Ctera puts more controls in its enterprise file-sharing platform

Cloud NAS controller vendor Ctera beefs up management for its enterprise file-sharing platform, giving administrators greater control of security.

Cloud NAS gateway vendor Ctera Networks this week tightened security for its online enterprise file-sharing capabilities. The Ctera 4.0 platform allows IT administrators to set control over user privileges to create team workspaces from Active Directory groups.

"We can create workspaces and IT has control in creating the workspace," said Rani Osnat, Ctera vice president of marketing. "We give the ability to do policy-based privileges. IT can determine who can control and who can create the workspace."

Ctera calls its product a unified cloud storage platform that handles file storage, collaboration and backup. It includes network-attached storage (NAS) Cloud Storage Gateways, a portal for centralized management and agents for laptops, servers, and iOS and Android mobile devices. Like other vendors looking to make a stand in enterprise file sharing, Ctera has been adding security and IT management features.

Ctera also added per-tenant cloud storage service-level agreements (SLAs), which allow IT or a cloud service provider to implement different SLAs based on the storage pool the user is connected to. SLAs can vary based on redundancy needs, performance and uptime guarantee. A more granular audit capability has been added, so every access to a file is logged and tracked.

"You can audit every sync and share event so you know where a file went," Osnat said.

Ctera has enhanced its mobile security policy to let admins do a remote wipe of data on mobile devices if an employee has left the company or loses a device.

Scalability has been enhanced so the Ctera product can support multiple database servers for customers' instances in the cloud. This allows the gateway service to scale out to multiple customers with hundreds of thousands of connected gateways and endpoints.

Ctera also added fast backup, replication and recovery of virtual machines (VMs) on Microsoft Hyper-V in the new version, as well as Microsoft SharePoint backup to go with its previous backup support for Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server.

Also new in 4.0 are full Active Directory integration with Lightweight Directory Access Control, and user authentication and single-sign on (SSO), including Kerberos authentication protocols. An SSO allows users to rely on one password for authentication.

Ctera supports Amazon S3, Rackspace, Orange Cloud, Swisscom and Telefonica public clouds, as well as private storage clouds built on EMC Atmos, Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), IBM GPFS and Caringo.

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