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SOS Online Backup Rolls Out Collaboration Tool

Private cloud app lets users access, share, and collaborate on files.

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SOS Online Backup today joined the crowded online collaboration space with the announcement of SOS Collaborate, a private cloud product that lets users collaborate, synchronize files, and communicate about projects online.

SOS Collaborate is an on-premises or data center deployment of software that lets users access, synchronize, and share files from anywhere on almost any device, including iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Users can add a file to an online folder and then edit it, comment on it, and manage it. The software is deployed onsite as an infrastructure-as-a-service (IAAS) on Windows platforms. It will be available for Macintosh users later this year.

SOS Collaborate provides reporting that helps prevent data leaks and allows organizations to comply with HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI, and other compliance regulations. It uses 256-bit AES encryption.

When a user adds a file to a Collaborate folder, the file is automatically replicated to the user's devices for browser-based access. Collaborate supports multiple versions of files, which can be retrieved from anywhere.

[ The market for online backup and file collaboration tools is growing fast. See Mozy Expands From Backup To File Sync.]

Administrators can control the collaboration environment by determining who has access to files and limiting the amount of storage a user has, and they can produce reporting documents. SOS Collaborate supports the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) for authenticated access.

SOS Collaborate can be installed as either a virtual appliance on VMWare or on a physical machine that is dedicated to collaboration. It works with network-attached storage, storage area networks, and direct-attached storage. The company plans to support other hypervisors such as Microsoft's Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer platforms later this year.

SOS's private cloud service competes with Mozy's recently introduced Stash for consumers on the low end. Although Stash is currently available only for MozyHome users, the company says it will add Stash capability to its business-oriented MozyPro in the future. Carbonite also competes in this space with its Anytime, Anywhere Access feature, which supports IOS, Android, and Blackberry devices.

SOS Online Backup intends to offer a public cloud version of Collaborate later this year. The product, which is available now, costs $1 per user per month.

SOS Online Backup also offers a cloud-based backup service called SOS Online Backup for Business, which protects PCs and laptops. SOS Online Backup for Business competes with Carbonite Business and Mozy Pro, according to the company, and pricing starts at $300 per year.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.

This free Cloud Connect webcast, Moving To A Private Cloud?, looks at best practices behind successful cloud adoption with specific focus on practical monitoring solutions. It happens Jan. 31.

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