New solution offers secure file sync and sharing for enterprises
Aggressive plans in place to increase market share via cloud services partner programme
HITACHI Data Systems (HDS) has made its debut in the nascent space of enterprise-class file share and sync, announcing solutions and services that it claims would help companies adopt cloud computing more readily.
Sunil Chavan (pic), Asia Pacific director of Software Group & Cloud Solutions at HDS, said that while many organisations may already have third-party sync and share solutions that allow employees to access company content and work remotely, these solutions are not equipped with security features.
This could jeopardise the safety and integrity of corporate information assets, he added.
With that market gap in mind, the storage solutions provider now offers Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) Anywhere, an integrated on-premise file sync and share solution that is built specifically for enterprises.
The solution offers end users an easy-to-use interface, akin to third-party solutions such as DropBox, which allows remote access to data on any device while allowing IT departments better control over access policies and data security.
“This is a unique offering in the market because while there are a lot of public cloud solutions, no one has end-to-end management of security like HDS,” Sunil claimed.
He added that there is a lot of movement in this new space with public cloud providers trying to break into the market and traditional vendors such as HDS building solutions to cater to demand.
“It’s a nascent space and whoever makes a good entry now has a good chance of getting the lion’s share of the market. Double-digit market share is possible and HDS is aggressively pursing that goal.
"With our new offering, we definitely have first-mover advantage and many of our customers are already in the market shopping for such a solution,” he said.
With HCP Anywhere, users save a file to their designated HCP folder that automatically syncs to all registered devices and becomes available via Web browsers. Users can also safely share files with access-controlled, time-sensitive links.
Accessible via desktop, or mobile devices, HCP Anywhere is currently available on iOS as a client with the Android version due to be released in the coming months. Sunil said that a BlackBerry version is also on the roadmap.
The solution offers IT departments built-in mobile device management, auditing and full integration with Microsoft Active Directory. It also manages data in a high-density object storage platform where the data is single-instanced, compressed and free from tape backup.
“That’s a key differentiator for our solution. With other solutions in the market, the security aspect is missing. There are no SLAs (service-level agreements), you can authenticate but you don’t know where the data is residing and would never know,” Sunil said.
“Many enterprise customers are telling me that things like DropBox are a nuisance. Organisations know that BYOD (the 'bring your own device' trend) is here to stay but they still need control over issues such as data location and user authentication for sensitive corporate information,” he added.
HDS has also expanded its cloud solutions portfolio, with a new version of HCP that includes enhancements such as:
Cloud application support: Customers can take advantage of the new ecosystem of cloud apps built for Amazon S3, while still securely storing their data on their own premises.
Metadata intelligence: Tag files with custom metadata from multiple users and apps to automate more intelligently, simplify management, aid in search and support analytics.
VMWare: Customers can use the server platform of their choice along with VMWare to run HCP.
Tiering to external storage: HCP supports other media types to store data while still allowing customers full functionality.
Cloud services strategy for Asean
HDS also launched Hitachi Cloud Services Connection (HCSC), a public cloud offering built on its cloud infrastructure and solutions, managed by HDS for partners to resell.
The programme includes an all-in-one service offering for specific workloads and IT services built on HDS platforms, hosted and managed by the company. Service offerings include infrastructure, content and software as services.
Sunil stressed that HDS was not looking to compete in the public cloud space but is focused on providing secure solutions for its partners and clients.
He claimed that organisations leveraging HDS’ cloud solutions have reportedly reduced their total cost of ownership by 60%, reduced space needed for backups by 30%, enabled five times more terabytes managed per administrator, and created a two-year deferral on new storage purchases.
For the Asean region and Malaysia especially, the company has aggressive plans to grab market share via its HCSC offering.
“We already have our solutions installed in a few data centres in the country and are looking to increase our footprint in the coming months. The HCSC programme is especially geared towards servicing mid-market customers,” he said.
Sunil also shared that two industry verticals in particular have seen active movement and growth in the uptake of industry-customised cloud-based applications: Healthcare and banking.
“We’re seeing a lot of cloud-based applications dealing with patient information management and within the banking industry, document management for sensitive information is a growing market -- not just with banks but also companies that work closely with banking institutions,” he said.
With rising interest and investment in secured cloud-based services, HDS is confident of its mission to gain leadership position via its solutions.
Sunil said that the company is already in the process of shortlisting potential partners for its HCSC programme in the country.
“We’re not going to offer this to everyone, only a select few partners who are committed to go to market with our solutions. Our partners will need no upfront investment with HDS taking on that cost, and they will be able to white label their solutions with our support,” he said.
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