EGNYTE FOR GOOGLE APPS has been released, bringing the first opportunity for companies to create a hybrid storage solution based around on-site physical data and a Google Drive cloud infrastructure.
The service is aimed at middle- to top-tier clients wanting to embrace the cloud but leave their most sensitive and frequently accessed data on-premise.
The INQUIRER spoke to Egnyte co-founders Rajesh Ram and Vineet Jain about the launch.
"We found that, while businesses were ready to embrace the cloud, many had information that they did not feel confident in storing this way, perhaps because of bandwidth, or because of the sensitivity of the information," said Jain.
"Our solution allows users to seamlessly use the power of Google Drive and Google Apps with the reassurance of on-premise data seamlessly integrated."
The use of Google Drive's APIs means that even information stored locally is treated like any other data in Google's apps such as Docs, and appears in the Google Drive interface to end users.
The company raised $62m in startup funding from investors including Seagate and Google, positioning itself as "a complement to Google for Work" rather than a direct threat.
The option for hybrid storage allows businesses ready to ditch existing solutions to use the Google For Work environment, but without having to fully embrace the cloud.
"We've particularly noticed in Europe that the desire for ownership of data is much higher, especially in somewhere like Germany, and that has been a major barrier to the take up of cloud solutions. By adding some on-premise storage, that reassurance can be added back in," said Ram.
Nowhere is that more evident than with Open Xchange, the German company that offers completely platform-agnostic, white label productivity that requires no lock-in and no access to data by the vendor.
Egnyte has been offering enterprise collaboration tools for some time, but the decision to create an interface that meshes into Google's ecosystem is a significant announcement in the company's history.
The software is closed source, but Jain is clear that its software should be open in terms of choice of storage vendor and platform, with the option to work in other services such as Microsoft Office 365. "We act as a facilitator to an open environment," he explained.
As such, and despite the investment from Google and Seagate, there is no obligation for customers that wish to use the service.
"We don't put a limit on storage or transfer of data, and we don't tell customers what to use, though we use our expertise to steer them to the right solution and configuration for them," said Jain.
Once installed, administrators have access to the full range of granular user permissions, providing a service almost identical to the standard Google For Work offering launched late last year.
It forms part of the offerings from Google Apps Marketplace, which provides a shop floor of add-ons for its productivity software.
“Egnyte’s integration offers Google Apps customers a seamless way to collaborate on 100 percent of their files, regardless of where those files are stored, how they are accessed and whether or not other users operate in a Google Apps environment,” added Ram.
At present, Egnyte is offering the software bridge only between physical and Google cloud storage, but Jain alluded to the possibility of a joined up approach further down the line, using its relationship with partners to offer an integrated package.
In the meantime, the company is offering very little information on pricing as it prefers to negotiate directly, but we were quoted between $0.08 and $0.24 a megabyte as a ballpark figure depending on deployment size. A free trial is available. µ
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