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Enterprise Dropbox Envy: Nasuni Rolls Out Mobile Cloud Storage Option

IT's problem isn't so much BYOD, as it is bring your own storage. That's why Nasuni and others are rolling out mobile cloud storage options to compete with Dropbox.

The user interface of sharing and accessing data across the mobile enterprise was designed by Nasuni to mimic the Dropbox experience.

"We took a lot of the design cues and design strategy from what the customers have basically been trained to use," says Connor Fee, director of marketing at Nasuni. "The reality is a lot of the stage has been set here."

But unlike a lot of the cloud-based file sharing solutions out there--enterprise-focused or not--the under-the-hood aspects of Nasuni more closely look like enterprise storage than cloud storage. The platform is directly integrated into the customers' storage infrastructure, rather than being layered on top in some fashion or another.

"All we're doing is taking that same access control and we're passing it through to the mobile device. No change, no adds to the infrastructure, no new permission systems to manage," says Fee. "IT remains the steward of the access control system, as opposed to trying to manage the hodgepodge of user-based controls."

This kind of native access is what makes Nasuni unique in the market, says Duplessie, explaining that the ability for enterprises to build access control for mobile devices on the backs of their existing Active Directory infrastructures is the product's key differentiator.

"It's the same log-on permissions from active directory that you've always had," he says. "No net new changes."

For its part, Nasuni expects the rest of the enterprise storage market to quickly follow its lead in the market.

"I would be shocked if you don't see more and more folks offering HTTPS- and mobile-based access because it is just another protocol to access the data," Fee says.

Duplessie agrees, explaining that storage vendors like EMC are likely looking to extend their core platforms in this way.

"They either have to build it themselves, or they're going to end up partnering or buying out [companies like Nasuni]," he says.

However, this fully native approach does have one glaring drawback: While it does help centralize control of storage accessed by corporate users included within Active Directory, there's still the matter of collaboration with partners outside the organization. In these cases of sharing outside the firewall, organizations still need to augment with some additional means to collaborate, Duplessie says.

"This is not a panacea. This is not, 'If you have this, you don't need Dropbox,'" he says. "Those problems of sharing outside of the firewall exist no matter what. It's just that you don't want Dropbox to store everything that matters to your company. You just want stuff in Dropbox that you absolutely need to have there."

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