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Egnyte Hybrid Storage Bridges Local And Cloud Storage

Egnyte Inc. has integrated their Hybrid Storage cloud file server service with Google Docs. Users can edit Google Docs documents online from within the Egnyte Cloud File Server and external partners will have access to documents using Google Docs. In addition, Egnyte's users can edit the documents from within the cloud rather than having to download the document, make changes to it and then upload it. Egnyte also integrated its Cloud File Server with File Transfer Protocol, which the company says is still the most robust way to transfer large files.

Smart Energy Capital LLC, a Portland-based financier of large commercial-scale renewable energy products, is particularly interested in the integration with Google Docs with its customer resource management application, which uses a Google Docs extension to share documents with customers, says managing partner Mike Grenier. Smart Energy has been using Egnyte for a little less than a year and is currently testing the FTP functionality as a way for partners, such as real estate brokers, to upload documents.

The Egnyte service, available since 2008, also gives users a local copy of the data, which is synchronized with the version in the cloud service. The local copy allows users to continue to work in the event of an Internet outages and also speeds up response time for actions that require a great deal of communication with the server. A local copy of the data also helps users who are concerned about losing access to their data stored in a cloud service.

"The idea of bridging private and public cloud offerings to create a seamless policy-based model that optimizes both on-premise and hosted resources seems extremely well timed," says Rob Enderle, principal analyst for Enderle Group. "Companies like choice and flexibility, and this appears to provide that, and in a world where no one solution meets all needs, the flexibility to match the need to the cloud solution would seem incredibly attractive. It fills a critical need."

The service is available now for prices ranging from $15 monthly to $100 monthly, depending on factors such as the number of users, amount of online storage, and the number of computers to be backed up. Support for Google Docs and FTP is available at no additional charge. In addition to standard users, accounts are allocated a certain number of "power users," who have access to functionality such as mapping the Egnyte server to a drive on the desktop or having a continuous backup of their computer. Companies can also choose to purchase additional power user accounts.

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