were last downloaded. A file-expiration data capability also has been added.

EMC also lifted Syncplicity file-size restrictions so any large file can be opened. Also, the online file browser can be used to click on a file, enter email addresses of recipients and automatically email the shared links so there is no need to cut and paste the link into an email.

EMC has steadily upgraded Syncplicity features since it acquired the file-sync startup in May 2012. EMC integrated Syncplicity with its Documentum document management platform in November, added support for the online file-sharing service with the Isilon scale-out NAS and Atmos object storage platforms in January, and added support for the VNX unified storage platform in May.

Using the file-syncing EMC Syncplicity service with EMC storage platforms gives customers the option of sharing and syncing files in an on-premises private cloud instead of sending data off to a public cloud. They can also use private and public clouds simultaneously for a hybrid cloud setup.

There has been a move from file sync and share services to add security features and IT control to make the services more palatable to enterprises. Online file sharing was introduced to many organizations through end users without IT's knowledge, raising concerns about security.

"We are selling to large enterprises," said Jeetu Patel, vice president and general manager of EMC's Syncplicity Business Unit. "They are concerned about security. In the past, security was at odds with productivity. This enhances productivity and adds security at the same time."

"IT is noticing that there is too much data leaking everywhere," said Kristine Kao, an associate analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "They understand they can't use any solution. It has to be the right solution."

EMC also has partnered with Good Dynamics to add mobile device management (MDM) for iOS and Android. The company plans to add support for other MDM companies. EMC Syncplicity also partnered with OneLogin for cloud-based single sign-on and identity management, as well as with PingFederate for on-premises identity management.

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Essential Guide

Cloud storage 2013: Nirvanix dies, others bloom

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